Too many Christians approach their faith as just another task on their to-do list. Read the Bible? Check. Pray? Check. Go to church? Check. And the Christian life get boring and loses its luster. We get so busy trying to do everything in our power to make it shine again that we end up crafting our very own golden calf--"Right Christian Living." Award-winning author Wayne Brown reminds us to be patient. If we look to God--instead of to our own idolatrous efforts--He will use the commitments, struggles, and normal events in life to show us that He still makes abundant rivers flow from rocky terrain.
As a counselor for 20 years, Brown (Living the Renewed Life) has worked with
many Christians who try to do everything right, then despair when their lives
don't play out as they hoped. Many of them have relied on religious
industriousness to bring them spiritual satisfaction, only to find
frustration. But just as the Israelites drank water from a rock in the
wilderness, Brown says, those who feel they have failed can find God in the
most unexpected of places: "I believe that, with a subtle but transforming
shift in perspective, the apparently mundane tasks and commitments in your
life-yes, even your hardships and heartaches-are stones from which the deepest
healing and nourishment of the Savior can flow." Such an outlook requires
imagination and relinquishing control, because God is more interested in
refining believers amid life's troubles than in granting them relief from
their pain. In urging Christians to abandon themselves to God, Brown at times
obscures his points with vague language, and the book might have benefited
from fewer first-person illustrations. This guide is intended for the
Christian Living section of bookstores, but it avoids a chief error of that
genre: It offers its principles without promising that they will be easy to
practice. Those who desire intimacy with God may find refreshment here. (Apr.)
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