For some reason unknown to even me, I started posting some of the thoughts I have had as I’ve been reading John Eldredge’s Waking the Dead. It started, I guess, because I had already been thinking about some of these things. Without restating everything, I felt that his rather dramatic presentation in Chapter 2 may just encourage those people who already have an overactive sense of “spiritual drama,” where everything is a spiritual battle, and their lives always “hang in the balance.”
Well, I finally made it into Part 3, and I have to say, Waking the Dead is finally the book I expected it to be, and already I am telling people, “everyone needs to read this book.”
First, he – in a different way, of course – made the same point I was making: “Reach for the stars; follow your dreams; find yourself. It’s not that the advice is bad; it is, however, woefully inadequate.” I would have really liked him to have made this point earlier when he was first discussing the messages of myth, but I’m glad he said it. It’s not enough to pump people up with expectation, even if there’s truth there. In Chapter 6, Eldredge finally gets around to finishing out the picture, discussing the necessity of adding wisdom and revelation and “developing a discerning heart.” He warns that “Many things are trying to play upon … the heart,” something that many Christians seem oblivious to. In just this chapter he speaks enough truth to set many people free from religion, manipulation, guilt and condemnation.
It’s good stuff, and I can feel life flowing back into places that I haven’t felt in a while. Now, nothing I have read is really new to me, but the cool thing about real truth is that it doesn’t get old. We get old, and we get cold – and we need to hear the Good News again and again, because everything in the world tells us something different.
Again, this is good stuff. I may have completely misunderstood his direction; at least, it didn’t seem like he was going where he seems to be going now. Regardless of who was off track, it seems Eldredge and I have turned a corner and I like the direction we’re heading.
Brandon, appreciate your comments. The quote of mine you refer to is actually in another post, my Final thoughts on Eldredge.
My question was rhetorical, meant to point out either bad language, or bad theology. I understand that God never leaves us. However, we don’t leave Him “by the sins of the flesh” as you point out. Our relationship with God is not as weak as that. Our experience may change, but our relationship is based on what Jesus did for us, not anything we do. We cannot “cover ourselves with the blood” – it is not something that we can do. Again, it’s either bad theology or bad language.
“”His 2nd paragraph starts out, “I cover myself with your blood…” and he proceeds to ask the Holy Spirit to restore his union with God. How is this Biblical? How can I cover myself in Jesus’ blood? or do it again? And just why do I need to have my relationship with God restored daily? Did God leave overnight?””
I appreciate your question and will try to answer is as best I understand it.
By this paragraph I think John is trying to communicate that it’s not God that leaves us daily, but we that leave Him. We leave through our sins of the flesh. Without really trying, we turn to ourselves during the day, trusting in our own knowledge, relying on ourselves and just generally reverting to our own funkiness. By asking God to restore our union with Him, we are asking to be restored daily into fellowship with Him. Covering ourselves with the blood of Jesus, is the cry for the forgiveness of our Father, the washing away of our sins on a daily basis. Truly realizing our state, a sinful one that would quite cleanly drag us into Hell if we failed to see our need for Jesus and His salvation. Acknowledgement of who we were, our constant fight against sin, and our appreciation of the good news that through Jesus we are redeemed and made righteous in Christ should be a part of our every day prayers. We, who have accepted Jesus as our savior, have been made a new creation true, but none of us are perfect of course, and left to our own devices we have a tendency to fall into sin. By pleading the blood of Jesus over our lives, spirit body and soul, we are genuinely seeking that cleansing of Christ that only his shed blood can provide. Sin is transgression of the Law. Even on my best day, I’m sure I manage to break at least on of the Ten Commandments. I think John Eldredge feels the same way and through his Daily prayer for freedom he seems to me to be simply submitting himself to Christ and crying out for the forgiveness of his Lord and Master.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them! -Revelation 12:10-12
We cover ourselves with the blood of Jesus, just as we put on the whole armor of God, Eph.6 Just as we die to self, Luke 14. and so on.
As I stated before, I appreciate your question and I pray I have answered it appropriately.
hey there…read Eldredges stuff. loved it.
yah…the whole band of brothers thing gets a bit tired, especially cuz i have way more estrogen..but…i love the fresh wind that blew thru and perked up my tired religion-battered heart.
another good one…short easy read: The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus. he pastors Mosaic church out in the southwest somewhere…