I’m experiencing a very convicting time of life right now. And that’s a good thing. It means that I’m growing. The Holy Spirit is really “working me over”, revealing areas of my life where I need more of the Lord’s cleansing, more of His love to flow through me to others, and so much more. He’s showing me places that don’t yet look very Christlike in Patty Bray. He’s revealing places where I need to experience more of His power in and through my life. He’s really “working me over.”
Much of this is happening as I’m reading several books that are extremely convicting. (You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been writing less on the blog; that’s mainly because I’m spending so much time reading, and praying.) I thought I would share a bit about these books with you and perhaps you’ll pick one of them up and find greater conviction and growth in your own life. Today let me share two of them.
- “Ablaze For God” is one of my top ten books of my life. Wesley Duewel challenges me in incredible ways! I could quote from his book for an hour; nearly every page is underlined and highlighted. He’s writing to committed Christians who know that they need more of the power of God upon their lives. He writes on every page about the indwelling Holy Spirit who longs to enable His people to live lives with greater power, authority, and anointing than we have yet experienced. He links all of that with us becoming committed to intercessory prayer. Let me share one sentence with you:
“Ablaze for God! Your personality so suffused with the presence and beauty of the Lord that others instinctively sense that God is with you!” Oh, how I’m longing to live like that more than ever in my life!
- “Seven” (by Jen Hatmaker) was a gift from one of my best friends just last week. Oh, my goodness! This book is going to have a profound impact on tons of Christians!
Jen’s question is, “Do you feel trapped in the machine of excess?” She writes from a heart that is heartsick over Christians who are blinded by their wealth and don’t even know it. (Yes! She means people like you and like me!) She says that “it’s ruining us”. She writes this book to help Christians find “a tangible way to bow low and repent of greed, ungratefulness, ruined opportunities, and irresponsibility.” She writes, “The day I am unaware of my privileges and unmoved by my greed is the day something has to change”.
And change, she did. She took seven arenas of life and experimented with “downsizing” in each. She started with food. It’s the only chapter I’ve gotten through yet and boy is it convicting me (and John)! You’ll have to get the book to really get what she did, but let me tell you what John and I are doing as a result of that first chapter.
We’re eating only 7 foods this week. (Jen did this for a month…We may end up doing that, too, but we have some commitments this month that will prevent us from taking an entire month at this point.) It’s just a kind of “fast” (which I have never been good at accomplishing!) Fasting from much (most) of the great foods I enjoy on a daily basis, depending on my Savior to enable me to do this when my stomach cries out for that Weight Watchers ice cream sandwich, or that soft drink, or that bowl of cereal, or that…well, you get what I’m thinking. To fast from most foods, to depend on my Savior for help and strength to do this, and to think of and pray for most of this world that is living today on two or three bowls of rice as their main staple…and to be more grateful. That’s what the Spirit is doing in me as I take on this “holy experiment”.
Who knows what else the Lord will do during this time? But if He only does what I’ve just written, it will sure be worth the experiment.
Yes, He is “working me over”. It’s not necessarily an easy time – conviction seldom is – but oh, is it a precious time. I sense His presence so near; I hear from Him through His Word every time I open it; and I feel like I can detect His smile of approval as I step out in faith more and more.
I’m praying today for those of you who read this blog, that you, too, will let Him work YOU over. It will be worth it!