[b]~Walking Where Giants Have Walked~[/b]
"Walking where giants have walked"- this is what I heard so clearly
before I woke up in the middle of the night. I wrote it down so I wouldn't
forget it. Just that day I had bought a stack of christian "classics"
at a great sale. I consider these classics to be written by "spiritual giants".
Funny that the Lord would wake me up with these words because
for the past almost two years I have been on a journey of reading the Christian
classics. Those books written anywhere between the 1600's to the
middle 1900's. I have been reading Oswald Chambers for my devotional for the
past three years and I haven't found one that compares to it. I have
been reading Pilgrim's Progress with my kids this year (explaining alot to my
7 yr. old). The wisdom that we get out of such a great book written so long
ago is unbelievable. Explaining to my kids about "Vanity Fair" and that we
need to to beware that we don't get sidetracked there; describing Christian's
bravery continuing to walk "the Path" no matter who or what tries to persuade him.
Do you know what I see when I look at most of the popular Christian books today?
The dumbing down of christianity.
Today's popular christian books are definitely big sellers but what are they selling
the believer? When I compare the content of the classics with most of todays
popular "fare"- you have deep and meaningful- then you have lukewarm,
motivational speech, ear candy.
Most of the classics cover subjects such as: the cross, surrender, prayer
and meditation on the Lord, obedience, and humility. They are all about growing deeper
in the Lord, seeking out His will and pleasing Him.
Today the books seem to be all about us and God; our problems, what do we need from
the Lord- and how to get it.
Many of the popular books today are great for a person who is "seeking" or new in their
faith, but as growing and maturing Christians, we need "meat" not milk. We need
writings that cause us to dig deeper, go to the next level in our walk with the Lord,
cause us to surrender more fully to our Lord. We do not need reassurance that what we
are already doing is ok or that we ourselves are ok. We need to grow and flourish.
Because the new books that keep coming out are serving up mediocrity time after
time (and there seems to be no other alternative) then what do we expect will become of
the people reading them? Mediocre Christians.
When I first started reading the classics, I read things that my flesh didn't like.
I read things that made me put the book down and have to chew on it for awhile (that's
how you know it's meat!), that made me really look at my heart and my motives.
This is a good thing! I need that, we all need that!
My 13 yr. old daughter was reading the back cover of a current popular book-
and do you know what she said after finishing each paragraph? "Christian City,
Christian City, Christian City". I thank God that I have taught her the difference between
the things of "religiosity" and "following the narrow path". (If you've read Escape
from Christendom by Robert Burnell you'll get the "Christain City" thing.)
The sad thing is that there may be a whole lot of hungry believers out
there that just keep getting served "religiosity" and "mediocrity"; and because
they don't know any alternative, they eat it up. They are stagnant in their walk with
the Lord and don't know why- after all, they are reading all the "right books".
There is an alternative. Go back and read some of the writings and biographies of great
writers of the past -before Christianity was showing as much lukewarmness as it is now.
Dig a little deeper, go a little higher, follow the path a little closer.
Walk where (spiritual) giants have walked.
As I've been waiting for confirmation to this statement from the Lord :
"Walking where giants have walked", just yesterday I came across the author Warren Wiersbe
who wrote a book entitled "Walking With the Giants". It just so happens that his book is about
reading and learning from the past spiritual giants. John Piper recommended his book.
Warren Wiersbe actually pastored a church in our area in the 60's. What a coincidence!
Some of my favorite spiritual giants:
Hannah W. Smith
Thomas A Kempis
I will admit that I am a big fan of John Piper who is alive and well and doing a
great job of promoting the message that
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him".
[i]I just wanted to share again this excellent article that chanin (moreofhim) wrote on her site:[/i]
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon