Hey friends! This week I'm taking a break from my "How to Draw" series to share with you four books that have seriously impacted my life in the last year. All of these books present God and the Christian life in a way that was completely new to me and more powerful than I ever imagined.
These books address your prayers, your fears, radical workings of the Holy Spirit, your commitment to the Lord, the way you relate to God and how He relates to you, and your freedom to be who God called you to be.
I know "life-changing" sounds dramatic, but each of these books revealed viewpoints that were backed up by scripture and stories that truly changed my perspective and caused me to go to my Bible to read more evidence of the truths they declare - something my love for fiction novels never did. The result was a deeper, more raw relationship with the Lord.
A friend sent me this book, and it sat on my shelf for a year before I finally opened it. I'm ashamed to admit that. But I also know God's timing is perfect, and reading this book sent me looking for new ways to pray and eventually resulted in the creation of The Lettering Prayer Journal. Batterson details scripture after scripture pointing to the way God answers prayer, how we should pray, why praying scripture is a powerful way to commune with God, and why it's always too soon to stop praying.
This book will inspire you to pray God-sized dreams and encourage you to go bigger and deeper in your prayer life.
After Nik Ripken spoke at my church and told of His experience interviewing persecuted Believers all over the world, I was intrigued enough to get His book and read more. In the darkest places of the world under the most hopeless circumstances, the gospel is flourishing. Ripken tells us how these believers taught him "how to follow Jesus, how to love Jesus, and how to walk with Him day by day." He answers the question, "If God is all you have, is He truly enough?" You'll read stories of people who treasure having one page of God's Word in their possession and who put everything on the line to follow Christ.
This book will leave you in awe of a God who is calling all men to Himself all around the world and will inspire you to be more serious about your faith - maybe even insane.
It was another friend who told me about this book, and again, it sat on my bookshelf for over a year - maybe three. But when I finally picked it up and started to read it, I couldn't stop telling people about it. How many of us have thought, "if I live a certain way, go to church and do all the right things, God will bless me," and then found yourself disappointed when life didn't turn out the way you wanted? We all seek God in different ways. Jethani details four ways, or postures, that people use to relate to God - but they always end in disappointment and even disillusionment, and He provides scripture and instruction for relating to God the way we were meant to. Instead of doing life for God, over God, under God, or from God, we were created to do life with God.
This book will open your eyes to the ways you try to use God to get the results you hope for, and will teach you how to reimagine life with God, and the beauty and peace that follows.
I don't know about you but the feeling of never being enough or sometimes too much is very real for me. I frequently feel I can't express myself in worship the way I want to for fear it would be too much. I constantly feel the guilt and shame of not being a good enough mom. Jess and Hayley (I feel like they are old friends of mine) bring you through these depths of despair and declare that you already have everything you need to live wildly in your purpose and free in your salvation - through Jesus.
This book will inevitably pull you from your cage and show you what it means to live your life with your God-given purpose (we all have one) and to stop missing out on the abundance God has for you when you ignore the call.
I'm going to call these must-reads for 2016. If you've been looking for a book or two or four to challenge your faith and the way you're living, or to revitalize a sluggish walk, pick one of these and start reading.
*Amazon Affiliate links are used in the above post. I don't recommend anything I don't love, but if you click above and buy something, I may get a small compensation from Amazon.