What if, the next time you prayed, you simply said, “Father”? How would that one word change your prayer life?
It’s been more than 5 years since I heard Dave Hickman suggest this idea to more than 500 young adults at a CharlotteONE service. But, the suggestion stuck, and I now practice it reguarly, because allowing myself the… informality of calling the God of the Universe, Father, opened an entirely new level of my relationship with Him.
So, when Hickman asked me to review his first book, Closer than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ, I immediately said “yes”.
My next thought was… Crap. What if I hate it?
Y’all, here’s the thing about my reviews, and me personally. I don’t say anything that isn’t true. Now, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and often times hold back words (Yes, I do. Stop laughing certain people who know me!) but I’m going to be truthful when I do speak.
Lucky ducky for one and all, I really enjoyed, and learned from, Closer than Close. The premise of the book intrigued me: Sometimes it seems as if Christianity overpowers and underdelivers. A relationship with Jesus sounds great, but what does it mean? Disappointment and anxiety settle in as we strive to draw close to a God who often seems out of reach. … Where we imagine a relationship between two individuals, God invites us into something infinitely more intimate: union with Christ.
Just as Hickman captured my attention with a practical lesson in prayer five years ago, he captured my attention with the idea that I’m already as close to Christ as I can possibly be.
What if all my striving to have a longer quiet time, pushing to volunteer more, and doubting my own value in the eyes of my Creator were nothing more than Satan’s tactics to keep me from experiencing a peace that surpasses understanding?
What if all I actually needed to experience Christ was to sit in union with the Holy Spirit with whom I’ve been unified since I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was six years old?
Would my faith grow more and my joy soak the world around me?
These are the questions I prayerfully pondered while I read Closer than Close. And, I continue to ponder them. To me, that’s what makes Hickman’s first book one to purchase and read each year. It’s almost a gut check. We live in a world where achievement matters much more than character. We need only turn on our televisions to see who we’re electing to run our country to know how far we are from what Christ created.
Similar to Brother Lawrence’s impeccable life lessons we learn in The Practice of the Presence of God, Hickman invites us to practice steps to realize the fullness of our relationship with Jesus.
This book will be available August 1, 2016 so go ahead and purchase it now. Hickman will be doing lots of fun things throughout the next few weeks so follow him on Twitter and Facebook to be part of his book launch too!