Remember that line from the hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"? "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." Jason Clark, inspired by his grandmother, prefers to sing, "Prone to Love you, Lord I feel it, Prone to serve the God I love." In Prone to Love, Clark develops this sentiment, admonishing readers to see ourselves as God sees us.
How does God see us? He loves us. Simple as that. A passage in which Clark recounts a conversation with his son just about brought me to tears. His son asks, "Dad, how do you know when God is speaking to you; how do you know his presence?" Clark answers, "Bud, our heavenly Father's presence is always with us and He is always speaking to us. And He is always saying one thing: 'I love you.'" He continues, "Son, if you want to become more aware of His presence, it starts with believing that He loves you." What a powerful, simple message.
Clark reminds us that not only does God love us, no matter what, but he also has transformed us, implanting his nature in us. Now that we are new creations, we are prone to love, not prone to wander. We live in God's grace, which "releases us to see ourselves from His perspective and empowers us to live in agreement with how He sees us, as saints of the Highest one." Like the woman caught in adultery, we are to "go and sin no more." Grace is not a "license to sin," but an expectation that we are being transformed, becoming more like Jesus.
I love Clark's emphasis on grace and on seeing ourselves as God sees us. However, although he addresses the question of ongoing temptation and sin, I didn't feel like he adequately addresses the eternal question of sin in the lives of saints. I want to see myself as God sees me--a saint, prone to love--yet my life often looks like a sinner, prone to wander. I'm challenged to change my perspective by getting to know God. Clark writes, "If you know Love, you become love. If you become love, you don't have to try to love, you just love." How? Keeping my eyes on God and His perfect love. Spending time "in God's presence, in worship, prayer, and His Word." Simple and profound. Easy and hard.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
2016 Reading Challenge: A book that has a fruit of the Spirit in the title