Monday, November 02, 2009

Forgotten God

I recently read Francis Chan’s latest book, Forgotten God and I thought I would share a few thoughts from it with you. It’s a great book, though not on the same ground as his first book Crazy Love, but hey, it’s a different book.

The premise of the book is that many Christians find themselves relying more on their own skills and talents than they do on the God of all Creation. He argues that it is easy to create a really cool hip church community, and easy to get caught up in doing things that require very little faith. In fact, he has noticed that it is very easy for people to pursue just about any lifestyle and then work to find scriptures that defend their position. What we believe about any given thing absolutely shapes how we will act.

The book is great because each section ends with a story about people who are doing some pretty amazing stuff as they have been led by the Spirit. The stories are compelling and energizing and sometimes indicting.

I just picked up the book again and started looking through some sections I had underlined. One of them was a call to action. Maybe it will be catalytic for you. A lot of his book has to do with obedience, and our willingness to listen for the voice of God and strive toward following that voice no matter where it takes us.

“I think a lot of us need to forget about God’s will for my life. God cares more about our response to His Spirit’s leading today, in this moment, than about what we intend to do next year. In fact, the decisions we make next year will be profoundly affected by the degree to which we submit to the Spirit right now, in today’s decisions.
It is easy to use the phrase “god’s will for my life” as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It is much less demanding to think about God’s will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It’s safer to follow Him someday instead of this day.

I’ve heard many people tell me that they are waiting for God to call them to something. More and more, I’m becoming singularly convinced that this world needs more people who are present and obedient to radical love. Presence keeps us rooted in the world around us and the needs around us and not in the realm of possible needs. Radical love calls us to care for our neighbors, our coworkers, our family, and even our enemies, those who would hurt and mistreat us.

May you be an example of radical love, presence, and obedience, that starts this day and in this place and not in some ethereal future.

And, if you are interested in reading more from Mr. Chan, I recommend Forgotten God, but don’t expect it to be lots of chummy feel good emo-stuff.


Michaelanne said...

great post, billy. i had a discussion w/ one of my teachers about really, the most important thing for them to do in the art classroom was to LOVE the kids and be PRESENT for them. she responded, "Well, that's easy!" She doesn't get it. it's much much easier to throw ourselves into ideas of ministry than it is to allow ourselves to fall into radical love for the person in front of us. at the same time, it's freeing to know that God simply calls us to LOVE. That is God's will for our lives. that simplifies things... yet it is the road marked by suffering.

David C. Cook said...

Hi, I’ve noticed that you’ve blogged about Forgotten God, by Francis Chan. As you may know, we have just released a Forgotten God DVD Study Resource. Because of your wonderful blog post about the book, I’d like to offer you a free copy of the DVD to review. Please email me your address, and I’d be happy to send it. Thanks!