Earlier this year I read a book by Erwin Raphael McManus called 'The Barbarian way.' It's an outstanding book, easy to read - and I recommend it to everyone! He says things that will challenge your thinking about God and shake up what you've been calling your faith!
On one page he says, 'God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life.'
He does talk about martyrs and their faith, saying that 'They were not disappointed in God because they did not misunderstand who He was.'
He talks about the safety of being 'in Christ...' When talking about the apostle Paul he says, 'Somebody forgot to tell Paul how safe the center of God's will was...'
I wish I could type in here all the lines from this book that I underlined. But that would be far too much. Things like, '...Jesus' death wasn't to free us from dying, but to free us from the fear of death....'
'Your expectations of Jesus will change as your intimacy with Him deepens.'
'To know God in the Scriptures always went beyond information to intimacy.'
'His [God's] intent is never to domesticate us, but to liberate us.'
'I'm happy to say that while Jesus can wonderfully make you healthy, He has no ambition to make you normal.'
'The Scriptures are filled with stories of women and men who heard God speak and acted as if hearing Him were normal.'
'When we fear God and God only, we are no longer bound by all of the other fears that would hold us captive.'
'...love and sacrifice cannot be seperated.'
'...love is not the absence of pain. If anything, love is the promise of pain...'
'If our children are going to walk away from Christ, we need to raise them in such a way that they understand that to walk away from Jesus is to walk away from a life of faith, risk, and adventure and to choose a life that is boring mundane, and ordinary.'
'When our faith becomes refined, it is no longer dangerous to the dark kingdom.'
'If you dare allow God to unlock your primal spirit, He will unleash the raw and untamed faith within.
I recommend this book strongly to all who believe..... and especially to all who believe they believe..... if you take the time to read it (an afternoon or two is all it should take....) let me know your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!