Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chasing God by Angie Smith (book review & life changer) PLUS A GIVEAWAY!!!

Have you ever thought to yourself, as a Christian, "am I doing this right?" or "if I'm doing this right, why don't I feel closer to God?" Yeah, I've been there, too. It's a rough, rough place to be in, striving so hard to 'get it right' that you end up chasing God rather than following Him.

That's the premise of Angie Smith's new book, "Chasing God." I have so much of this book highlighted because it spoke directly to where I was. I was begging to hear from God but I wasn't hearing. I was trying to be set apart but had instead set up rules and judgement. I was really striving to do the right things but it wasn't enough.

Smith writes, "So much of my time with the Lord has been spent trying to prove myself - not just to Him, but to everyone around me. I want to show myself worthy of the calling that has been placed on me, and that is where the chasing has, well, finally caught up with me. I want to live a life that is holy because He is holy, not because I get to check it off a list."


If you've been reading about my Encounter weekend, you know this is where I was. I was checking off my godly-righteous-better-than-thou to-do list (not all with bad intentions either!) but falling short. Through reading this book, I dug deeper with God than I had in so long, just longing to be close to Him, not for a check off my list but because "Christ's love compels [me]." I wanted to love Him because He loved me.

Through "Chasing God" I was shown that there is no right way to do a Christian walk. No one way to pray. No one way to read the Word. No one way to be a follower. There are many good ways, but it's up to me and God to figure out which is right for me (and even right for me right now because life changes!).

image via Amazon
In regards to the begging to hear God, I think Smith puts it clearly, "As Christians, we don't always have a strong sense of His voice or presence as far as tangible, earth-shattering evidence, but we do have the gift of the Holy Spirit within us...The mistake we make is in assuming our feelings indicate the quality of our faith." In other words, just because I hadn't "heard" God's voice, didn't mean He was ignoring me, that I was doing anything wrong, or that He wasn't there. "...the enemy convinces us that we aren't 'good Christians' ... by tempting us to believe we don't know Him because we don't sense Him all the time." However, Smith reveals what we should do in those times when we don't hear God:

"We don't wait for a moment of emotional revelation. We simply fix our eyes, steady ourselves with His promises [found in His Word], and put one foot resolutely in front of the other out of obedience."

Faith with action! Like with prayer! I couldn't "help but feel like there [had] to be a 'system' for prayer that maybe [I wasn't] quite getting right, so [I] search[ed] for it instead of just obeying what He has commanded." And through "Chasing God" I realized the truth when I read "Why do we pray? Because God commands us to...Why does prayer matter so much to God? Because relationship matters to God...He doesn't rely on our prayers to keep things running. But He wants them, because they are an indication of our heart for Him." While we may not understand exactly how prayer works, we must trust that He hears us and that while we're doing our part, He's doing His. "The more we pray, the better we know the Lord, and the more clearly we hear Him speaking to us."

There is so much more about living a Christian life in this book - about reading God's word so it's not a burden on you but a life-giving presence in your life...and more! Please read this book; it's super amazing. It's seriously changed my life. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to read it.

GIVEAWAY!
The lovely people from Icon Media have allowed me to host a giveaway! I get to bless one (1) of you with a copy of "Chasing God" by Angie Smith. Exciting!

HOW TO ENTER:
MANDATORY: Please tell me why you want to read "Chasing God." Leave your comment in the comment section along with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

That's it. One entry per person. We'll make it simple this time. Void where prohibited; must be 18 or over to enter. EDIT TO ADD: Giveaway will run until Wednesday, May 6, 2014 at 11:59PM (CST). Enter while you can!!

Disclaimer: I did receive this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own - others may or may not agree with them. 

3 comments:

Teresa said...

I would love this because I'm ready to hear God. I have found that since becoming a parent, almost every decision I make I question if I'm doing things "right," not just by way of my girls, but by who I'm becoming as well. I don't know, it's hard to explain, but I need some confirmation over here! :)

Teresa said...

Oops-my email is talewis77@msn.com

LeeAnn Taylor said...

I want to read this book because of your comments here:

"Through "Chasing God" I was shown that there is no right way to do a Christian walk. No one way to pray. No one way to read the Word. No one way to be a follower. There are many good ways, but it's up to me and God to figure out which is right for me (and even right for me right now because life changes!)."

YES, I can identify with thinking it has to be the "right" way.

Best way to contact me is here: http://www.leeanngtaylor.com/contact

Thanks!

happy followers