How many times have you witness people doing a lot for the Lord, people really ‘on fire,’ only to watch them burn out?… Burnout is all around us… (Burnout means) one kind of fuel has finally been exhausted – burned out – and it’s time for a new kind of fuel altogether. God Himself is the fuel for our lives….
God knows who we have become, so He works to exhaust our singular reliance upon false or insufficient resources (charisma, style, eloquence, talent, strength…) so He can be found and formed in us, becoming visible through us. What’s more exciting than that?
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 171-2
We’re prone to pretending, you and I, acting as though we’re capable. But in truth, we’re not. God has not invested Himself in our capability, but His own… He allows and sometimes even causes awful frustration to visit with us… Prolonged frustration and bother don’t happen simply to goad us into good behavior or to teach us a lesson – they keep us from pretending we can do anything apart from Christ… Frustration is the beginning of the end of pretending… That’s why frustration is so important! It keeps us bothered with this world and the stuff we go through every day so we’ll not live by it or for it.
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 169-170
Unintentionally, we may send the false message that we haven’t been included in Christ’s death when we implore Christians to surrender. ‘Surrender’ means you’re not dead, but you’ve been beaten by an opponent and the odds are totally against you… What we want is not to surrender, but to believe. Christians don’t live primarily by being tough with themselves but by believing God has already done something tremendous!… Nowhere in the new covenant is the word surrender used…
You’re not a stubborn, ill-mannered, nasty son or daughter of God. You’re a rescued and royal son or daughter who wants to live by faith in the One who made you so…
Instead of using ‘surrender’ language, I think Jesus would say something like this: “My wonderful brothers and sisters – I am here for you. I can see that you are fearful, and I can see that you so want to please Me. Then believe Me. You are in Me, and I am in you, just as I have said. Have I not chosen you? Have I not done everything to secure you with Me? Rest, then. Believe Me about yourselves – your worries about Me are over. You are not unclean – I have seen to it. What are you looking to do to yourselves that I have not done? What do you find insufficient? The Holy Spirit, who lives in you, will happily provide all that you need – He will see to everything. Trust Me, trust what I have done for you, and you will find rest for yourselves. I will see to it.”
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 39-41
Our Christian children are lights in this world, holy and blameless sons and daughters of God in whom lives the Holy Spirit Himself. They’re not on a long and winding path to their destination – they’ve arrived already…I can’t simply treat my kids as God would. I must think of my kids as God does.
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 151, 156
The chief effort of the devil, your cunning adversary, is and will be to disable the majesty of God’s grace and gift to you. He cannot prevent your receiving it, but he will attempt to make it go unnoticed by you – and therefore ineffective. But thank God that the Holy Spirit is the One who clues you in as to who you are, upon Whom you rely, how much you are loved, and how to live by faith.
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 78
Hello, my friend. Isn’t it amazing that as you stand there, you are a holy son or daughter of God, a blameless, radiant, and righteous friend of His? While you’re stuck in the chaos and turmoil of this world, you are not of it, and it is not worthy of you. I know who you are, and I’m thrilled with God because of you.
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 143
Some people think they are stubborn and resistant pieces of cement that God can hardly wait to break… Rubbish. Everyone born again by the Spirit has been born of a new nature… Giving my dog a whack to her backside might send her a message, but she’s a dog, and we don’t speak the same language, we don’t have the same nature, and I don’t live in her! I may get the behavior I want (and the lowered head and tail between the legs as well), but so what? Do I get any glory for what I’ve done? Any worship or praise? Is she glad and thankful for the whack? No! She just wants to do whatever it takes to avoid it in the future. Is that how God treats us – like His special pack of dogs? That’s a dog’s life, but it’s not mine, and it’s not yours.
God’s Astounding Opinion of You, Harvest House, 2011, 176-7