Gleaning Between the Lines–A book review for “Audacious” by Beth Moore
I realized a few years ago that if it is based on the Word of God, that I could glean something from every sermon, even if the delivery was weak or I didn’t agree with each of the person’s points and/or opinions. Once I determined to do this, it has greatly helped me to set my mind on what is true, what lines up with the scriptures and what to decipher as personal opinion.
Having said that, I have gleaned a lot from Beth Moore’s books and have thoroughly enjoyed watching some of her videos. Her words have spoken to my soul and given me new resolve. In her new book, “Audacious”, I have been impressed by several things. The overall premise was basically spot-on in my opinion. However, I was also sorely disappointed. What I feel I gleaned from it were nuggets of reminders of things I have already learned and that boils down to: love God with wild abandon and that will influence you, help you, strengthen you and get you through the best times and the worst times of your life. He is there and your love remains and His love for you will stand ready when everything else has passed. Passed all earthly relationships, favor, jobs, money. Passed all heartache, resentment, disappointment, confusion, trials and storms.
Hopefully this will be a true ‘revelatory’ word for the readers of this book that have not yet experienced this great purpose and vision in life. Some Christians—more than I can probably imagine, have this perception that God wants all of us just to be happy and have great lives. If that isn’t happening the way that they envision, they feel that it must be something that they have done or left undone; to work harder or to be “better”. While God desires for His children to be happy, He is much more interested in our being holy. (1 Peter 1:15-16 “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” NIV) Whatever hail storms it takes to beat off all the veneer we have fooled ourselves with and reveal the true, rich wood underneath—He’s going to allow for our ultimate good. Sadly, like the rich young ruler who could not give up his riches for the sake of following Jesus, (He does not force us into anything) we walk away angry, disappointed, and unhappy. Grieving our lost “treasures” so much that we can’t see that our true treasure is standing behind all that we are wistfully looking at or pursuing, waiting for us to get it out of the way so we can see that he is reaching for us. All we can see is that our arms are empty.
Life’s battles have almost gotten the best of me. I have faced spiritual persecution, experienced cruel people “in the name of God” lie, cheat, abuse and be rude and mean to others who have laid down their lives for the gospel. There were times when I almost gave up hope, almost lost my mind as well as my faith but at the end of the bloody battles, Jesus wrapped me in His arms. This earthly life is worthless if we don’t have hope of a life beyond. That’s what Jesus is preparing us for and preparing for us. This earthly life crucified Him but didn’t defeat Him. He won the victory to give us eternal life. It won’t defeat us either unless we choose this life over eternal life.
This is the audacious vision that Beth Moore speaks about. He is with us in the nitty gritty. He is with us in the mess. He is with us in the mistake. He is still with us after the wrong choice. He never leaves nor forsakes us! When everything is stripped away—He is there.
The thing that left me disappointed with this book is that it seems unedited. Beth uses so many adjectives and metaphors to drive her point home that you almost forget what the original point was! Many, many words (and I love words and tend to be wordy) are used to draw a mental picture, but the mental picture I get is of a cluttered closet. I feel that if someone had greatly edited this book, it would have been a much easier and quicker read. Granted, it would have been much thinner but I feel, more dynamic.
Be audacious to Jesus and you will see that He is always giving audacious love to you. He IS audacious love.