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Hidden Agendas

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Christian Focus

This book lifts the lid on the human heart, seeking to uncover the hidden agendas that stop us from loving God and others as we should. Our hearts have a selfish list of priorities that we believe are important and need to be given attention. But often these heart agendas are in tension with God’s agenda.

David Smith uses four biblical pictures to help us consider these agendas that are often hidden so deep within our hearts that we are unaware of them. Using examples from the Bible, he uncovers the desire to be significant; the desire to have certainty; the desire to have peace, safety, and security; and the desire for our own fulfilment.

Each of these four chapters begins with a story from the Bible, an explanation of the heart agenda exposed in the story, the underlying heart fear, the heart demand, and the heart problem. It then goes on to show God’s heart agenda in that situation and concludes with a summary and questions for reflection.

The final two chapters show the servant heartedness that is central to the Kingdom of God, and the way we can honestly assess our own hearts. David helpfully finishes the book with guidance on how we can journey towards the heart agendas God wants us to have.


David Smith is International Director for IBCM Network and Academic Dean for Australian College of Christian Studies. He is the author of ‘The Model Church’ and lives in Perth, Western Australia.


"With appropriate and often deeply moving pastoral insights from his own life and refreshing honesty, the author reveals these agendas and the corresponding heart problems they generate. I thoroughly recommend it as a book to strengthen our confidence in the adequacy of God."

John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, Green Templeton College

"Like an annual physical exam, it is good to get a spiritual heart check now and again. Hidden Agendas does that by helping us see things that get in the way of our walk with God and then prescribing ways to renew our heart trust in God. The result is a healthier walk with God. So read and grow."

Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas

"As I read, I found myself entreating the Lord through the sentiments of Psalm 139 to search and know my heart, test and know my thoughts, uncover hidden agendas, and lead me in His ways."

Kenneth Berding, Professor of New Testament, Talbet School of Theology, Biola University and author of ‘How to Live an ‘In Christ’ Life: 100 Devotional Readings on Union with Christ’

"… a helpful and refreshing book. This book would be a help to anyone in ministry or leadership, however experienced or inexperienced.  It provides a vital health check and should be a must read for practitioners."

Stephen McQuoid, General Director of Gospel Literature Outreach, Motherwell, Scotland

"These are challenging chapters, especially when compared with the highest model of service, for we are called to follow our Lord who washed the feet of others. A highly recommended read for all."

Ian Burness, Chairman, IBCM Network