Book Review – Forgotten God by Francis Chan
A few months ago God nudged me to join the woman’s bible study at the church that we had just started to attend. This was a stretching point for me as I didn’t know any of the women that would be attending. The Sunday before it was to start we were in church and I could not shake the feeling that I had to join. I followed God’s leading and signed up that day. The funny thing is that I had no idea what the study was even going to be about.
The following Tuesday I showed up at 9:00 am purchased my books and picked a table to sit at. The book that we were going to go through was “Forgotten God – Reversing Our Tragic Neglect Of The Holy Spirit” by Francis Chan. One of the questions that we were first asked was, “What are you hoping to get out of this study?”. I didn’t have an answer as I didn’t know anything about the book or the topic that we were going to be studying. That evening I started to leaf through the book and was immediately drawn to the pages.
Laying The Foundation
The first chapter challenged my personal perceptions of who I believe the Holy Spirit truly is. It also allowed me to take a closer look at the effect (if any) the Holy Spirit had in my own life. By going through this chapter it reaffirmed some of my beliefs and it challenged me to take a closer look at other beliefs.
I was able to get to a place of surrender and openness. Even though I didn’t know anything about this study before I started – God knew that I needed to glean the information from it. He used the first chapter to draw me even closer to Him. I wanted the truths that He was going to share with me to change me.
Who Me? Afraid?
Fear has surrounded me many times in my life – past and in all honesty even presently. Battling fear has been an ongoing task for me. I often give myself little pep talks and encourage myself to,”do it afraid”. Even though I have experience in battling fear, I had never thought about being afraid when it came to the Holy Spirit.
Going through “Forgotten God” I was able to ask God to illuminate truth to me. One of the golden nuggets of truth that He shared with me was I have allowed fear to stunt my journey. I have been afraid of the unknown – especially when it comes to getting out of my own personal comfort zone.
Who Is This Forgotten God?
Francis Chan was able to share about all the different facets of the Holy Spirit in easily understandable terms. I appreciated the straightforwardness and the way He challenged me to pause and meditate on what my beliefs truly are. In that I was able to do some shifting and I have now gained a clearer understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and the role that He has in my life.
As I spent time reflecting on the knowledge that I was gaining the greatest nugget of truth that stood out for me was – “questioning my motives”. Francis Chan challenged his readers to ask ourselves, “why do you want Him?”. I realized that I don’t always have the best motives when it comes to my relationship with the Holy Spirit. There have been times that I wanted the Holy Spirit to help me due to my own pride and ego or because I was in a broken state. One of the lines in the book that stands out is, “Our focus in all of this needs to be on God — not on ourselves, not even on the things we can accomplish with His power”.
Who Is Doing The Leading?
Another area that Francis Chan challenges his readers is in the area of leading. Are we really wanting to be led by the Holy Spirit? or Do we want to simply add the Holy Spirit to our already formed lives? As I reflected back on my life I was able to see how I have done both. The truth is though that only when I am totally surrendered and following His leading am I at peace. Simply adding Him to my already established life is not going to really change me. It also isn’t going to serve others with the same benefits as if I am totally surrendered to His ways.
A Real Relationship
One of the greatest blessings that came out of reading (and applying what I read) “Forgotten God” is that it enriched my relationship with the Holy Spirit. It made me understand why Jesus said, “But I tell you I am going to do what is best for you. This is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send him to you.” – John 16:7 CEV
I am so grateful for my relationship with the Holy Spirit. I look forward to experiencing how our relationship is going to continue to grow.
Challenged and Growing
“Forgotten God” has challenged me to set aside my own ideas of who the Holy Spirit is and the role He plays in my life. It has also challenged me to relook at all the different teachings that I was taught about Him. To keep the ones that are truth and discard the ones that aren’t.
I may not have had any idea of what I was signing up for the morning I signed up for the ladies bible study. The Holy Spirit knew and He put it in my path to help me grow. Because of “Forgotten God”, I have been able to walk further out of my comfort zone and I have developed a greater trust in Him. My relationship with the Holy Spirit is deeper and more intimate today and it continues to grow. Every day I get the opportunity to spend time with Him. Every day I ask Him to show me, “how I can be a blessing today?”. I trust that every day I will be led by Him as I surrender to Him.
Too often the Holy Spirit gets forgotten – from this book I was reminded to not forget about Him but to cultivate a relationship with Him. I rate “Forgotten God” a 9/10.
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|Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit|
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