With All Your Heart: Living Joyfully Through Allegiance to King Jesus helps Christians examine how our love for God is divided. Author Christine Hoover captured my attention with her transparent and relatable writing.
“If our hearts are divided according to contradictory allegiances, we cannot and will not experience the joy and life Jesus promised us. Instead, we experience confusion, anxiety, isolation, and the painful consequences of the actions we take in allegiance to false kings.”
Part one of the book encourages readers to understand the gospel message and receive the kingdom of God. To do this, we must resist the kingdom of self and recognize the false kings we have been following.
“The kingdom of God tells us who we are. We have a new citizenship, a new identity because God has proclaimed who we are through Jesus the King.”
Part Two of the book discusses how our loyalties become divided by false kings. Hoover expressed what I’d been feeling but hadn’t been able to put into words. Her personal stories made me feel like she was walking alongside me without judgment. These false kings promise us peace but always break their promises:
“Anxiety is a false king that demands our constant attention, and therefore our hearts undivided allegiance.”
“Anxiety draws us out of our body and out of today—the day we can see and touch and experience—and sets our minds on a future we can’t see or touch or know.”
When we focus on our true security in Christ, it’s easier to live in the present and free ourselves from the worries of tomorrow.
Since I often worry about how things will work out, I appreciated her encouragement to focus on who God is rather than how impossible a situation seems.
“So Jesus says to his listeners that we shouldn’t be attentive to how our needs will be met but rather to the God who meets our needs.
Hoover addressed how Christians can be concerned about image and seek to look spiritual to others without acknowledging pride and hidden sin in our own lives.
“American evangelism is overrun with Christian pretenders, Christians who say with their lips that they live their lives for Jesus but who are more concerned with rules, checklists, categories, appearance, protecting secret sins, or aligning with the “right” people and the “right” causes on social media.”
We don’t have to be afraid of being authentic and real.
“God is not afraid of the reality that’s in our hearts.”
In chapter 5, Hoover describes the difference between loneliness and isolation. Sometimes we are lonely because we isolate ourselves from others.
“Isolation is an intentional choice: it’s the closed door, the wall built, the sealed-off heart. Isolation is choosing self-protection over connection, reconciliation, and vulnerability.”
I think this book is a valuable resource to help you love God and others with an undivided heart for the Lord.
I received a free copy from Baker Publishers in exchange for my honest review.