Word for Word: chapter 1 “Stop Praying” (Crazy love)

What can i say about this chapter? I had high expectations considering i am a fan of some of Francis Chans’ talks, but until now i’m yet to read any of his books, but i’m so glad i’ve started after this. In cased you missed last weeks intro, welcome to this new series that will be known as “Word for Word” for the time being, my goal in this series is to go through a book, one chapter at a time and find different ways that the Good Lord has blessed the words contained inside! We’ll be starting with “Crazy Love” By Francis Chan, so if you haven’t read it or you’d like to read along with me please pick it up!

The title of this chapter is “stop praying” and if you didn’t know that this book would really challenge you to your core, that’s a good start! But before we get to the meat of this chapter i want to mention something from the preface that really hit home for me.

It’s a great starting point for this chapter, but here’s the quote that’s really got me thinking.

“We need to stop giving people excuses not to believe in God. You’ve probably heard the expression “I believe in God, just not organized religion”I don’t think people would say that if the church truly lived like we are called to live. The expression would change to “I can’t deny what the church does, but i don’t believe in their God.” At least then they’d address their rejection of God rather than use the church as a scapegoat”

Wow, I’ve never thought so hard about a phrase that i hear a lot from my friends that don’t know the Lord yet, and been touched and challenged in this way. This could be a topic of a separate post in its self (and stay tuned) but i knew as soon as i read this i had to bring this up, and i hope it gets you thinking in the same way it has me. Anyway on with chapter one!

Part of me thinks that the title doesn’t do the topic of this chapter justice. Not because it’s inaccurate, nor because it’s even wrong. But because i think that some people may read this title and write it of as a way of baiting the reader, rather than as the amazing piece or work that it is! I love this chapter, because my fears of this being another way to bait an audience and keep them reading out of shock or fear is quickly dispelled when Francis brings up Solomon’s words warning us not to rush into God’s presence with words. But to listen and take in the Wonder of the Lord almighty! I really recommend reading this chapter for yourself as i won’t be able to do it justice with my shortened cliff notes version.

But after expanding on the glory of God’s creation, from the smallest creature to the universe it’s self, we begin to dig into why we are called to worship our never-ending and ever-loving God. And there’s a line on page 26 that sums this up beautifully. “God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear him.” this is what our lives should really reflect, and i know at times my life doesn’t, i know at times i fall short of this call to faith. But this is what i love about this book thus far, it’s a challenge to look upon our lives and see how much we truly reflect the Lord in ours.

There’s a term used on the next page (27) that i love, and that term is “Spiritual amnesia” it’s the idea that, even with all the glory in creation, even with everything that is right in front of us, we still forget who God really is. Once again this is explained brilliantly with this quote:
“Shouldn’t it be easy to love a God so wonderful? When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of genuinely loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who our God really i. Our amnesia is flaring up again.”

My notes for this quote consist of one word.   “This”

I have no other words, i have no other way of explaining this quote, i think this is truly one of the best ways to explain how, at least in my life, i need to step away from loving the Lord at times, because of some obligation rather than loving the Lord, our God with all my heart because it’s who I’ve been made to be.

Once again i’m going to be skipping forward a bit, because to end this weeks post, there’s another quote that as soon as i read it, i knew i needed to but some focus in this. And i also knew after reading that this would be the perfect quote/question for us to end on today.

“Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think that God owes you an explanation?”

If this book keeps asking questions like this, there’s no doubt that this will become my favorite book I’ve ever read. Once again speaking from personal experience, i know that while i’ve been at my lowest, i’ve begged God for answers, “why am i suffering” “why me Lord?” so to be called out in this way really is a challenge, but it’s so right.

The creator of all things has no obligation to me, he owes me nothing. But that’s a part of the wondrous love of God. That even though he doesn’t have any obligation to us, he still answers our prayers, he still stands with us and helps us through the trials of life. And it’s just another reason we should worship the Lord our God, with all our hearts!

And that about wraps up my main thoughts on this chapter. I know i’ve missed really powerful things in this chapter, but these are the main things that spoke to me. Let me know in the comments if you’ve gotten something different from this brilliant book thus far! But until next week.

Keep reading and May God Bless you.

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