I have so many things running through my mind these days. I can barely keep track of it all, and then the moment I pull up my blog, I cannot seem to remember anything to share. Last night, while watching the SuperBowl, I had my laptop on my lap typing a Book Review on a great book that I just finished. The assignment was due by 11:59pm and I posted it at 11:49pm. 10 Minutes before the deadline! 🙂 Impressive!
The book was fantastic. It was about the importance of gentle apologetics. He explained that many people want to argue and debate their theological positions, but really they are simply trying to win, trying to outwit the other person, appear more intelligent, more Right! However, with that motive, they are not helping the cause of Christ, they are hurting it. They are more concerned with their own pride than actually helping the other person learn the truth about Christ. I have rarely been one to get excited about debating a theological argument, largely because I generally feel like I only understand a fraction of the whole issue. However, the theme of this book struck me in a number of other ways. I will share two here:
First, gentleness is alluring. It is easy to believe the lie that gentleness is weakness, and strength is aggressive. But that is not accurate. Jesus was the strongest and yet he was so gentle. Just this morning I was challenged by the way I speak to my children. For some reason I thought to myself, it would be so nice to be able to replay moments of my life with my children, to just jump in at any moment of my life with children and watch what was happening, and then I immediately thought, I wonder if I would be gentle or abrasive to my children at that moment. What about with my wife? Jesus set the example as a loving shepherd, harmless as a dove, and I want to follow His example. I want to treat my wife and children with gentleness, I want to lead my ministry with gentleness.
Second, Willard talks about hearing the voice of God. He explains that we have done a disservice to Christians in telling them that God doesn’t speak to people anymore. He shares a very convincing case for his position. He explains that speaking is simply making sounds that sends waves to another person’s ears which the brain turns into thoughts and images in our mind to communicate information. He then goes on to say that God also sends thoughts and images into our mind, we simply need to learn to discern the “voice” of God in our mind. He gives several tips about how he does that in his own life. He explains that if we simply ask God to speak to us, and then if we will intently sit and wait, He will speak. He will put thoughts into our mind, and we must learn to identify those thoughts, verify that they are in line with the Word of God, and then we must do those things. He explains that soon enough, we will be so attentive to the voice of God in our life that when God speaks to us by putting thoughts into our mind, we will immediately know it and we should get into a habit of immediate obedience. It was a wonderful and refreshing reminder that God wants to have an intimate relationship with me and He is longing to communicate with me every day through His Word and His Holy Spirit.
- I want to be gentle to my family and friends.
- I want to learn to identify the voice of God more clearly in my life.
What have you been reading or learning this week?
Thanks for reading!