I have enjoyed John Piper’s newest book Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. He hits on the relationship of the mind to the heart in this quote below and the danger of coming to Jesus for the wrong reasons.
Piper is saying (correctly I believe) that a weak and dim subjective experience may well indicate a lackluster (perhaps even false) reception of the objective truth. People may be coming to Jesus for the wrong reasons and therefore they have the wrong affections, or responses to him. The Christian experience is interpreted and driven by the objective revelation. We treasure Christ because we know Christ. If we don’t know him, we cannot treasure him.
…many people who say they have received Christ and believed on Christ but give little or no evidence that they are spiritually alive. They are unresponsive to the spiritual beauty of Jesus. They are unmoved by the glories of Christ. They don’t have the spirit of the apostle Paul when he said, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).
This is not their spirit, yet they say they have received Christ.
It looks as though it is possible to “receive Christ” and not have him for what he is. One way to describe this problem is to say that when these people “receive Christ,” they do not receive him as supremely valuable.
They receive him simply as sin-forgiver (because they love being guilt-free), and as rescuer-from-hell (because they love being pain-free), and as healer (because they love being disease-free), and as protector (because they love being safe), and as prosperity-giver (because they love being wealthy), and as creator (because they want a personal universe), and as Lord of history (because they want order and purpose).
But they don’t receive him as supremely and personally valuable for who he is. They don’t receive him the way Paul did when he spoke of “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” They don’t receive him as he really is—more glorious, more beautiful, more wonderful, more satisfying, than everything else in the universe. They don’t prize him or treasure him or cherish him or delight in him. –John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
A lot of times we try to diagnose spiritual issues by examining fruit. But people can be very busy without being very impressed with Jesus. The question has to be, for every Christian, “Who then is this?” And then, “How do I respond to him?”
The true motive for treasuring Jesus is that he is, to use a regrettably overused term, Awesome. When you see his awesomeness then you are moved. Obedience comes through being impressed with his awesomeness.