Monday, January 6, 2014

Chasing God by Angie Smith

Are you chasing after God? Angie was for years. She was reading commentaries, memorizing verses, and concentrating on spiritual disciplines. She had colored pencils and journals everywhere. She rededicated her life every chance she got.

Then she came to a realization: she had wanted to understand God more than she wanted to know Him. She found she was imitating other Christians more than she was Jesus. That revelation changed her life.

Angie offers her thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him. There is a difference between chasing after God and following Him.

How do you stop chasing God and really find Him? Angie says it starts when you truly realize what God has done for you. She shares her experiences and the lessons she's learned along the way. For example, repentance really doesn't happen when we are badgered into it. “Genuine repentance doesn't happen when people put us in a corner; it happens when we realize God chose us in spite of the fact that we would never have chosen Him.” (69) And transformation? She notes that we are not in charge of that. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us we are “being transformed,” passive tense. It is not something we can make happen. The Holy Spirit is in charge.

But that does not mean we sit an do nothing, expecting the Holy Spirit to change us. She realizes that the times she is walking closest to Him is a combination of resting in His promises combined with prayer, Bible study, worship, etc. Motives matter, however. She advocates daily meditation on Scripture. But rather than checking off the chapter in your “read through the Bible” schedule, the goal is to be in a place where God can talk to you. “He wants your heart to be fully engaged and your mind fixed on Him when you read.” (147)

I found her section on emotions and faith to be outstanding. It was really liberating for me. Another good part of the book was her teaching on God's sovereignty and prayer.

If you're frustrated in your spiritual life, if you've been fervent in all the spiritual disciples yet sense something is missing, maybe you've been chasing God. Read this book. It will help you find rest in His presence.

Food for thought: “We spend more time talking about how wonderful it is to hide under His wings than actually finding refuge there.” (103)

Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Selah), a best-selling author, and a popular speaker and blog writer. She has a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University. She lives with her husbands and daughters in Nashville, Tennessee. Find out more at http://AngieSmithonline.com.

B&H Publishing, 206 pages.

I received a complimentary galley of this book from the publisher through Icon Media for the purpose of this review.
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