I’m delighted to be hosting Andy Frost this week as part of his book blog tour! Andy is the director of Share Jesus International. He loves helping people explore the Christian faith and has recently launched his new book Long Story Short and an adventure video series: YouTube.com/gvbbadventures
Finding Our Story
It’s an incredible library of books. It’s not just information or rules or philosophical ideas. The Bible tells the spectacular story that frames human history. As the story evolves, we glimpse the character of a just and loving God, who desperately wants to be in relationship with his creation.
Each of our lives tells a story. And it’s this big story that we find in the Bible that helps us frame our lives, helping us make sense of our time here on earth.
The challenge is to work out how our own personal story fits into the larger God story. Here are five thoughts that help me live the best kind of a story, wrapped up in God’s great narrative.
- The story has already begun.
Choosing to live in God’s story isn’t just a decision we make once, but it’s a daily decision to find out how we can be involved in seeing God’s will being done here on earth. With God as the central character, we are invited to partner with him in restoring all things.
He wants spiritual renewal and invites us to help others discover who he is and what it means to live in relationship with him. He wants social renewal and invites us to transform structures and institutions so that people are empowered to live well, free from the strongholds of poverty. And he wants cultural renewal and invites us to create better ways of being in our different spheres of influence.
Our life stories are about joining in with what God has been doing for generations and begin with a recognition that God is central and that he is already eat work.
- There will probably be no burning bush.
Many of us like very specific instructions. We would quite like God to make every step of our lives very clear but that is not the way that God works. We are called to work by faith.
The scary thing is that many of us are waiting for a burning bush experience to kick start our story but we can end up spending our lives waiting for some dramatic revelation. The truth is, God rarely speaks in such dramatic ways. He often speaks through convictions, through nudges.
God created us with desires that can not be fulfilled exclusively in him and finding our story is about working out the godly passions that God has put inside of us. The passions that go beyond us and serve God’s kingdom priorities.
Some helpful questions may be: What makes you come alive? What keeps you up at night? What has God been teaching you through your life experiences so far? What pain in the world do you notice that you just have to do something about?
It’s as you tease through some of these big themes, that you can then begin to think about what they look like in the here and now. You don’t need to be CEO of a large corporation or a respected MP. You begin now, in the roles and the responsibilities that God has already given you.
- Good stories cost.
The comfortable life is very attractive but the secret to any good story is that there needs to be some kind of conflict or challenge. It’s not that we go looking for conflict but that the vision or the passion we carry, will require it.
Some of the best biographical stories from history are about leaders who’s vision cost dearly – think Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa. Ultimately, the God story reveals the cost that God was willing to pay as Jesus went to the cross.
Finding your story in God’s is about be willing to pay a price. It might mean risking failure as you step into something new; or turning down lucrative career moves to follow God’s prompting; or being willing to be hurt by those that you want to help.
What are you willing to surrender to God to live the best kind of story?
- Who the character becomes is more important than what the character achieves.
I’m the kind of guy that makes lists and loves to tick things off. I have to ‘achieve’ things every day and when it comes to life, I often set myself targets. But an interesting thought is not working through what I want to do but who I want to become.
One day as people sit around ay my wake, do I want to be remembered for what I achieved or for how I treated other people?
Each of outlives will be littered with both good times and difficult times. Wrapping ourselves in the God story is about punctuating our lives with moments that help us frame our lives. It’s so easy to become bitter and cynical and its imperative that we are people of love.
An important question to think through is, what rhythms of prayer and Bible reading will help me centre myself on Jesus, no matter what life throws at me?
- We know how the story ends…
The last book in the Bible, Revelation, paints this incredible picture of a new heaven and a new earth. Tears are wiped away. Things are as they should be.
Reminding ourselves of how the story ends is vital because there is always hope. We live in a dark world and its easy to become disillusioned when there is so much pain and suffering. Finding our story in God’s story is ultimately about remembering that God is sovereign, that we never need to despair and that we know how the story ends.
Head to Amazon to get your copy (if you use this link I get a small commission).