I have long admired Christy Nockels from afar. Her worship music—whether produced with her husband as the duo Watermark back in the ‘90s, the Passion worship band, or most recently on her solo albums—has been a constant in my life over the years. The lyrics are full of gospel reminders that my heart often needs to hear, and her songs have been a soundtrack to my life through many seasons.
Imagine my delight when a few years ago, she started a podcast! Now I could hear her share the truth in a new way. Her soothing voice brought me encouragement on hard days and helped me feel less alone. When she mentioned on the podcast that she was writing a book, I was even more thrilled!
The Life You Long For: Learning to Live from a Heart of Rest was exactly what my soul needed at just the right time. After a year of uncertainty and frustrations on a global scale, these words were a balm to my dry and weary soul that reminded me of the sovereignty of God and his plan for his children.
Christy wrote this book with three distinct and purposeful sections: “The Calling of the Beloved,” “The Community of the Beloved,” and “The Capacity of the Beloved.” I am excited to share with you lessons I learned from each section that truly pierced my heart and encouraged me to think deeply about my walk with the Lord.
The difference between living for God and living from God
In the first section, “The Calling of the Beloved,” Christy talks about the difference between living for God and living from God. She writes on page 23, “Not only had He come to save me; He had come to restore me to Himself so that I might live from who He is.” As a lifelong perfectionist learning how to rest not in my performance for God but in his unchanging character and steadfast love, this quote hit me right between the eyes!
God doesn’t save us from our sin in order to make everything on earth easy and then take us up to heaven. Scripture actually promises that we will have difficulties and trials in this life (John 16:33; 1 Pet. 4:12), but we are also promised the presence of Jesus through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16–17). We do not have to walk the Christian life with our own willpower! This is good news!
The importance of walking alongside others
In part two, “The Community of the Beloved,” Christy writes about the importance of walking alongside others and how having people in your life who speak the truth and encourage you in your walk with the Lord is absolutely pivotal. She writes on page 117, “If we are in Christ, if we’re experiencing His love, if we’re walking in step with His Spirit, then we have what it takes to live in true community with others.”
This privilege of living with others in the family of God is one of our greatest joys as believers! Not only do we not have to muster up the strength to do what God asks us to do on our own, but we also have the privilege of walking with others and learning from them as God enables us to live in full, genuine relationship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
Living in the calling and community of the beloved affects the capacity of the beloved
In the final part of the book, “The Capacity of the Beloved,” Christy writes about how living in the calling and community of the beloved will affect the capacity of the beloved—what it takes to actually live this life day-to-day from a heart centered on Jesus. She writes on page 170, “Your capacity will become less and less about trying to unfold the life you’ve always wanted and much more about you inviting others to find their own hope of invincibility in Christ.”
This quote absolutely stopped me in my tracks and greatly convicted my heart. Our current culture demands that we make a name for ourselves by chasing our dreams and following our hearts, and these messages even subtly creep into Christian teaching. But the way of the kingdom of God is upside down. He says that the last will be first, and the first will be last (Matt. 20:16). When we lay aside our dreams and find rest in our Heavenly Father, our lives will be consumed with the goal of making him known, and he will reveal to us exactly what that should look like. We can trust him to do so!
Friend, if you are looking for a book saturated with the good news of the gospel and that will remind you of the truth of who God is and who you are in light of that, pick up Christy’s book. Her words will encourage you to lean into the love of the Father—not to find great comfort and reassurance that you’re already enough, but to remind you of your smallness and his greatness. You’ll be reminded of his plan to work through surrendered hearts, and your heart will rejoice in the beauty of his strength made perfect in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).