This is nuts, I tell you. Nuts.
I’ve read Radical three times, but every Monday night, I do a quick read-through of the next chapter so I can write my post. I shook my head the whole way through Chapter 3 tonight. The way God orchestrates events in our lives and interwines and interposes them is FASCINATING to me. Humor me as I do a quick run-through of the chapter with parallels to my own life at this very moment.
Call it coincidence, but you won’t convince me of that.
1. Platt starts off the chapter with a story about church planters in Indonesia. A story that our friend Rich Johnson briefly shared at a church-planting meeting in Columbus, OH yesterday. For my church friends who don’t know this already, I apologize for the News-Alert-Via-Blog, but Gabe and I are joining our friends Rich and Shalla as they plant a church in the next few months pretty much in our backyard (I’ll share more later).
2. I’m reading through the Bible this year. After a very slow start, I picked up the pace and also decided to read the OT and NT simultaneously. I’m halfway through the Psalms and ready for Acts 19. On page 51 and 52 of the book, Platt gives an overview of the exact chapters in Acts I just read.
3. On the next 2 pages, he talks about George Muller. I “just so happened” to be scouring our bookshelves yesterday (Sunday) for a light, but inspirational, read. A slim biography (yes, about the aforementioned GM) that belonged to my grandma caught my eye. I read it last June in a day. I read it again yesterday. And it renewed my courage to ask God for big, big things.
4. Just like we did on our Zoo Trip. And while some will argue that a zoo trip can hardly be compared to building orphanages, I’ll tell you what. We were “pleading for the power of God,” and we were “confident that we were not going to accomplish anything without his provision” (51). I pulled the old book manuscript back out recently and have been making some big changes (a story for another day) and got reminded all over again of the amazing things God showed us during that year, things that have pruned and prepared our hearts for whatever is next.
5. I loved where he talked about how God gives us the Holy Spirit when we ask for things. That the Holy Spirit is really, truly the answer to our every need. I just finished Forgotten God by Francis Chan, and I just kept nodding and nodding through this whole section.
6. I’ll be honest. A few days ago, I was a mess. I was ready to quit the whole Radical Read-Along thing. “People are sick of it already. They’re going to drop like flies. How in the world can I keep this thing going? It’s going to fail. Blah, blah, blah.”
You’ll never guess what God told me.
Not. About. You. Marla.
Well, that was freeing.
Last thing. I love what he says on the last page of the chapter. “Instead of dependence on ourselves, we express radical desperation for the power of his Spirit, and we trust that Jesus stands ready to give us everything we ask for so that he might make much of our Father in the world.”
Up For Discussion:
1. What parallels did you see from your own life in this chapter?
2. How might we go about making much of our Father in this world?
3. What would it take in your life to get you to a point where you’re really, truly dependent on God?
Just a reminder that I’m “resting” this week, but I’ll still check in here and there. Thank you, friends!