We’ve been in the States a month now. I’ve read these three books:
- Max Lucado’s God’s Story, Your Story
- Henry Blackaby’s Created to Be God’s Friend
- Eric Metaxas’ 7 Women
One theme God keeps bringing up in my life is how friendship with Him is connected to obedience– intimacy comes with a commitment to follow God’s ways. I’ve heard and known this for years, but it’s a truth God is bring up over and over in my life right now.
Part of friendship is constantly being ready to change myself–to change my thoughts, words, and actions when God shows me that they are not His ways. By being open and willing to change (rather than stubbornly rooting myself in the thoughts and reactions that came naturally and initially out of my heart) God is able to lead me into greater closeness to him when I let His thoughts take their place.
For example, there was a person in my life I’ve had a critcal spirit towards for several years, and it didn’t occur to me that this was sinful–it just was ‘naturally’ the reaction I had to this person. Vitaliy brought this up not long ago and recommended that I think about changing this, and I immediately knew that he was right; it was thoughts and words I needed to change.
This has come up in other areas of life, nothing earth shattering, but it’s very life-giving when I realize that I’m not following God’s thoughts in these areas. Along with this, a new truth dawned on me. The verses in James about wisdom being pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, etc. aren’t just talking about situational wisdom. It’s all the time wisdom. All my thoughts all the time about everything should be characterized by this heavenly wisdom. All my thoughts all the time about everything should be full of mercy, reasonable, pure, gentle….
All my thoughts about fundraising– and I am learning a lot about how God wants me to think about this– should be characterized by this, too. (More on that later.)
So, I’m being led deeper into obedience and friendship, which is why I like reading Blackaby and Lucado, because I think they’re down this way further than I am and know how to speak about it. I wish I were a lot further then I am now, but …. oh well.