I can't even give it to myself, much as I'd like to...
Craig says in the book, "...some small adjustment isn't likely to bring it back. If all you needed was to tweak something, you'd have done that long ago. I'm guessing it'll take a significant change of direction or priorities". Amen.
A couple of statements from the book that stuck out to me:
- "Have you noticed that new believers often have it?". Their lives have been changed - they're pumped - like "THIS IS THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!!!". Remember when you were like this? Your life was all about Him - He was almost all you could think of. I do. Then, as Craig says, "some more 'mature' believer decides to help them to grow up. 'This is just a phase you're going through' the mature believer explains, 'it'll wear off'." Oh Lord, that we would never be like this but that we would celebrate the new Jesus filled life and encourage the new believers to grow in faith and belief!
- "It was if as if our it tank sprang a slow, small leak. Over time, it wasn't as special as it was before... we were losing it, so we decided we had to get it back... in our minds that meant more creativity... we had slipped into the dangerous belief that we could create it. Or re-create it." We can't create what doesn't come from us. It was God that was special - not us, not our ministry. Our creativity was grounded in God's creativity - it overflowed from God's heart through us. IT WAS NEVER US - IT WAS ALWAYS HIM.
I've tried the quick-fix; the thought that this small adjustment is gonna be it. I've found in my life there is no shortcut to a deeper life with Jesus. With all the awesome technical advances we've seen, one thing is for sure: we're gonna have to do it the "old-fashioned way" - we're just gonna have to cry out and humble ourselves before the Lord. Not that I thought anything different - just think it's funny how we always look for a short cut.
I wasn't surprised by this book - only confirmed in many of the thoughts that I have had and the prayers that I've prayed over the past year. I know I had it - I know that I want it. If I DON'T have it I know that I am closer to having it then I was a year ago. The past 6 months have been the toughest and most honest months of my ministry. As I have cried out to God and sought after Him through His Word He has spoken to me and given me a fire that I've not had in a long time. If I don't have it now I do know that I WANT IT and will do whatever necessary to get it. I'm pretty sure that I have it but I honestly don't have as much of it as I want to have.
The most frustrating thing is that I want YOU to have it and I cannot give it to you. Do you have it?
If you want it you can get it but you have to want it. You have to want it bad. If you go for it you WILL find it and it will change your life and the lives of those you have influence over.
Go for IT!!!