Friday, February 27, 2009

Expecting Miracles

Expecting Miracles: True Stories of God's Supernatural Power and How You Can Experience It by Heidi Baker and Rolland Baker was a disappointment. It was interesting enough that I read through to the end, but it was simply a series of blog posts that seemed very matter-of-fact. I guess I expected more drama or at least a dramatic telling of miracles. It's hard to catch the awesomeness of miracles when they are blithely covered in a single sentence such as "The God who has raised at least 53 people from the dead among our churches in Africa...." p. 89

Their work is extensive--based in Mozambique but spreading around the world--and includes the caring for hundreds of orphaned children, preaching, healing and more. They come with high recommendations from people like James Goll, Jackie Pullinger and John Arnott; and when I mentioned the book to a friend, she was very familiar with who the authors are and what they are doing and had the highest praise for them. It's too bad this isn't reflected better in their book.

Still, there were some good things in the book that I would like to share:

"God has prepared the way in exceptional circumstances through the favor of a godly reputation." p. 25

What is my reputation? Would it favour God? Would it favour me? Or would it bring disfavour? Something to ponder.

"Spiritually speaking, most believers in the West live on junk food: cotton candy, Diet Coke, Twinkies. This is all they ever eat, yet they complain they are tired. Why are they tired? Because they are trying to live on junk food! Why do people try to survive on junk when God has laid out a feast for us to eat?" p. 48

What kind of spiritual food am I eating, junk or a nutritious feast?

"God is not about using the mighty, but the willing.... God is not looking for extraordinary, exceptionally gifted people, just laid-down lovers of Jesus who will carry his glory with transparency and not take it for themselves." p. 68

How willing am I?

"Never reduce your theology to your experience." p. 97

Just because I haven't experienced something, and no one I know has, doesn't mean God isn't in it.

"A young Harvard student named Matteus came up in our meeting and said, 'I want to meet the God whom Heidi speaks of, but my mind is too strong." So we prayed for him that his heart would become bigger than his mind!" p. 107

And God did. It sounds like a prayer I need to be praying for myself.

"We will preach with all our strength to those who will listen, those who will receive, those who know they need Him." p.130

This matches what Jesus told his disciples when he sent them out. They were to go to the willing and receptive and where the people were not, they were to retract their blessings, shake the dust off their clothes and go elsewhere.

"As in China, believers need to build a reputation for being the best citizens, the most reliable, honest, hard-working people around who will be good for the country." p. 147

This comes back to the first quote and question: What kind of a reputation am I building? Does it attract people to God or drive them away?

"We have to stop looking at our lunch (because it is kind of pitiful) and look at God! Stop looking at your limited resources and start looking at the One who can multiply them. Stop looking at your life and thinking how insignificant it looks! Yield it to God, fully, completely, and allow Him to multiply it." p. 174

The "lunch" is a reference to the little boy's lunch Jesus used to feed several thousant people. Often we're like that lunch--awfully small and insignificant--but God can use anything and anyone that is put willingly into his hands.

"We find our greatest liberty at the point of His most complete control, where we are set free by His Spirit to do what is most spectacularly, ravishingly perfect."

What a paradox! Yet I know it to be true. I am far freer when under God's control than when I'm in rebellion or apathy towards him.

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