Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Review: Living Close to God

Traditional religion still has ways to make life miserable for those who question the status quo. ~Gene Edwards in Living Close to God

Living Close to God (When You're Not Good At It) is a good introductory book for those who want to get past religion and find God. The first part of the book describes the author's journey starting with his own lack of spiritually. Then it engages you to try what he did. Using Psalm 23 as his foundation, he simply asks that you pause, wait, and slow down as you say the words as God would say them to you and you back to Him. It was the beginning of his spiritual awakening. I felt it was powerfully moving also. He suggested taking 30 minutes to go through this exercise; I found I had taken an hour and most of it was in tears.

The author suggests not to spend quantity time with the Lord but highly quality time. This is not to replace prayer, devotions, or scripture reading if these are part of your routine, although I suspect it will enrich them. It is about connecting with God even if you do not have a devotional routine. It is also about giving God a loving hug without asking for anything for just a few moments at a time. Just saying "I love you" in a still and quieted mind a few times a day. It is a spiritual-life changing book.

That said, it was the last chapter, "Getting to Know Christ Can Be Dangerous," that grabbed me because it is both illogical and profoundly true:

"Many believers who have come to a deeper relationship with Christ get into trouble. There are reasons for this.

First, they get into trouble with other Christians, even friends, who no longer understand them.

Second, they get into trouble with the church, because a deeper relationship with Christ conflicts with church as it is practiced in their generation.

Third, they may cause trouble, which in turn means they get into trouble.

Most Christians do not want to accept that growing closer to Christ would put them at odds with the church....It is even possible you might lose friends and become a byword among believers."

In the last part of the book is a seven-session small group study guide and also a seven-week personal guide. Both basically question the reader and reiterate the information. Some may find these parts of the book redundant and some might find them very helpful in supporting the few and very simple principles presented. This book is definitely worthwhile to give you ideas about how and when to take special moments with the Lord and just love Him.

I received this book from WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest review.

2 comments:

  1. Oh Seeking! How those last comments echoed in my heart. How true they are. How sad it is that we can be persecuted for loving God more by those who call themselves by His very name!

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    1. I think that is why it grabbed me. Through the entire book the author talks about being a spiritual failure, which oddly must have made him fit in well previously. Once he began having a real relationship with God, he obviously encountered difficulties with conforming what is religiously acceptable to others. He did not expound on this though.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.