I Want To Really Live

01Aug07

After reading My last book and also digging into one of the new ones I am working on, I am convinced of our need to be changed to reflect the character of God. I wouldn’t say this is a new revelation for me but one God is having me focus on more intently. I love this quote from the McManus book I am reading. “God formed us in his image and then breathed life into us. God’s life in us is sustained by character. When we lose the character of God, we lose the life of God in us. But to have his character, we must first die to ourselves, because to become like Him is what it means to really live.”

I read this today and I was prompted to pass this info along to you. Let God examine your character. If we are not becoming more like Christ, He is not “living” in us.

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6 Responses to “I Want To Really Live”

  1. 1 Tam

    “When we lose the character of God, we lose the life of God in us”

    That got me! I read the link too!

    Thanks! Im thinking….

  2. 2 Cheryl

    Hmm…I’m thinking that we begin to lose the character of God when we try to compartmentalize our lives and not give Him control over every aspect of our lives…just thinking out loud here….

  3. 3 Brent Hodge

    Cheryl – Definitely. It is all about who is in control of our lives. we compartmentalize, we rationalize, we follow some order that is generally made up by us. We have to completely lay down, surrender. I don’t know how that looks for you, but for me it is so welcome and necessary.

  4. 4 Cheryl

    I’m still trying to figure out how it looks for me…but I think it’s my desire to be a perfectionist and the only Perfect One is Christ

  5. 5 Angela

    Does God’s word really say, “God’s life in us is sustained by character. When we lose the character of God, we lose the life of God in us.”
    I thought once saved, always saved. Or, is this not what McManus is talking about? I get the whole character thing, which is good. Scripture doesn’t say that God’s life in us is sustained by character. That would be assumptive language on McManus’ part.

    McManus also says: “The Barbarian Way [his book] was, in some sense, trying to create a volatile fuel to get people to step out and act. It’s pretty hard to get a whole group of people moving together as individuals who are stepping into a more mystical, faith-oriented, dynamic kind of experience with Christ. So, I think Barbarian Way was my attempt to say, “Look, underneath what looks like invention, innovation and creativity is really a core mysticism that hears from God, and what is fueling this is something really ancient. Erwin McManus, Interview with Relevant Magazine

    Brent, you’re Dad always taught that if it isn’t in the Bible, then it isn’t true. What do you think?

    An old friend.

  6. Hi Angela – Glad you stopped by. First of all, I’m with my Dad on this one. Everything is tested and approved by God’s Word. Dad and I actually read through this book at similar times and have talked about it. If you have a chance, read this one and Bill Hybels “Who You Are When No Ones Looking”. They are identical in purpose and theme. It’s as if you get to hear the same message from 2 different preachers.

    “God’s life in us is sustained by character. When we lose the character of God, we lose the life of God in us.”

    I would say yes based on how I read this. I don’t believe at all that McManus is tackling “once saved always saved” in this book. He is tackling character. This book does not in any way go into the discussion of eternal security. The Bible is very clear that the evidence of God in us is our character. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus is speaking about false prophets and he points out that they are known by their fruit. That good produces good and bad produces bad. I love how verse 20 in the NLT says, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions”. It is the basis of being a new creation. We are changed, transformed and radically made new in Him. My words are not suggesting that if character does not change, that we were never saved, that is a different discussion. The responsibility here is to the saved. How are we being changed and transformed by the Spirit in our lives? Are we even allowing it to happen? The church is full of people that are spiritually tired or dead. It is full of people that have put the priority of God’s power in our lives on hold to other selfish desires.

    I don’t claim to know McManus or his ministry. I don’t attend there and I can’t take a few sound bites as, this is what he believes. I would hope that he would take the responsibility of his spiritual leadership to heart and never choose to override God’s Word.

    By the way, the 2 McManus books I have read were this one and The Barbarian way. I enjoyed both. Both had similar approaches in McManus’s desire to inspire those that may be sitting dormant. Have you had a chance to read his stuff? I’d be curious what you thought are.

    Thanks again for stopping by!



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