I recently started reading David Platt’s Radical. I had heard so much about it from different people, and everyone told me it was really good stuff. So even though I have a stack of Christian books I received prior, I decided to read this one first. I just finished chapter 3, and I’ve got to say I am loving it, even though it is causing me pain.
Right from the start this book is a gut punch. Platt’s main point is that in our modern American life we have forgotten what Jesus originally called us to do, which was to live a radical life for him. A life where we are to expect none of the comforts that the American Dream has us convinced that we need and should want.
That brings me to the chapter I just read about God’s power. God’s power is an interesting topic in our religion. We read a book in which a nation was delivered out of slavery by miraculous plagues, people are healed of blindness, bushes (and even once a donkey) talk to humans, and a giant flood destroyed the Earth. Also we believe that that same Earth was put here by a beautiful creator.
All of these (and many, many more) examples show that our God is so powerful. So why don’t we actually believe that?
I’m sure we all believe God has power, but it appears that many people (myself included) believe that he rarely uses this power. As if he could solve all sorts of problems, and if we ask him to he will consider it, but that rarely happens. We seem more content to just rely on ourselves for everything.
In his book Platt points out that we have all been raised to believe in the American Dream, which is the idea that we have the ability within ourselves to obtain any amount of greatness we want through sheer force of will. This is something I’ve bought into my whole life, and yet it has always let me down.
See even when I do give it my all, I still fail. The problem with the American Dream is that it puts all of the pressure on us. Consequently when we “succeed” where does all the glory for it go? To us.
This isn’t how God meant for it to be. Platt says that as believers we should be desperately seeking God’s power in everything, because his power can accomplish more in an hour than we can in years.
We see plenty of examples of this in the Bible such a Joshua’s conquering of Jericho, or even David defeating Goliath. God used people who seemed ill fit to conquer something, and when the impossible happened who got all the glory? Him. Because he was the one who did it all. This is why God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, so that people would see them and know that their God was real. Not only does it bring him glory, but it shows the whole world the kind of God they are missing out on.
So again I ask: why don’t we trust this power. I’ve seen God do this even in my own life. I am very unfit to teach. I do not have an education degree, experience with children, or even younger siblings. However, I go in everyday and somehow teach kids about subjects I haven’t studied in years, and it turns out okay. That is because the Holy Spirit comes over me. I’ve learned to trust him in this area.
What would happen if I trusted him in every area. What if I believed he could convert any lost friend I have. What if I believed he would provide for me financially no matter what route I take in life. What if I believed that he could conquer any challenge I am afraid of?
Can you imagine the type of life we would lead if we stopped trying to handle it all ourselves? We fail because we are timid and unsure, but if we trust in God he takes those things, and empowers us with His Spirit.
Today I am praying that I am fearless. I am praying that I follow where God leads me, and I trust in him mighty power. I pray that I don’t deny him in this life because I am afraid he won’t come through for me.