"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chase the Lion -- got the book -- chapters 1 & 2

Got my new book the other day, and I think it's one I will want to write about after every couple of chapters so that I can remember the message of the book after I finish it. This is the book I referenced in my "Chase the Lion" post, and the actual book title is In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. The cover also reads: "How to survive and thrive when opportunity roars." The style is upbeat and humorous, but there are several thought-provoking things throughout! Well, I've only read 2 chapters, but so far, there are many things that have stuck out to me. Nothing earth-shatteringly NEW perhaps, but just reminders of things I may have forgotten or failed to realize in my years of being a Christian. I wanted to write some of those things now so I can review them later. Here goes!

By the way the title and inspiration for this book comes from this passage in II Samuel 23:

20 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab's best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 21 And he struck down a huge Egyptian. Although the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear.

Chapter 1 - Locking Eyes with Your Lion

After discussing the sin of commission vs. the sin of omission that I pointed out in my previous post about this book, the author, Mark Batterson, asked this question:

"Is anyone else tired of reactive Christianity that is more known for what it's against than what it's for? We've become far too defensive. We've become far too passive. Lion chasers are proactive. They know that playing it safe is risky. Lion chasers are always on the look out for God-ordained opportunities. Maybe we've measured spiritual maturity the wrong way. Maybe following Christ isn't supposed to be as safe or as civilized as we've been led to believe. Maybe Christ was more dangerous and uncivilized than our Sunday-school flannelgraphs portrayed. Maybe God is raising up a generation of lion chasers" (pg. 15,16).

In the points to remember section, I noted these:

"Goodness is not the absence of badness. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Our calling is much higher than simply running away from what's wrong. We're called to chase lions - look for opportunities in our problems and obstacles, and take risks to reach for God's best."

"When we don't have the guts to step out in faith and chase lions, then God is robbed of the glory that rightfully belongs to Him." --- Do you agree? Hmmm.

Chapter 2 - The Odd Thing About Odds

After discussing the story of Gideon, the author says,

"Too often our prayers revolve around asking God to reduce the odds in our lives. We want everything in our favor. But maybe God wants to stack the odds against us so we can experience a miracle of divine proportions. Maybe faith is trusting God no matter how impossible the odds are. Maybe our impossible situations are opportunities to experience a new dimension of God's glory" (pg. 24).

The author says our view of God determines what we will become. Our "internal picture of God determines how [we] see everything else. Most of our problems are not circumstantial. Most of our problems are perceptual. Our biggest problems can be traced back to an inadequate understanding of who God is. Our problems seem really big because our God seems really small. In fact, we reduce God to the size of our biggest problem. . . . A low view of God and a high view of God are the difference between scaredy-cats and lion chasers. Scaredy-cats are filled with fear because their God is so small. Lion chasers know that their best thought about God on their best day falls infinitely short of how great God really is" (pg. 28). -- WOW!!!!!! This reminds me a bit of something my pastor has instilled in us: "Don't tell God how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is!" Believe it or not, I have been doing this! Ha, ha...yes, I talk to my problems these days! :-D

"You can have a sense of destiny because you know that God has considered every contingency in your life, and He always has your best interest at heart. And that sense of destiny, rooted in the sovereignty of God, helps you pray the unthinkable and attempt the impossible" (pg. 30).

After discussing the ax head floating and mentioning the first miracle of Jesus where He turned water into wine at a wedding, the author makes this observation:

"God is great not just because nothing is too big for Him. God is great because nothing is too small for Him either."

Wow! Read that again if you want. :-) Have you ever felt you were praying for something, but then felt guilty because really it seemed so insignificant compared to all the major problems in the world? It's so wonderful to realize that God cares even about the small things!

It honestly doesn't matter how many Moabites you're facing. It doesn't matter how tall the Egyptian giant is. And the size of a lion isn't really the issue. The issue is this:

How big is your God? (pg. 34)

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