Sunday, 23 November 2008

Chasing Lions

Through a link on, I revisited the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. David Mays provides a great summary on one of his Book Notes pages.

The base biblical story is about a man who follows a lion into a pit on a snowy day and kills the lion. Apologies to my lion-loving sister. The story in Second Samuel 23 is part of a series of stories of men who faced their fears and took great risks, usually to accomplish things that would glorify God.

From that little story, the book expands the theme to all the ways God brings us to the right place at the right time to prepare us for what is ahead and move us towards our destiny.

"But here's the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time." Those times are often very difficult and way out of our comfort zone.

photoKnowing that faith involves risk and uncertainty, we can have some measure of peace and confidence in the most trying of circumstances.

You may have had some challenging experiences. I have certainly had a few - many more severe than I ever would have imagined ten years ago. But I'm writing and you're reading. So we have survived to tell about it. And hopefully we have learned a thing or two along the way. And I have also lived to tell the story of how God has blessed me in ways I could not have imagined ten years ago.

Even when the way is foggy, and it often is in my experience, God calls us to move forward, taking baby steps if necessary. We don't always know what is ahead. But daily we have choices of what to do with "today". Are we willing to let God work in us and through us today? As we are willing, open, and obedient, greater opportunities await.

I pray God will give us all a vision of how we may impact the world and impact eternity. And I pray we will persevere when that stretching, growing, and testing tempts us to give up. As the Apostle Paul often prayed, God's strength and peace to you. He is able.

Just a few quotes from the book:

"We're inspired by people who face their fears and chase their dreams. What we fail to realize is that they are no different from us." (16)

"Impossible odds set the stage for amazing miracles. That is how God reveals his glory--and how He blesses you in ways you never could have imagined." (22)

"Satan has two primary tactics when it comes to neutralizing you spiritually: discouragement and fear." (51)

"Lion chasers are more afraid of lifelong regrets than temporary uncertainty." "Embracing uncertainty is one dimension of faith." (81)

"The more you're willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you're willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can't do in you and through you." (102)

It is often the fear of foolishness that holds us back. "Faith is the willingness to look foolish." "Noah looked foolish building an ark in the desert." (149) "The greatest breakthroughs, miracles, and turning points in Scripture can be traced back to someone who was willing to look foolish." (150)

"Conforming to Christ results in nonconformity." (151)

Seven skills to be a lion chaser: "You have to start by trying to comprehend the infiniteness of God so that you can believe He can help you to defy the odds. You have to face your fears, or they'll hold you back forever. You have to learn to reframe your problems through Scripture reading, prayer, and worship. Then you'll shift your perspective so that your problem becomes less significant and God's greatness becomes more evident. And remember, you must take risks. That is the essence of faith. Then you're ready to seize the opportunity. But you have to be able to see it to seize it. That means getting yourself in tune with the Holy Spirit. You have to listen to His still, small voice prompting you and believe that He is setting you up for success. And finally, you have to accept that you're going to look foolish sometimes." "These skills are a package deal." "What lion is God calling you to chase?" (168-69)

Please visit the David Mays site for more quotes or go buy the book.

Bridge photo is copyright© 2006 Ronald G. Hedberg. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.