I recently finished Closer than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ by Dave Hickman and recommend it to anyone!
I’ve known Dave for more than 5 years through Charlotte/ONE and he is funny and real, so I was excited to hear about his new book. I started reading and laughed out loud at times, and felt challenged most of the time. He includes discussion questions, which you can obviously use as a discussion in small groups, or even just to think on for yourself. I find myself reading to find quotes that I love, I blame the Twitter/microwave mentality of today, but Hickman’s questions helped me keep focus on the bigger picture of each chapter.
Hickman shares how your presence in life, rather than your performance is pleasing to God. My favorite chapter was on spiritual disciplines. Hickman provides thoughts on doing nothing, praying simply, staying attentive and being led to abide in Christ. He says, “human logic says that you are loved because you are valuable…But God’s love is illogical…God’s love declares us valuable because we are loved.”
This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Belong Tour, featuring Patsy Clairmont, Jen Hatmaker, Angela Davis, Sharon Irving, Shauna Niequist, and Nichole Nordeman.
Friday night started with a song medley and then each speaker shared some of her story. That night, I went home and felt content, but I read some comments on the event Facebook page and one person brought up some concerns about the conference and it made me realize how important the words you say, the expectations you set and the power of a positive mental attitude. The next day, I couldn’t brush off those concerns/negative thoughts of this other attendee, so I did not enjoy Saturday as much as I could have.
- light reveals truth, truth sets us free, so the longer we keep a secret in the dark, the more powerful a stronghold it is in our life, but Jesus sets us free.
- We can give power to God or to struggle, but not both.
- Do it afraid!
- When God has called you – that doesn’t mean it will be easy, there are no guarantees. Say yes and move.
Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to lead devotions for the Operation Christmas Child team in Charlotte and I spoke on not worrying for the future and taking risks for God. Thought I would share what I said yesterday….
Mark 10: 29-31 says, “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age.”
I thought this scripture was encouraging. Although it is hard for me to imagine leaving everything behind for Jesus, as the disciples did, I know that God will provide everything I need and more.
Shane Clairborne in Irresistable Revolution goes on to say, “Rather than accumulating stuff for oneself, followers of Jesus abandon everything, trusting in God alone for providence.”
Matthew 10:28 says, “We should not fear those things which can destory the body, but we are to fear that which can destory the soul.”
Claiborne comments, “We Christians are not called to safety, but we are promised that God will bewith us when we are in danger, and there is no better place to be than in the hands of God.”
It may be difficult to take leaps of faith, but God is constantly surrounding us and providing for us. He wants us to fully trust in Him so that His will be done, not our own.