Chapter One* 01.01 *
^ what's your point? ^
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed,
but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be
exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. [Philippians 1:20]
It all starts here. Before you can go any further
you have to understand this one main point.
Ready? From this point on EVERYTHING
COUNTS. Everything you do, do as a servant
of God. Everywhere you go, go with God at your side. Every person you
meet, greet them as a child of God. You have to be willing to give the
whole sha-bang of your being to this journey, or else you 're just reading
words. Got that? The one thing you have that no one can ever take
away from you is you. No one can ever TAKE it-but you can give it
away. That's hard. But once you give all that you are to God, you will
begin an adventure like nothing you've ever experienced.
When you pray
ask God to use all
of you-all your
talents, all your mind, all your heart. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Ask God
to use all of you so that no part of your mind, body, and soul will go unused.
Ask-and then listen.
^[OZ says:] An overweening consideration for ourselves
is the thing that keeps us from that decision, though we put it
that we are considering others. When we consider what it will
cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does
not know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He
does know. Shut out every other consideration and keep
yourself before God for this one thing only-My Utmost for His
Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely
for Him and for him alone.
GOD FIRST. GOD LAST.
GOD IN ALL THINGS.
GOD IN ALL WAYS.
CAN YOU HANDLE THAT? OKAY THEN, LET'S GO.
* 01.02 *
^ road trip ^
. Abraham . obeyed and went, even though
he did not know where he was going. [Hebrews 11:8]
Toss the map. It won't do you any good
on this journey. Journey? This is more
like an adventure. Pack light 'cause you
don't know what you'll need. You are
venturing out on the 100 percent grace of God. You don't get to
know where until you get there. You don't know what you're going to
see until you see it. Is that a scary way to travel? For some, yes. For
others, it's the only way. On this particular road trip it's essential.
> JUST BETWEEN YOU AND GOD
^ [OZ says:] Each morning you wake
it is to be a "going out," building in confidence on God .
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does
not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in
a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until
you are not surprised an atom at anything He does? Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him-what an
impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual going out in
dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it, which is
a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.
CLOSE YOUR EYES.
TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF
YOU AIN'T IN CHARGE
THIS TIME, SPARKY.
* 01.03 *
^ the thunder rolls ^
Clouds and thick darkness surround him . [Psalm 97:2]
These are more than just words. Jesus was more
than just a really nice guy who told nice stories
about nice things. There comes a point where the
words become real, and then the very real sense of
just who this man was settles into our minds. It's like a storm that's
out there someplace and we are just beginning to hear the thunder
or smell the wind. We come up with all sorts of ways to deal with our
understanding of Jesus. We paint pictures and write songs. We create
wonderful visuals of Jesus standing with his arm around our shoulder.
Jesus as our friend is only the beginning. There's so much more. The
sheer awesomeness is a light so bright it could knock us to the ground.
(That actually happened to a few people in the Bible.)
Offer a prayer.
Maybe you can
even get on your
knees for this
one. See him as
more than a buddy. He is your only God. Did you create a universe; put the stars in
place; dig out the space for the oceans and mold the mountains? When you close this
book and pray, remember that
you are praying to the one who
did all these things.
^ [OZ says:] . The only possibility of understanding the
teaching of Jesus is by the light of the Spirit of God on the inside.
If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace
religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and
getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach
God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His
presence. The people who are flippant and familiar are those
who have never yet been introduced to Jesus Christ. After the
amazing delight and liberty of realizing what Jesus Christ does, comes the impenetrable darkness of realizing Who He is.
THIS IS DEEPER THAN YOU
THINK. THIS IS ALL FAR
FROM OVER. YOU MAY BE
IN OVER YOUR HEAD.
DO YOU WANT TO GET WET?
* 01.04 *
^ do not pass go ^
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." [John 13:37]
Imagine your life as an airline
pilot. You're sitting behind
the controls reviewing your
checklist. Every instrument is
in order. Every gauge is working. Now you must sit and wait for
clearance from the tower. It's completely normal to want to throw
the throttle and take off down the runway, but God must give you
the clearance. Wait. Listen to the comforting hum of the engines.
You're ready. God knows that. Listen for the signal. Timing is everything.
Just because you're ready to take off doesn't mean you can.
Just because the road is clear ahead of you doesn't mean it's safe.
You promised you would trust him, remember? So relax for a minute.
Ask God when to go. He will let you know when the time is right.
AND GOD <
This time ask God
for patience. Ask
him to help you
learn how to wait.
That's a hard thing for some people. Ask God to show you the right path when HE
wants you to see it, no matter how badly you want to get started. Ask him to light
the path and make it ready so you
won't stumble when you begin.
Pray that you will be ready for it
when it begins.
^ [OZ says:] There are times when you cannot understand
why you cannot do what you want to do. When God
brings the blank space, see that you do not fill it in,but wait. The blank space may come in order to teach you
what sanctification means, or it may come after
sanctification to teach you what service means. Never run
before God's guidance. If there is the slightest doubt,then He is not guiding. Whenever there is doubt-don't.
GOD KNOWS WHEN.
HE'LL TELL YOU.
* 01.05 *
^ when you 're all done .
you can start ^
Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later." [John 13:36]
There is a brief moment, before you jump off the
bungee platform, when you are fully aware of your
situation. Nothing you can do at that moment will
prepare you for what is about to happen. Entering
into a friendship with God is like this. All your preconceived notions
are meaningless. You are about to fall under the control of the Holy
Spirit. Every cell of your being lights up. Jesus said, "Follow me." He
didn't say mostly, or nearly completely, he just said, "Follow me." Up
until now you have relied on your own beliefs, attitudes, talents, and
ideas. Ditch them. Jesus wants your complete and total devotion.
When you close
this book, pray
that you areclosing the book
that has held you back until now. Ask God's forgiveness and start fresh. It's all new, a
new beginning. Close the book on the
past and pray that you will follow Jesus
with your heart, mind, and soul.
^ [OZ says:] No matter what changes God has
wrought in you, never rely upon them; build only on a
Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives. All
our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no
power to carry them out. When we have come to the end of
ourselves, not in imagination but really, we are able to
receive the Holy Spirit. "Receive ye the Holy Ghost"-the idea is
that of invasion. There is only one lodestar in the
life now, the Lord Jesus Christ.