Hacking the equation without the formulas...

I just finished this great book by Kyle Lake. He's the pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco Texas. His worship leader is David Crowder. Anyway, the idea behind this book is that God has an overall plan for our lives and that He is not into micromanaging. I've heard people say things like, "I was getting ready to go out today and I was asking the Lord if He wanted me to wear a hat." Well, I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure God doesn't care!! Use your frickin' brain! Is it sunny outside? Would your eyes benefit from the shade offered by a hat? Then WEAR A HAT MORON!!!! Anyway, sorry about that.... This book also spends some time studying the classic scriptures that people quote to say that God does have a specific plan for every minute of your life. For example, Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you....etc." When you look at the context of the scripture God was saying that He knew the long term plans for a whole community of people, not the individual plans for one person's everyday decisions. It's a pretty fascinating book. A very easy read, it's more like you are sharing in a conversation with Kyle than reading something he wrote. I highly recommend. You can get it for less than ten bucks by clicking below. Stop being cheap. Buy it.

Click HERE to pick up a copy!!!

UPDATE 10-30-05

Kyle Lake died in a tragic accident this morning. Pastor Kyle was electrocuted while reaching for a microphone during a Sunday morning baptismal service. He leaves behind his wife Jennifer, a 5 year old daughter, and twin 3 year old sons.

CLICK HERE for more information


lee said...

i've had this book on my desk for some time now, but it is up next on my to read list...

just 1 thing tho...

do ya' think that God wants me to wear a hat while reading it?

Sam said...

Hey Jimmy,
I know asking God whether or not you are supposed to wear a hat on any given day may seem miniscule, and it is, but i think there is a danger also that we do not go to God enough with the small decisions in our lives because we think we can do it ourselves. I also think that living in the spirit or practicing God's presence could simply mean talking to Him as you would a friend, a counselor, a father. While things can seem trivial, I feel like it is a mark of where someone is at in thier relationship with Christ. Though you have to admit that if we said, "Hey Jesus, does this shirt look okay on me? Does it match with these pants?" It would be a little funny. I get a distinct picture of JC smiling down at us with humor on his lips, a smile on his face as he answers, "Where the blue one, it will look better."

jimmy said...

I hear what you are saying Sam. I agree that we should be living life in God's presence and with God's influence on our lives.
My point is that there are many people who are too lazy, or to chicken to make a decision on something and use God as their excuse for not doing anything at all. They are parylized by their indecision and fear. God gave us a mind capable of creative thought, and it is our responsibility to make wise decisions.
On the other side of the spectrum is someone who makes all kinds of decisions and blames the consequences on God. We all know the guy that has gone out with girl after girl claiming to EACH ONE that God showed hime that she was THE ONE. Those kinds of people are effectively taking the Lord's name in vain.
As for me, I want to live a godly life, I want to make wise decisions, and I want to OWN them. If I make a wise decision thank God, if I make a poor decision, bummer, but I need to take responsibility for it too. That's all I'm saying.

ben said...

Preach it.

I got a chance to sit in on a seminar where Kyle Lake was speaking and I found that his NO-B.S. approach to christianity and following christ was about the most refreshing thing I'd heard in my whole christian life.

Also bro, I agree...let's stop blaming God for the poor decisions that we make...that having been said, I wish God would've advised my before I chose a Mohawk over Faux-hawk...

Sam said...

Well Jimmy,

I guess it is safe to say that there is a fine line to tread. There are extremes on either sides. Point well taken though.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jimmy---I just responded to your email. Hope you get it soon. Thanks for reading the book. I think when that phrase (by Bill Bright, I believe) was coined, "God has a plan for your life", it was said in the context of salvation...not whether or not God has a blueprint of your life stashed away that details every jot and tittle of every day, every turn, every decision. I'm under the impression the phrase "God's plan" has taken on a life of its own and has left many Christians paralyzed with fear. McLaren has a BEAUTIFUL line in the foreword where he uses the metaphor of film--hope you caught this--he says that many of us think our lives have already been shot and are "in the can" so to speak. Our only response, then, is to simply lip-synch our way through life according to the script that's already been written for us. Can you imagine how robotic and dehumanizing that would be?? If God's "plan" for our lives looks more like an architectural blueprint, perhaps we should renegotiate the term and find something else more useful. (And that's why I explored the context of Jer 29.11 in the appendix).
Again, thanks for taking the time to read and posting about it. Blessings--Kyle

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble in my crazy head trying to differentiate between God BEING detailed and CARING about the details but not MANAGING the details. I've always loved Psalm 37:23 "The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives." Can someone please help me make sense of this a little better. And don't tell me to read the book. I am.

jimmy said...

That's so crazy Gina. Katie and I have been arguing..... um, I mean discussing that very verse and the whole premise of this book for the last several hours. In any case, it's good to talk about the will of God, and to seek honest answers.

Brennecke said...

God knows all time past, present and future as now. to say that he knows your steps ahead of time and that he ordered them is not too different.

I am firmly convinced though that the least reliable thing anybody ever says is usually prefaced by, "God told me...".

The young man who thinks evrey girl he dates is God's ONE, is not always taking the Lord's name in vain. He could be under the impression that unless he has, "heard God" he is not permitted to date (been there). Since he is under this impression, he will pray, fast, and seek out fleeces until he finds a girl in a dream or a name that he can't get out of his head and then,"God told me..."

Sure God knows how our lives will go, and he knows what choices would be the right ones. I am not convinced that he is somehow obligated to share that information with us. He certainly guides us by the Holy Spirit, but he is not required to tell us what's ahead in every situation. Would a good father always tell you what to do, and what was ahead of you each day? Would a perfect father micromanage his children?

jimmy said...

After my "discussion" with Katie last night, and Gina's comment about Psalms 37.23 my mind was whirling. I contaced Kyle Lake, the author of the book and asked for his opinion. Here is his reply:

Jimmy, This is a tough conversation to dive into the middle of because at the heart of it is "how do you interpret scripture?" --contextually, 21st C. literally, etc...

I just ran over to The Message (which, keep in mind, is simply Eugene Peterson studying historical context, etc, then writing a contemporary translation--I like it a lot) and it reads,

"v20 God--despisers have had it; GOD's enemies are finished--Stripped bare like vineyards at harvest time, vanished like smoke in thin air.
v21 Wicked borrows and never returns; Righteous gives and gives.
v22 Generous gets it all in the end; Stingy is cut off at the pass.
v23 Stalwart walks in step with GOD; his path blazed by GOD, he's happy.
v24 If he stumbles, he's not down for long; GOD has a grip on his hand.
v25 I once was young, now I'm a graybeard--not once have I seen an abandoned believer, or his kids out roaming the streets.
v26 Every day he's out giving and lending, his children making him proud.
v27 Turn your back on evil, work for the good and don't quit."

Jimmy--in other words, within the context of this passage, (to me) this has a feel as though "the steps directed by God" are ethical conduct types of steps rather than which Starbuck's to have coffee at today type steps. I also think that you've got to keep that "inner dialogue" in mind when translating the Old Testament (Appendix A)...in other words, there's a particular mindset in place in Deuteronomy that most definitely was NOT in tact with Jesus and His disciples. i.e. a health and wealth gospel. I'm probably not making much sense here but I always encourage people to interpret scripture contextually rather than flippant, literal translations. If someone throws out a quick, flippant verse and their hermeneutic is always literal, then they really need to follow through and be consistent by stoning their children. (insert laugh here)


Thomas Costello said...

I have waited a couple of days to comment on this post because it is a tough one to wrap our minds around. I am with you all on that. My conclusion is this. It is a great word, although it should only be taken to heart by a few. It seems to me that for every one person who is paralyzed by fear to do the most menial tasks and missing Gods will, there are 10 other people who casually would like to hear gods will but live there life not truly seeking it. I know that I more often fall into the latter. Knowing Gods will can take a serious committment, and I am afraid that most of us don't put in the prayer and fasting needed to determine it. SO my thought is - if you are afraid to go out of the house, that you might miss gods best, then by all means live a little. But to the rest of us, who make god a casual part of our decision making process (we do what we want until God supernaturally steps in) we need to look at scripture and actively pursue to know his will. Thats hot.

ben said...

I think it's interesting that Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds in our history, set out to disprove the existance of God through Science but ended up proving the exact opposite and was quoted as saying "Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind."

The thing that I really find interesting from Einsteins belief in God is HOW he believed in God...

Einstein said..."I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings."

Personally, I tend to lean more toward a God who is more concerned with my ultimate spiritual condition - rather than the every day choices that I make.