Some time ago, I received Steven Furtick‘s first book, Sun Stand Still. In it, the author builds a case for audacious faith and challenges his readers to believe and pray and work for the God to do the impossible.
Look, the reality is that I’m not a big fan of these kinds of books. I wrestle with what exactly to do with pastors who preach and write books that are specifically geared to “inspire” their hearers to do big things – primarily, because these books are usually just a Christian slant on the typical “believe it and you can achieve it” horse manure. Typically, these books are filled with stories and examples of how God did the impossible through that particular pastor and his humongous church, and how Tony Little‘s advice, “You can do it!” is exactly what you need, you just need a few random verses attached to it to believe it. While my first instinct was to classify this book in that category and use it as kindling, after reading it I’m a little less apt to do so.
He comes right out in chapter 1 sounding like everyone else, “I’m out to activate your faith. To inspire you to ask God for the impossible. And in the process, to reconnect you with your God-sized purpose and potential.” (p. 6) But, unlike most (at least in this specific genre), he makes it clear that the idea isn’t that you would achieve what you desire, but that you would desire what God desires and that you would achieve what God desires. This thinking stands in direct contrast to the bulk of contemporary feel-good Christianity – and it’s entirely more Biblical. It’s absolutely correct that, “sometimes God has to let your dream die so that his vision for you can come alive” (p. 73) and that “your faith does not control God – in fact, human faith on any scale can never put divine providence in your back pocket.” (p. 117)
The author’s passion and excitement is frustratingly contagious. He oozes charisma that draws you in and makes it infinitely difficult to read it from an unbiased, skeptical position. You find yourself believing. You find yourself praying. You find yourself listening all the more intently to hear the Holy Spirit’s call on your life. And you find yourself leaving hope behind and stepping into a faith that God can do the impossible.
I recommend this book with one caveat (and I think it would be the author’s warning as well): Seek God’s will. Know God’s will. Pray for the impossible, but do with his glory and his fame in mind – never your own. Should God choose to bend the rules of his own creative order and stop the sun in the sky, it will be for his own glory.
For he alone is worthy.