Sunday, April 11, 2010

this isn't fiction, people

Most of you know, if you have read here for any length of time,
that I love to read fiction.
I really do. I tend to have enough reality in my life so when I get a chance to read I would like a little un-reality, please.
But in this season of my life, I have discovered a new penchant for reading about followers of Jesus and what their lives looked like and what they believe.
And I picked up an old book of my husband's, The Normal Christian Life, by Watchman Nee, a believer from China who began following Jesus in the 1920's as a college student. The book is based on his talks in Europe from 1938-39. He was persecuted for his beliefs and died after 20 years in prison in 1972.
And he is absolutely blowing my mind. Yep. He really is.
Yesterday, reading about his take on how we approach God, I laughed outloud. Not because his book is funny but because his words and the clarity of thought he had about sin pretty much nailed me. He says,
I may be mistaken, but I feel very strongly that some of us are thinking in terms such as these: "Today I have been a little more careful; today I have been doing a little better; this morning I ahve been reading the Word of God in a warmer way, so today I can pray better"! or again, "Today I have had a little difficulty with the family; I began the day feeling very gloomy and depressed; I am not feeling too bright now; it seems there must be something wrong; therefore the way is not clear for me to approach God." What, after all, is your basis of approach to God? Do you come to him on the uncertain ground of your feeling, the feeling that you may have achieved something for God today? Or is your approach based on something far more secure, namely, the fact that the Blood has been shed, and that God looks on the Blood and is satisfied?
Oh Watchman Nee, have you been visiting me inside my mind lately?
How did he know I felt like I had to get my ducks all in a row before I talked to God or that I feel especially proud of myself and feel like God likes me more when I read 3 chapters in my Bible instead of a memory verse on the back of a bookmark?
I kind of love it when someone reminds me of who God is.
And I really love that my relationship with God has absolutely nothing to do with how good I can be (praise Jesus!) but everything to do with what Jesus did for me.
I thought you might, too.


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3 comments:

Mariel said...

I too, love that my relationship with Jesus has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him and Who He is!! That is how He gets and deserves ALL the glory! Thank you for this beautiful reminder. Congratulations on your book, too. My first published book (it's a bible study actually) will be out in late fall. I love your "blog tour"...how does it work? I would love to do something similar when my bible study comes out. I would love to help you out on your tour. Let me know.

Jen said...

I read The Normal Christian Life right after college, and it blew my mind, too. Especially the part about the choice we have to not sin as Christians. Amazing book - I should pick it up again!

Katy W. said...

What a great reminder! I have, through the years, come across many who would "come to Jesus" after they have straightened out some of their life. I love that it's all about grace and not about me!