The Magnificent Obsession

Five stars – absolutely!  I highly recommend Anne Graham Lotz’s book The Magnificent Obsession: Embracing the God-Filled Life.  It’s a LotzCoverpersonal look at the life of Abraham from when God called him to leave Haran until Abraham sent a servant back to Haran to get a wife for Isaac.

If you can, I would take a full nine weeks to work through each chapter, reading the parallel text in Genesis, and making time to discuss what you are learning with a friend or small group.  The text needs to be digested slowly.  Our book club’s biggest problem was that we only had a few hours to talk about all the things in the book that had impacted us!

I was fascinated to see how members of our group were affected by different phases of Abraham’s life:

  • Women enduring a season of upheaval and change were challenged to let go and leave it all behind and follow God through periods of uncertainty,
  • Mothers of prodigal children were challenged to “lay down their Isaac” and let God be in control (in fact, we were all challenged to let God be in control!!),
  • Women in mourning over the loss of a spouse, a marriage, or years in the wilderness found comfort and hope while reflecting on the faithfulness of God and particularly the death of Sarah,
  • Some of us, prone to impatience, were challenged to not run ahead of God with our plans (remember Hagar and Ishmael?) but to walk patiently beside Him and wait for His timing and His plan, and
  • Others were challenged to go deeper with God, to “Wake Up!” earlier, pray more diligently and specifically, and seek to know Him persistently and consistently.

Find time to read Anne’s book this year.  You will not regret it!

Sarah – Agree or Disagree?

Agree or Disagree?

“Without a doubt, Sarah is the most important woman in the Old Testament. She is the equivalent in the Old Testament of the Virgin Mary in the New Testament. She expressed her pursuit of the magnificent obsession in a supporting role. I don’t believe for a minute that Abraham would have become the man he did without her support and encouragement.”

“What makes Sarah remarkable is that devoted her life to Abraham, giving him her support and encouragement through good times and bad so that he could wholeheartedly abandon himself to God and His call.”

– Anne Graham Lotz, The Magnificent Obsession, pg.213-214

Wake Up! (My One Thing)

“Wake Up!!”

God has a way of making His message clear.

I talked about The One Thing in my previous post – challenging you to listen to God and do the One Thing He was asking of you in this next year.

My One Thing, the thing God put on my heart, was to get up earlier every day and pray more.  AlarmClock

I need to pray more consistently, to pray with better content, and greater concentration.  Mind you, I already get up 30 minutes before my kids… I make my coffee and sit down to work on my Read Thru The Bible plan.  But by time I am awake, my coffee is cool enough to drink, and I’ve made it through 3 chapters of Jeremiah… there really isn’t much time to pray.  At least, not to really get down on your knees and pray in a concentrated manner.

I told God I would do it on Wednesday night.  Then it was Sunday morning and I still hadn’t started.

Sunday afternoon I picked up Anne Graham Lotz’s book The Magnificent Obsession and on page 55 I read this:

“God commanded me to repent of my shallowness, I asked Him How?  His answer was so practical and simple… Wake up!!  I was to literally wake up by setting my alarm earlier than I would otherwise need to and spend time with Him before my day began and my household stirred.”

Well, my goodness!  She got the same instructions as me!

So Monday morning I got up earlier.  I hugged my hot coffee cup and this is what I read:

“And I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear and I called to you but you did not answer.” – Jeremiah 7:13 (NASB)

“I have sent you (Judah) all My servants and prophets, daily rising up early and sending them…” – Jeremiah 7:25 (NASB)

Three times this week God has made this clear to me – making extra time to meet with Him in the morning is important.  Apparently early is (at least one time) when God speaks, when God calls to us, and when He sends His servants and prophets out to do their work for the day.

I need to keep getting up early so I don’t miss anything!

“It is better to be sleep deprived than God deprived.” – Anne Graham Lotz