Forgotten God

April 15, 2010

I just finished a powerful book by Francis Chan, Forgotten God. This was my first Chan book. I had heard him speak a number of times and have been encouraged to read his work by many friends.

This is one of those books that doesn’t necessarily inspire, but it motivates and convicts. The premise of Forgotten God is our unwillingness to recognize, submit to, and love the Holy Spirit inside of us. And it is quite remarkable that Christians, who have the Spirit of God inside of them, typically live and act as though they don’t. We wonder why we live such powerless lives.

Chan says, “God put His Spirit in us so we could be known for our power. Sadly, most believers and churches are known for talent and intellect rather than supernatural power. What’s worse is that we’re okay with it.” I’m deeply convicted by that.

Those of us who have grown up in and minister in churches that pride themselves on a sound doctrinal position and a relevant verse-by-verse exposition of the Scriptures often neglect the work of the Spirit. Here’s why. We’re so afraid of the abuses and emotionalism that exists in some parts of the Church today that we almost lock up the Holy Spirit in the closet. Its as if we feel like He is so dangerous and easily abused that its better off not employing Him or speaking of Him altogether.

How tragically wrong we are. Sadly, when we ignore the Spirit we’re like the church of Ephesus, which had a killer statement of faith and awesomely sound doctrine, but no power. God was so upset with Ephesus that He threatened to take the “candlestick” of blessing away. They were the only church issued this threat.

The truth is that the Holy Spirit is not an it. The Holy Spirit is a Person. He is God. And He is a precious gift to us, empowering and leading us to fulfill God’s will on this earth.

Francis Chan doesn’t really unearth any new revelations about the Holy Spirit in Forgotten God. He simply asks why we don’t obey the Spirit and follow Him as we should. He challenges the believer to toss aside their desire for a “safe” life and pray boldly, live boldly, and respond to the Spirit’s call.

I read a lot of books, but I highly recommend Forgotten God. It’s powerful and it will move and convict you to respond and walk with the Spirit so the world can truly see God in you.