Last month I read two amazing books that I would strongly encourage you to read.
The first was “Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom” by Stovall Weems. This was a great book to start the year off with because it’s also accompanied by a 21 day fasting plan, that you can actually sign up for online and be partnered with literally thousands of other people doing the same fast, reading the same materials and having the same prayer focus as you for that 21 days. Pretty powerful stuff.
Even if you can’t read this at the first of the year and participate in the corporate fast, you still should read this book. It really opened my eyes to some misconceptions I had about fasting, and helped my break out of some serious religious mindsets that I had and didn’t even know it. Reading this book has really lead to a new level in my prayer and fasting life, simply because it’s caused me to approach both differently.
Another book I read was by Mark Batterson called “Soulprint: Discovering Your Divine Destiny”. Mark has quickly become my favorite (living) author. I think I’ve read all of his books that are currently in print. Mark has such a great writing style and such an easy delivery system that there is literally something mind bowing and “highlightable” on every page. “Soulprint” walks through the life of King David and the choices he made to walk into his divine destiny and helps you look at your life to discover what you were created for. The book also has a study section that would be great for a family or church small group to go through.
There was so much great stuff in both of these books that I don’t have the time or energy to put them all down on this post, though I did out down a few highlights below.
Trust me and go get both of these books.
Here are just a few of my highlights from “Awakening” by Stovall Weems:
“True followers of Jesus are enthusiastic (not weird or obnoxious!) followers.”
“Harshness isn’t holiness, but it is easy to confuse the two”
“When you pray in the name of Jesus, it has the same power as if Jesus were praying Himself. The difference between us and Jesus is that Jesus is always in complete alignment with His Father. This is why periodic seasons of fasting are so important.”
“When the whole focus of our prayers is only our relief and happiness, not the glory of God, we will become easily discouraged when we don’t see a quick answer to our prayers.”
“Fasting is not for God; it’s for us. We are the ones who need to fast—and not to get what we want or to try and get more from God. We need to fast to go full throttle after what God wants so that we can come into full cooperation (or agreement) with His will.”
“When we are too disconnected from God and too connected to the world and its distractions, the result is always unbelief. Instead of walking in faith, we walk in unbelief, and God’s kingdom doesn’t manifest with power.”
“Prayer and fasting should be proactive, not reactive.”
Here are a few highlights from “Soul Print” by Mark Batterson:
“There has never been and never will be anyone else like you. But that isn’t a testament to you. It’s a testament to the God who created you. You are unlike anyone who has ever lived. But that uniqueness isn’t a virtue. It’s a responsibility. Uniqueness is God’s gift to you, and uniqueness is your gift to God. You owe it to yourself to be yourself. But more important, you owe it to the One who designed you and destined you.”
“God is painting a picture of grace on the canvas of your life. God is writing His-story, history with a hyphen, through your life. God is crafting your character through the circumstances of your life. To see yourself as anything other than God’s masterpiece is to devalue and distort your true identity.”
“All of us start out as one-of-a-kind originals, but too many of us end up as carbon copies of someone else.”
“I don’t know what difficulties you’ve endured, but they don’t have to define you if you simply let them refine you. That’s the choice: define or refine. And if you let them refine you, God will actually use those negative experiences to redefine you.”
“Every occupation has its ladder, and if you climb over people to climb the ladder, it’ll be awfully lonely at the top. If you skip rungs, you may get to the top quicker, but you’ll also be much more likely to fall. Without integrity, the ladder has nothing to lean against. Without integrity, you cannot fulfill your destiny, because your integrity is your destiny.”
“Just because something looks like or feels like a God thing doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a God thing. Just because it’s endorsed by your closest confidants doesn’t mean it’s a God thing. Just because it seems like a golden opportunity doesn’t mean it’s a God thing. An opportunity isn’t an opportunity if you have to compromise your integrity.”
“It’s the little compromises that lead to major problems.”