The Lord has been faithful to me. Even when I am not faithful to Him – when I neglect our relationship, forget Who He is, and how much He loves me – and begin living my life based on lies of the Enemy – yes, even then, He is faithful. He doesn’t give up. If I’m not making time to meet Him in His word each day, then He finds other, creative ways to draw me back to His heart.
This Fall the method He used was my insatiable thirst for a good story. A friend loaned me “The Enclave” by Karen Hancock. It was one of those novels that sucks you right in to the story and makes you yawn – not because it’s boring but because you stay up WAY too late reading it! This author has incredible talent to weave an intriguing and satisfying story with a thoroughly Christian worldview and message, yet without being preachy! This novel did what I believe every Christian author hopes their book will do, but few achieve – it brought me to my knees. In the very middle of the intense climax, I was so moved by the hero’s own trial of faith, that I broke down in tears, set the book aside, and spent some much needed time in the Word with the Lord. I would quote the passage that meant so much to me, but I don’t want to spoil anything – I hope I have said just enough to encourage you find this book and read it for yourself. (note – this book is Science Fiction and may not be to everyone’s taste. I personally found the intensity of a few scenes were well balanced by good character development and relevant themes.)
The next book that impacted me when all I had wanted was to be entertained (hey, I’m just being honest here!) was “The Atonement Child” by Francine Rivers. Wow. I only just this month discovered Francine Rivers. She’s good, and this book is wonderful. Relevant. Moving. Life Changing. Read it.
Last, but not least – and this one isn’t a novel, but it goes with the other two and I’ll tell you why in a minute – “God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew. I know, I know – you all have read this and probably re-read this, but I only just got around to reading this last month. What took me so long!? Not only is this book spell-binding, inspiring, and a classic of Christian literature, but it’s written by a Dutchman! I felt such a comraderie with Brother Andrew as he described his childhood and his life in Holland – I felt as if I could have been sitting chatting with a long-lost uncle. I loved the simplicity of Brother Andrew’s approach to the life of faith – and how God was able to then use this humble man to change the world!
My goal with these book recommendations is not to tell you all about the book, but to share how it impacted me, and encourage you do discover them on your own. The recurring theme through each of the books God led me to read this season was listening to God.
Do you believe God speaks to man? Do you believe He could speak to you? Well, He does, and He will, if we will listen. Each of the characters in these books had a hunger for God that led them to His Word and drove them to spending quiet moments and even hours in God’s presences, seeking and believing that He would speak to them – guidance, comfort, wisdom, peace – and each of the characters heard God. These books reminded me yet again that God seeks to have a personal relationship with each of us, His created children, and that is the true ‘secret’ to a fulfilling existence on this earth. I repented again of my selfishness and laziness that have caused me to wander far from the close, familiar relationship I have experienced with my God in seasons past, and I have made some changes to get back on track. I want to hear God’s voice again. Don’t you?
Tomorrow I will share one more book that has changed my life and been a great guide as I learn to hear God’s voice.