Obsessed with God? Am I really?

I read Francis Chan's Crazy Love two summers ago and loved it. I found myself desiring a "refresher" these past couple weeks. I'm reading it start to finish again, but taking chapters from here and there based on what I feel I need to be reminded of. This book is FULL of scripture and truth.

One chapter in particular is very convicting. It is called "the profile of the obsessed." It is full of stories from scripture and Bible verses supporting the idea that as believers and followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be "obsessed" with Him... and he gives clear examples of what that should look like.

I am willing to bet that there aren't many people who could read through this chapter in it's entirety and feel just fine about the way they're living their lives. I know I don't. This chapter makes it painfully evident just how far I have to grow. The wonderful thing about conviction, though, is that is an opportunity to change. I don't believe that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin for the purpose of making us feel rotten with no hope of ever changing. No, it's to point out that we are sinning in a certain area and remind us to live like and FOR Christ. God can and does change us and mold us ... will we let him?

Throughout the next few weeks I'll be sharing some quotes from the book and verses from scripture that were taken from this particular chapter as I take a journey examining my own DAILY life in light of the gospel and ask God to help me make changes where they are needed. I hope you will join me in discussion in the comments.

Here's the first quote:

This is something that I am just figuring out as it applies to me. I can identify with the second part of the quote - I feel that I am very aware of the poor around the world. Spending two weeks in one of the most impoverished countries in the world certainly opened my eyes. Before going and actually meeting these people I would have said without hesitation that I felt they mattered as much as I do... but there really would have been little evidence in my life to back that statement up. Now that I have names and faces to go with the truly poor of this world, I have an ache in my heart that just won't let up. They do matter - they matter just as much as me and my family! So what does this mean for me? As I sit at my computer in my home office with my nice cup of tea... what does this mean? 
The answer is in the first sentence. Be a giver. I've been learning that there are many reasons why it's just too hard to give. Money is tight and the economy is awful. But, then I go to a country where many people literally have nothing and I think, "really, money's tight for us??" Are we really willing to go an extra step to be a giver? Are we willing to sacrifice a month's worth of Starbucks to sponsor a child who simply needs food and clothing? It's all a matter of perspective. Money is tight to ME - but give this same home, pantry, and salary to someone on the other side of the world and they will show you what you really have. Because I guarantee you that they will feel rich as a king and blessed beyond comprehension. 

I am praying about how I can be used by God to give not UNTIL it hurts but even WHEN it hurts. By sacrificing our own pleasures maybe we can identify more closely with the needs of others and be prompted to pray for them.

I dare you to put your annual income into this link here and find out just how wealthy you really are. Don't forget to read below after it calculates your standing in the world... it will show you how you can use your funds for things that make a difference.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child who needs food, clothing, and an education. Please visit Compassion International for more information.

Money isn't the only thing we can give away. We can give of our time, love, and resources as well. Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent? There is an enormous need right here in the U.S.
How else can we love our neighbor's as ourselves and be GIVERS not takers? Any thoughts on what keeps us from being givers?


carissa said...

sometimes i get so down because i'm so far from where i need to be. but the Spirit is working in me, chipping away the ugly and replacing it with Him. grace is such a beautiful thing. what a completely humbling quote. the book is amazing.

Heather said...

giving is one of the greatest gifts God gives us! It is more of a blessing to my family to give than I think to the people who receive it! Great post and super book!

Lara said...

I feel like truly learning generosity is a lifelong process. I thought I had a generous heart, and then recently found myself daydreaming about having our dream house. Isn't that building up treasures here? Then I was out shopping and nearly bought a $40 dress I did not need when something in my spirit stopped me. That money could go so far elsewhere.

I think it's really about being willing to let go of having the stuff that makes the world look fondly on us. Being willing to have a modest home and possessions. Not buying into the lie that looking a certain way is what makes us valuable.

Corinne said...

Adding that book to my list...

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I think it is important to give and to include your children in the giving process. I take JDaniel with me to drop of food at the food pantry and clothes off at Goodwill.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Great post about a GREAT book.

I, too, read it 2 years ago and probably should pick it up again.

Have you read Francis Chan's other book, about the Holy Spirit. Another excellent read.

And, another great book for those wanting to go deeper with the Lord is, "Radical".


Alicia said...

Hi Lauren! I love that quote!! So true!! And your post really got me thinking! You're so right.There are times we feel times are hard (and they could be), but when you compare it to others less fortunate, we are indeed very blessed. Thank you for sharing this!

Jayme said...

Hi Lauren!
I would also recommend the book "Radical" by David Platt. I have only read bits a pieces but my maternity leave starts later this week and I can't wait to read it from page 1 to the end!

Wynne & Stephen said...

thanks for your comment on my blog today - you are right, seems like some of the same things are on both of our hearts. i just started reading crazy love for the 2nd time with our small group girls - not to this chapter yet, but am excited to learn along with you as we are challenged from crazy love!