Unleash! by Perry Noble is definitely on my top five of favorite books of all time. Perry Noble challenges his readers to break free from a life of normalcy by not only giving our hearts to Christ but our lives to Him as well. He uses the story of David found in 1 and 2 Samuel to show us that, like David, in order to do extraordinary things for God, we must solely rely on Him and remain dedicated to Him.
As a child growing up in a Christian home, it has been very easy for me to fall prey to what Perry Noble refers to as “The Performance Trap.” I came to know Christ when I was ten years old, but learning how to act and what to say from a very young age also taught me how to love Jesus with my head, sometimes forsaking the matters of the heart. “We can’t only love Jesus with our head; we have to love Him with our heart- that’s all He wants anyway…His love is not based on our performance.” I have learned that in order to move forward, I must reconnect my heart with Jesus, and leave my past in the past. “If you don’t let your past die, it won’t let you live.” As Perry reminded me, I am created on purpose, with a purpose, and for a purpose. I am currently delving through that very thing in my life right now, and while reading Unleash! I was given practical ways to glorify God in finding my purpose. Perry undauntedly, in ways that only he can, stated how and when we are to take our next steps in our walk with Christ. I now know what my next step is in my walk with Christ. Christ merely wants my obedience to Him- whole-hearted and unwavering devotion to Him. I genuinely love to be around people. I have always enjoyed working with the public and getting to know people. However, often times when I am pulled away from Christ to sin, I have pulled away from His people too. “The first step people take away from God is usually a step away from church and their friends.” However, just because I have messed up or turned my back on God, He still wants me and can still use me. In Unleash! Perry tells us stories of people in Scripture who have turned their back on God and came back and He still used them. Through his own personal testimony, Perry showed me that God, indeed, does work everything out for our good if we just trust Him through it all.
After reading Unleash!, I am convicted in my walk with Christ and challenged to my next steps, all the while knowing that the best is yet to come! I am encouraging everyone I know to get their copy of Unleash! and read it as soon as possible. You will definitely be changed after reading this one!
Monday, July 9, 2012
I am not a mother and only God knows when and if I will become one. However, I do believe that most, if not all, women are born with a natural maternal instinct; it is just brought out when one actually becomes a mother. The closest thing I have to a child is my niece, Kylei. I love her like she is my own and there is nothing she could do that would make me stop loving her. I can only imagine if I love her as much as I do how much love parents have for their own children. And God, our Father, is no exception. The only reason we are able to love like we do is because God loved us first and shows us how to love our children (Matt7.11).
God created each of us with a unique purpose for this life (Jer1.5). He loves us so much that he crafted us so intricately that we each have our own fingerprint and DNA. He spent time on each and every single person on this planet. It’s in God that we get our start and it is He who made us in the first place (Is43.1).
As much as a parent can love their child because they are theirs, they look at that child and know it came from them, God says the same thing about His children. He gave up His only Son just to get us back. We are redeemed and are able to have a real relationship with Him. Think of it like this: If you’re a parent you can understand this concept and if you’re not just think of the person you love more than anything on this planet…if someone had that child or that person and called and told you the only way you could give them back is if you gave up your most prized possession or they would die and be separated from you forever. Everyone would do whatever it took to get them back! And more than likely wouldn’t think twice about giving up whatever you needed just to have that child back in your arms again. That’s what God says about us in Isaiah 43:4 “I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” Think about it, it took God FIVE days create all of creation and only ONE day to create humans (Gen1). And think about the most beautiful mountains on earth and the vast, gorgeous beaches we have on this planet- and that’s just this planet. Think about outer space and the galaxies upon galaxies. God says He would give it ALL of that up just to get us back!!! God loves us so much that there is NOTHING He wouldn’t do for us. Those beautiful mountains and gorgeous beaches He created have nothing on YOU- He formed you, He created you, and He WANTS you! More than anything He wants to just love you! “I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you!” Isaiah 43:4
So while I may not be a mother yet, I know that there is no love greater than our Father’s love toward us. He only wants to love us and be reconciled. He doesn’t want anything from us; He just wants to give His love TO us!