Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Praying Life: Chapters 29-30

(A few friends and I are reading this book together.  Each week we will read two chapters and on Friday I will post my comments from the reading.  Others may add their thoughts in the comments section.  If you are interested in reading this book as well, here is the link for the Kindle version of the book.)

Chapters 29-30
- As with so many things, it is easy to go to one of two extremes: to either totally disassociate from all non-believers or to be so involved with unbelievers that our lives resemble theirs.  I like his perspective and his wording: "I began to pray that God would help me to love and enjoy non-Christians." (Pg. 240, Loc. 3014)  This would be good for me to pray as well.  Not to think, "I like so-and-so, but ..." but to simply enjoy them, praying that the Lord would use that friendship.

- He listed two ways Christians tend to error when referencing God speaking:
  1. "Word Only" - Going wrong by not listening
  2. "Spirit Only" - Going wrong by elevating human intuition
I think we as Baptists generally recognize the problem with the "Spirit Only" error.  If we are imbalanced, it is usually on the "Word Only" side.  From my perspective, this is due to our strong reliance on God's Word and our unwillingness to give into the errors in Charismatic theology.

- These were good thoughts to help keep us from the two errors: "To correctly discern when God is speaking to us, we need to keep the Word and Spirit together."  (Pg. 245, Loc. 3101)  "We need the sharp-edged, absolute character of the Word and the intuitive, personal leading of the Spirit.  The Word provided the structure, the vocabulary.  The Spirit personalizes it to our life."  (Pg. 245, Loc. 3106)

- "When life makes sense, it becomes a journey, a spiritual adventure.  Writing down the adventure as it happens gives us a feel for our place in the story God is weaving in our lives.  Journaling helps us to become aware of the journey."  (Pg. 250, Loc. 3149)  His explanation makes sense to me- it would be helpful to specifically take inventory of what God is doing in my life.  I think this is a good idea, I'm just not sure if I want to commit to doing this on a regular basis.  May just be unrealistic for the time being.

- "You can't walk with the Shepherd and not begin to change."  (Pg. 252, Loc. 3185)  This is a comfort to me.  When I am walking with Him, I can believe that He is changing me.

I've had my say, what say you?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Jacob that when it comes to God's speaking we as Baptists tend to err on the side of “Word Only”, probably because we don't anything to do with Charismatic theology. One quote that I appreciated was, “Seeing God's activity in the details of our lives enhances the application of God's Word. We actually undermine the impact of God's Word if we define God's speaking too narrowly” (pg.243).

    We cannot deny or ignore the fact that our relationship with God is experiential! Rom.8:14 - “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. Let us heed the warnings so we can protect against our own human intuition, but let us not be afraid to hear God's voice through His Word and allow the Spirit to make practical applications to us.

    “Walking with God is anything but boring” (pg.251). I also like the idea of journaling and think it has spiritual and practical benefits. Spiritual – to praise & trust God seeing all He has done. Practical – to remember all He has done! If I don't write it down I'll forget some of the ways in which He's worked! Like Jacob I'm unsure of how much if any journaling I'll do right now, but I like the idea for the future.