“So the sermon notes, the stacks of Christian books, and all the fellowship potlucks you have on your calendar are a waste of time if you aren’t relying on Him. Our strength is just not enough to make us grow in holiness.” – p. 86, Chasing God
When an author writes this quote in her book – a book that certainly qualifies as one of those in the “stacks of Christian books” mentioned – you know she’s aiming to be realistic and honest about the truths and struggles of faith.
In Chasing God (B&H Books, 2014), Angie Smith discusses faith founded on love and understanding that love even when we can’t understand the whys and hows of happenings around us. Her main point while introducing the book is that we naturally love to chase something, or we give up chasing easily. This chase doesn’t always translate into a healthy faith.
“…it’s safe to say that our running (chasing) was based on the presumption that we want something more than it wants us.” – p. 2, Chasing God
She goes on to state that the goal of the book is to “offer my thoughts on the difference between looking for Him and looking at Him” (p. 2). She does so through personal stories, in-depth considerations of biblical stories, and reflections on her own faith journey.
Angie’s tone is non-threatening, but extremely effective. She reveals, connects, and convincingly urges all in one paragraph. She offers a good blend of conversational tone with reflective and eloquent thoughts and witty observations. (If you’re not fond of conversational interjections within a book, you might find that aspect a little too frequently, but I found it fun and entertaining.)
I related to Angie’s perspective several times, particularly when regarding perfectionism, feeling like I have to “follow the rules” to show my worth of love, and lack of control. Angie covers realistic, yet deep questions in anyone pursing a genuine faith. She writes on prayer, trusting in daily life, enduring trials, and more.
The chapter on prayer is one of the most influential chapters on prayer I’ve recently read in a contemporary book. I’ve actually begun to change the way I pray largely due to Angie sharing the biblical basis of her own journey in prayer. She guides the reader through examples of prayer from Christ and how we can apply these patterns in a meaningful (not rote or Pharisaical) way. I also love her take on the woman who endured twelve years of bleeding and Thomas’s actual faith in the last two chapters of the book.
For a fresh perspective on God’s love with good discussion on many biblical stories, check out Chasing God.
“He asks us to have the kind of faith that wakes in the morning not knowing how He will provide, but believing that He will, based on what we know of His character.” – p. 118, Chasing God
With Angie’s perspective on chasing God, how do you feel about your faith journey and how much you fee like you have to “earn” rather than just see God’s love right where you are?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other manner.