Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In a Pit With a Lion...

Just finished reading a book recommendation, "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day." I know...catchy title!!!

Mark Batterson outlines the life of Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, taken from 2 Samuel 23:20-21. Benaiah is not given much "screen time" in the Old Testament, but is commended as a major hero.

Benaiah was a brave man who launched himself into impossible odds and daunting situations. One, of course, was when he FOLLOWED a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it.

The book discusses taking risks for God and seeing opportunity in all situations.

Here are some portions/points that I particularly liked:

  • "Our biggest problems can be traced back to an inadequate understanding of who God is. Our problems seem really big because our God seems really small."

  • "The more we grow, the bigger God should get. And the bigger God gets, the smaller our lions will become."

  • "Half of spiritual growth is learning what we don't know. The other half is UNLEARNING what we DO know."

  • "When you put yourself into defenseless positions, it sets the stage for God to show up."

  • "We should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and start asking Him what He wants us to get out of those difficult circumstances."

  • Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing our perspective."

  • Worship is forgetting about what's wrong with you and remembering what's right with God."

  • "All of us want every day to be a good day. But if every day were a good day, there would be no "good" days, because there wouldn't be any bad days to compare the good days to. It's the bad days that help us appreciate the good days."

  • "I'm not convinced that following Christ reduces circumstantial uncertainty. I think it reduces spiritual uncertainty."

  • "Isn't it ironic that some people who have so much do so little and others who have so little do so much? Lion chasers don't let what they can't do keep them from doing what they can."

  • "Self-consciousness isn't just a curse. It's part of The Curse."

I'm not sure I agree with everything the author puts forth. I'm not sure that God has our lives "mapped out" in front of us every step of the way. Does He put us in the right place at the right time, every time?

I think God KNOWS what choices we will make and rejoices when we choose to follow Him. Of course He throws some tests our way, but I don't think that every minute has been scripted by God.

There is a little bit of the "health and wealth" gospel preached in this book, but the author does a pretty good job of saying that things won't always be easy for believers. But he seems to be saying that it will always pay off at some point.

All in all, though, a very encouraging book! Read it and consider it. I would love to discuss it with someone else!

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