Monday, August 30, 2010

‘Transformed by Desire: A Journey of Awakening to Life and Love’ by Patty Mason – Book Review

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I love it when the Lord directs me to a book that captures the love He has for His people, and conveys it very well. That book is ‘Transformed by Desire: A Journey of Awaking to Life and Love’ by Patty Mason.

Here is the synopsis of this touching book:

          What Are the Desire of Your Heart?
What do you yearn for? What are the longings that you ache to fill? What have you kept buried within your soul that needs to be uncovered?  The journey of a lifetime begins with desire. Desire that will stir your heart and awaken your soul. Desire that will thrust your life into new levels of meaning and purpose. God longs for you to open your heart and mind. To ask – seek – knock, to take a journey of longing and desire. God has implanted desires within you; let them come alive with new life and love. Dare to dream; dare to embrace the truest desires of your heart. Dare to answer the question: What are the desires of my heart?

Here is the biography of this author:

Patty Mason is an award-winning author, speaker, Bible teacher, women’s ministry leader, and the founder of Liberty in Christ Ministries. For many years she has been teaching and inspiring women of all ages through her writings and her talks. Patty has reached audiences all over the world through Sisters on Assignment,, CWebtTV,, and WLGT Blog Radio Live. Beginning in August, 2010, you can view her weekly program on the SOA channel every Friday on Light Source.  
Patty lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and children. She is also the author of the Bible study, Know That I AM God, and the devotional, God’s Heart: Drawing Close to the Heart of God.

Patty shows us how Jesus wants us to spend a lot of time with Him, and be in an intimate relationship with His children. She begins the book by including ‘A Prayer for Our Journey.’ Here is a portion of it:

With each of you in heart and mind, I pray that you will experience a spiritual awakening. I ask for each of you to be given eyes to see and ears to hear all of what Christ desires to communicate to you. May you not close this book untouched or unchanged. Earnestly, I pray that the Holy Spirit will use the words in this book to woo your heart in new ways, paving the way for a turning point in your relationship with Jesus. May you be granted glorious revelation and abundant wisdom to grasp how wide, how high, and long, and deep His love is for you.

It is important that we understand the answer to the question, ‘What are the desires of my heart?’:

I pondered the question; and the more I thought about the possibilities, the more excited I became. Suddenly my mind began to fill with thoughts and dreams. Like a powerful wave crashing on the shoreline, the desires of my heart began to flood my soul. Some were childhood desires I had long since forgotten, others were fresh; still they were longings I had never shared with anyone. It was a secret part of me just waiting to be shared with anyone. It was like a secret part of me just waiting to be revealed. Until that day, I had no idea how I had repressed the desires of my heart; but now, God was touching a place within me that begged to get out, to be set free, to spread its wings and fly. (p. 2)

In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus invited us to ask-seek-knock:

Ask-seek-knock. I love these intriguing words, because they awaken desire. They invite you to come and open your heart and experience the promise of something more. When God created you, He implanted specific desires in your heart that only He could fill. He longs for you to open your heart and ask, so that He can help you discover those desires, bringing them out into the light of His love. For example, in the story of the two blind men, Jesus said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32). Jesus already knew what these men needed, but He wanted them to express their desire to receive their sight.
Just like these blind me, you, too, need to express to Jesus the desires of your heart, even the ones you may have kept buried since childhood. Jesus longs for you to open your heart and offer Him your deepest desires. Like a little child, He beckons you to come and freely give Him that part of yourself. (p. 5)

The Lord’s reaction to your request will vary from person to person:

For some, once they made the decision to ask, seek, and knock with their whole heart, the transformation came rapidly. For others, the changes and revelations came slowly – more gradually. That’s ok. Don’t get frustrated. Christ knows your heart, and He understands the longings of your soul. Give Him the room to move freely; unhindered and without any preconceived notions of what this journey is supposed to look like, or how it will turn out. Let go and let God reveal to you the desires of His heart, as He births the desires in yours. (p. 9)

Patty’s prayer life has changed dramatically as He has drawn closer to Him:

Now, unlike before, I long to meet with God every day in prayer. I don’t come out of obligation, but out of the love in my heart, simply desiring to be with Him. Once I understood what God desired to receive and how He longed to share times of closeness with me, my attitude about prayer changed dramatically. As a result, my prayer life increased in volume and passion; this new approach deepened the bonds of relationship between us to unparalleled levels of intimacy. (p. 26)

We do have the freedom to reject Him, but it comes at a price:

If you are not taking time to nurture a loving relationship between yourself and the Lord, you are robbing both Him and yourself. Ask the Lord to help you to be creative with your time. Set up regularly scheduled appointments when the two of you can meet privately. Allow Him the access to your heart that He deserves and craves. Permit Jesus to fill your heart with His love (see 1 John 4:19). When you come to Jesus and allow Him to fill you and care for you, you then will begin to receive the wholeness that you so desperately crave. (p. 36)

As do many of us, Patty suffered from a deep depression. Her relationship with the Lord rescued her:

When I was going through the depression, I lost hope. I felt like everything had been taken from me, and I was completely alone. No one understood; and no one could help. And in that make-it-or-break-it moment, on the day I was planning on committing suicide, I cried out to the Lord in complete desperation. Then, without warning, like a knight in shining armor, Jesus heard and answered my cries for His healing hand. In the blink of an eye, He graciously and mercifully healed me from the darkness that had consumed my life. And when I came out of that pit of depression, I came out a different person – zealous and so utterly grateful for what God had done for me that I gave Him my heart and began to return His love (see Psalm 116). (p. 45)

We must not allow our past hurts to stop us from falling in love with Jesus:

Don’t be afraid. Do not be one who cannot seem to draw near to Christ because of fear of rejection, past hurts, or bitterness. Remember, only Christ Jesus can fill the needs, true desires, and longing of your heart. Only He can fill the emptiness and bring satisfaction to your soul. When you are alone with Him, totally submitted to Him, restorative healing begins, and little by little you become whole. (pp. 66-67)

As she grew more in love with the Lord, Patty’s eyes opened:

For me, new love was stirring my heart as passion gripped my soul. I went from what I would call a good relationship with God, to where I simply fell in love with Jesus. From that moment on, I began to feel alive. Suddenly, everything was better. I began to look at the world around me with the inquisitiveness of someone young at heart (see Matthew 18:3). Now, unrestricted in my new adventure, I began to see things I had never seen before. The whole world simply came to life.
The trees and fields began to dance before my eyes, as if they were moving to the music of the wind (see Isaiah 55:12; Psalm 96:12-13). Streams of water began to sing to me as they traveled along their path, shimmering and reflecting the light of God as the water swayed to the rhythm of its journey (Psalm 98:8). And the voice of the birds became sweet as they seemed to sing the tune of my heart (see Psalm 40:3). (p. 91)

We need to learn to look at ourselves as the Lord does:

When God looks at you, He no longer sees your sin and unworthiness. When God looks at you He sees the blood of Jesus. Jesus took your filthy rags and exchanged them for His robe of righteousness and garment of salvation. You are righteous because He is righteous. You are worthy because of His sacrifice. When God see you He sees the sacrifice of Jesus and He calls you, “Beloved.”
What you think is how you live. If you believe you are unworthy, then these feelings will keep you from experiencing what God desires to shower upon you. Stop looking at yourself. It’s not about what you’ve done; it’s what He’s done. Focus on Jesus and what He has done for you – that is what will bring you the greatest freedom (see John 8:34-36). (pp. 112-113)

Another desire of God for us is to be set free. We need to be aware of how the enemy tries to prevent that:

Another area that delayed me in the reprogramming process was believing the lies of the adversary. Be informed, and learn to recognize the tactics of the enemy. In the early stages of new love, the enemy will try to come into the picture by attempting to distort the relationship between the bride and Bridegroom by bringing confusion, fear, and doubt. There are many paths the enemy can take to cause the bride to feel unclean… (p. 128)

We need to be aware of bad attitudes:

Be aware of the demons of bitterness, unforgiveness, doubt, fear, disapproval, impatience, gossip, slander, rejection, criticism, a condemning spirit, pride, jealousy, false doctrine and self-righteousness that will bring about confusion and division in the church and will drive a wedge between Jesus and you.
Please indulge me for a minute; I need to vent. My heart aches because there are so many people today who are not experiencing freedom in their relationship with Christ. Thousands are suffering under the weight of oppression, depression, and other demons that have attached themselves to their precious lives. The enemy is stealing our freedom, and holding us captive; not allowing us to enjoy our God-given right to experience the life we were born again to live. (p. 131)

Another desire of God for us is that we be a Warrior Bride:

Now also understand that just because we are not told to fight the enemy, this does not mean that we do nothing. It is vital that you pray every morning, before you begin your day, to be covered in the blood of Christ and equipped with the armor of God so that you may “stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” (see 2 Corinthians 10:14), undergirded with God’s holy truth, guarding the seat of your emotions. Beloved, the more you trust in the truth of God, the less you will suffer emotionally. The more you cling to the truth of the Spirit, the less likely you will be to take the bait of the enemy’s lies. Then ask the Lord to protect the work He has begun in you with “the breastplate of righteousness” (v. 14). Put it in place over your heart, so that you may be sheltered by His uprightness and shielded from sinful desires. (pp. 205-206)

At the end of each section of the book are spaces for Journal Responses, with thoughts for reflection, and an opportunity to reflect on ‘The desire of my heart is….’ I would highly recommend this book for personal study or to work through with a very close friend or two.

This book has reminded me how much God wants to love us and be our Bridegroom. It is obvious from what I know about Patty that she spends lots of time with her Groom, and loves Him with all her heart. She is a good friend of Charlotte Hunt, author of ‘Damaged Goods’ (you can read my review here). I hope to meet both of these lovely ladies in person some day in the future. I thank Patty for exposing her heart to us and for showing us how we can grow closer to the Lover of our souls!

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Forever Books and generously provided by the author.

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