Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Reading Spree

So I've been on a little reading spree these past few days... it's one of my summer goals!  I delved into my second book and finished it tonight.  This time, my good read is Francis Chan's Forgotten God.  Powerful book... much like his previous one, Crazy Love.  

Here are some quotes from it...
I refuse to live the remainder of my life where I am right now, stagnating at this point.  Don't get me wrong: God has already done so much in my life, and I am grateful for it.  I'm just convinced there's more.  There's more of the Spirit and more of God than any of us is experiencing.  I want to go there - not just intellectually, but in life, with everything that I am.
I want to live so that I am truly submitted to the Spirit's leading on a daily basis.  Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true.  I don't want to keep crawling when I have the ability to fly.
It is possible for us to be doing incredible things for the kingdom yet have people give glory to God rather than to us.  When the Holy Spirit truly moves, God is the one praised.  Jesus is the one lifted up.  Let's pray that God would empower us so radically that we would get no glory.  That people would see our works and glorify God.
Desiring the Holy Spirit means we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.
The fact is that God is calling.  The Spirit is beckoning.  The real question is will you follow?  Will you listen?
He calls us to do something, a particular thing, and we have the choice to obey or not.  The truly startling thought is that by not submitting and totally trusting the Holy Spirit, I am not submitting to or trusting God.  This is no small matter.
It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are.  But it's absolutely vital to grasp that He didn't call you there so you could settle in and live out your life in comfort and superficial peace.  His purposes are not random or arbitrary.  If you are still alive on this planet, it's because He has something for you to do.  He placed us on this earth for purposes that He orchestrated long before we were born.  Do you believe you exist not for your own pleasure but to help people know the love of Jesus and to come fully alive in Him?  If so, then that will shape how you live your life in the place where you are.
When Jesus calls us to take up our cross, He is doing much more than calling us to endure the daily, circumstantial troubles of life.  The people in Jesus' day were very familiar with the cross.  Having witnessed crucifixion, they understood the commitment and sacrifice of taking up a cross.  It is a call to radical faith.
To submit and give up everything truly is radical and terrifying.  However, when I think deeply about it, walking in my own wisdom, contrary to the Spirit's leading, is even more frightful.
I don't believe God wants me (or any of His children) to live in a way that makes sense from the world's perspective, a way I know I can "manage."  I believe He is calling me - and all of us - to depend on Him for living in a way that cannot be mimicked or forged.  He wants us to walk in step with His Spirit rather than depend solely on the raw talent and knowledge He's given us.
He wants to completely transform us.  He wants to take a timid heart and set it ablaze with strength and courage, so much so that people know something supernatural has taken place - life change just as miraculous as fire coming down from heaven.  He wants to imbue us with His wisdom because He is the "spirit of wisdom and revelation."
God wants the praise for what we do in our lives.  But if we never pray audacious, courageous prayers, how can He answer them?  If we never follow Him to positions where we need Him, how can He show up and make His presence known?
I don't want to merely talk anymore.  Life is too short.  I don't want to speak about Jesus; I want to know Jesus.  I want to be Jesus to people.  I don't want just to write about the Holy Spirit; I want to experience His presence in my life in a profound way.
We need Your wisdom and understanding as we seek to live this life.  Keep us from disbelief, from fear.  We need Your strength to help us do what You are asking us to do and to live how You are asking us to live.  Speak loudly and drown out the other voices calling us to conform to the patterns of this world.
Another great read... lots and lots to digest and pray about... especially at this time when hubby and I are trying to discern what God is trying to tell us to do.

As we wait and discern, our prayer as always remains to be... Here I am. Lord, send me!

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