Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Forgotten God

Earlier this year I devoured a book called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. Francis is the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Semi Valley, California. I had the pleasure of hearing Francis give the closing keystone at the 2008 Willow Creek Arts Conference. The message God spoke through Francis that day was so powerful (and I find myself listening to it a couple times a year to keep the flame alive in my heart that God can do amazing things through the church. This fall he released "Forgotten God" which covers the sometimes overwhelming topic of the Holy Spirit.

Overview of book:
Has today's church forgotten the Holy Spirit?God put His Spirit in us so we could be known for our power. Sadly, most believers and churches are known for talent and intellect rather than supernatural power. What’s worse is that we’re okay with it. In Forgotten God, breakthrough authorFrancis Chan returns us to the Holy Spirit as the Bible describes Him and invites us to understand, embrace and follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in our lives.

Before picking up this book I found myself kind of stalled out in my relationship with God. I wasn't angry or disappointed with God...the best way I could describe my feeling was bored. I was bored with God. I was bored "doing church." And frankly I was scared to think that this is all that I have to look forward to living as a Christian. Boredom.

This book has helped me realize that we rely entirely too much on our own strength to reach others with the gospel message. One of the most eye-opening parts of this book was when Chan describes how the disciples of Jesus had scattered when He was arrested, "yet when the Holy Spirit descended and indwelt them, a radical change occurred." From that point on these disciples had power. They healed. They became martyrs. They were bold to share the gospel with the world. They weren't cowardly followers any longer. So...what's happened since then? Why has the church become so tame and timid?

Another powerful takeaway for me was his chapter about discerning God's voice. So often we worry and fret about hearing God's voice clearly before making a radical decision or change. "We focus on what God wants us to do and forget the kind of people He wants us to be. Instead of mustering up more willpower, let's focus our energies and time on asking for help from the One who has the power to change us. Let's take the time to ask God to put the fruit of His Spirit into our lives. And let's spend time with the One we want to be more like."

This book has given me a wonderful shot in the arm. As I read scripture during my quiet time I am recognizing when the Holy Spirit is at work in the passage. It's amazing how many of these verses talk about the Holy Spirit yet I've never given consideration to it. I realize now that the key to busting the boredom is living according to the spirit - not by my power.

I was listening to a podcast from Cornerstone tonight and heard Francis mention that he is writing a book on marriage with his wife Lisa. If it is as good as "Crazy Love" and "Forgotten God," I can't wait to check it out.

To recap:

Worth reading? Yes

Worth buying my own copy? Yes (this may be a Christmas gift for my husband)

Recommend to friends? Absolutely (small group bible study book idea???)

Stars: 5 out of 5

No comments: