“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 5

If you have read my posts up until this point. The first chapter was an amazing introduction. The next three chapters slowly introduces new concepts and gently discusses various topics. Then came chapter 5.

Louis hits the peddle like being in a drag car doing a 4 second quarter mile. He builds upon what has been discussed and opens up.

Time to put on the helmet and get down to business. At the time of writing. I have yet to read any other chapters. This was a soul moving chapter. Ever read something and the Holy Spirit has your full attention…yeah that!

God was silent for 400 years before Jesus was born. Not a peep, a miracle NOTHING! There were a few angels sent a few months before and a few instances about Jesus.

As the book mentioned. We take for granted going from Malachi to Matthew I the Bible. We don’t have to wait 400 years. Does make me think about Gods people during that time?

The chapter introduces the concept of camping at the cross. It talks about the gruesome death Jesus did for each of us. God the father sent his only son, who until his birth on earth, was in perfect unity.

To have your Heavenly Father forsake, even for a split second, compared to eternity was a long time.

Jesus knew of our pain…

Jesus knew what it was to be forsaken by His Almighty Father. Abandoned. Naked. Beaten. Wounded. Rejected. That’s how Jesus died. When He died, Jesus made good on the hope set forth in Malachi’s last prophetic bridge to the future. Now, through Christ, God could forgive you. Cover your sins, cancel your debt, and cast away your shame forever. Raise you with Christ to new life and call you son or daughter. Jesus was forsaken so that you would never have to be forsaken! That’s the significance of the title of this book. Thanks to the cross, you are not forsaken.

I had never thought in-depth how Jesus could relate to every pain. When he was on the cross, he felt shame, was alone, and everything else that is not holy. That moment in eternity God dealt with our shortcomings.

This statement wants me to stand on a top of a table, dance around and celebrate. Shout to the heavens and say thank you. Regardless of what is happening or will happen, my father in heaven has got my back through is son. There are no exceptions. The enemy knows this and tries to tempt and distract us.

Chapter five removes the restraints:

“dad you must return to the cross of Christ again and again.”

If you have issues with your earthly father. We must return to the cross. The sacrifice Jesus did heals all. We have to nail to the cross. All hurt, all pain, all suffering Jesus did already and he wants us to give our hurts and hang ups to him.

Leave at the cross. His blood covers us and gives atonement for us before our Heavenly Father. This is a powerful concept. If you sin over and over, return to the cross. Hand to Jesus and his love that covers all and we can’t grasp how much he loves his creation.

Having such a person with complete authority, understanding and love for us. That is such a blessing and a reminder I needed to hear. At times I struggle with stuff, such as “imposter syndrome” what is something so deep you don’t want to share publicly?

I struggle with _______ so bad and I want God to take from me. Are you ready to let go or are you not ready to give it up because it feels so comfortable even though it is a sin. Anger? Bitterness? Abuse? Jealousy? Return to the cross. God opened a door to remove that pain, whatever it is.

Chapter 5 brings the cross and sacrifice front and center. God was us to stay there until all our hurt is gone. When we are healed, we can help others so much more effectively. We don’t need to be perfectly healed to help others. It is a journey.

“The cross of Christ is proof that God can take the worst and bring something good from it.”

The “murder” on the cross was wrong by any standard. An innocent man died an gruesome two pieces of wood. He did that for each of us. I recall watching the movie “Passion of Christ”.

My emotions turned to anger wanting to punish the soldiers and people in authority. God ordained these actions to restore a way for his creation to have a relationship again. It took this level of suffering. We all avoided having to go through eternity paying for our sinful nature. We should praise Jesus and thank him always! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

As I conclude this post, this was a powerful chapter and the Holy Spirit moved in me. I can not imagine what will be revealed to come!

On to chapter 6…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 4

Chapter 4 is another “setup chapter and introduces various “father” types that we could have had or experienced ( i.e. performance where love was conditional based on some metric, grades, how you performed in athletics) in your life.

I did not relate personally to examples listed in the book. I have seen others in my life who fit the descriptions. The stress created on my friends or people I associated with, they didn’t have a unconditional love from the father figure in their life.

The chapter also sets up and introduces “wounds” left from one of the types mentioned in chapter 4. For us to heal and truly fall deep in love. We need to face any shortcomings we associate with our earthly father that could impact us from fully grasping our Heavenly Father. Some people when faced with past hurts don’t truly deal with it.

We mask or try to bury by making statements such as “I’m fine” or “I have forgotten him and it no longer impacts me”

This can be true in some cases where forgiveness has been given in our hearts. That helps but if we have hidden things left unsaid or not dealt with. The enemy will use that against us.

The book touched on wounds and this statement summed up dealing with wounds.

“First, you have to take serious stock of your wounds. I don’t believe, as some do, that the driving factor in all our lives are our “daddy wounds.” I don’t believe every single person has been broken by their earthly dad. Yet, father wounds are real, and for some these wounds are the dominating factor shaping how they view themselves and relate to others.”

For me personally. I didn’t have much unforgiveness in my heart towards my earthly father. My trouble as I became a Christian was accepting my Heavenly Father and his role in my walk. I mentioned in previous posts of trinity, the Heavenly Father role I didn’t get and to some degree I am still learning. Maybe that is why I am teaching this class and learning at the same time.

This book is helping me grow closer as well as I am studying Paul. Jesus used Paul in amazing ways. This is a shorter post but i get the sense upcoming chapter will fully reveal Gods power and further reveal him to us through scripture and open our eyes further.

ABBA my hope as others read through the rest of the book, any hidden wounds are revealed.

Here is a poem called wounds from my second devotional book

Day 40—Wounds

Scripture : John 19:16-30 Poem

Wounds can be physical. Wounds can be mental. Wounds can be eternal. Wounds alter the normal. Wounds alter the original design. Wounds can be to you. Wounds can be to other people. Wounds can change how people perceive. Wounds can change how people act. Wounds take many shapes and sizes.

After a while, you believe the negative thoughts, and it feels like an open wound.
Until we face these wounds, in whatever shape they come. We can’t come to grips with those wounds, and heal. Handing over wounds to Jesus Is a life-changing experience

When you truly forgive wounds, they hurt no more. Yes, if they are physical, they are still there. Jesus shows us that forgiveness is a blessing, Even though this is NOT easy to do.

When you and Jesus work together, Wounds become less apparent, and heal.
“Thank you Jesus, For helping heal my wounds!” Amen!

Story Behind the Poem

I don’t remember the inspiration for this story. When I was writing my first book, 52 Pickup: These are the words I give to you to share with everyone, I reviewed the manuscript over and over. When I came to this story, which was in the original 52 Pickup manuscript, at one point, it didn’t quite seem to fit. After a while, I replaced it with a different story called Perspective. When I realized the theme of Remember the Nails, 40 days of doing something uncomfortable on purpose, this was one of the first stories that came to mind, because it would fit in perfectly. Jesus was permanently wounded and suffered for us, because he loved us. Wounds ARE uncomfortable! I could finally see why this poem didn’t fit before – it was supposed to go in this book instead. I love how that happened! If you have a wound, I hope when you look at it, Jesus has Wounds and he did it for you.

On to chapter 5…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 3

This chapter listed several descriptions of who God can be but would be limiting. I could not believe all the various traits God has about himself but above all else. He is our Father. Jesus ministry discusses this several times.

When reading the various traits and roles God plays covered in beginning of the chapter.

  • Creator
  • Ultimate Judge
  • He is Love, light
  • Among many other things

This got me thinking about my own dad and his roles:

  • Dad to five kids
  • Husband for 59 years
  • Farmer in his later years
  • Truck driver
  • Store clerk
  • Friend, brother, uncle, cousin
  • And he own multiple businesses

My dad was humble and came from the generation that worked. He came from a poor but loving up bringing. By his own admission, it was not always easy but that is all he knew. He said I moved 7 times in one year. My kids are going to grow up in the same house. I got to experience that stability and my other brothers and sisters to this house on county farm when they were young. This upbringing allowed stability in my early years.

As I read chapter three. God introduced more the “father” role which as I listed many traits for my dad, not as many as our Heavenly Father of course.

Jesus covers in John 14:6 “no one comes to the father except through me”. This is important to know and affirms we need to accept Christ as our savior before we can truly have an eternal relationship with God. This statement might not make everyone feel comfortable at first but as you learn while walking with Christ, Gods love is not like an earthly father. It is perfect and we were created to have a relationship with him, as we are made in his image.

“189 times God is mentioned in the Gospels”. Jesus wanted us to be clear we have a Heavenly Father who loves and what his role is in our lives. He fully submitted his role on earth and wanted to do His fathers will, not his.

His will can free us and here is a bold statement said with the authority that only comes from God;

“that the knowledge of our identity as sons and daughters of God unlocks prison doors, heals wounds, and propels us into greater purpose in our lives.”

This is powerful statement and one that shook me and will share during the class.

Much of this chapter introduced God as the father figure, the perfect father.

“In Romans 8:15, the Bible says we, as believers, can use this same title when addressing God: Abba.”

I have heard the term ABBA as one way to address God the father and didn’t really grasp until reading this chapter. A former lead pastor of mine frequently will address in his online posts..ABBA help!

I thought that was kinda of weird to use that description or name for God the father. My eyes were opened during this chapter and I am glad for that new perspective.

To wrap up…Our Heavenly Father is the perfect father, unlike our earthly father, if you had one or not. ABBA is there and loves you more than you know. We just need to accept and grow to realize that, for some that might take the rest of their lives.

On to chapter 4.

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 2

Louis did an excellent job kicking off his book. He starts chapter 2 with a BIG question…

The most important thing about you is what you think about when you think about God?

This question came from “A. W. Tozer. In his well-known book The Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer says it this way: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

I pondered for a while how I would answer. I struggled early in my walk understanding the trinity. I “got” Jesus role as well as the Holy Spirit.

The “father” role was a bit distant and while I didn’t have a negative perception on the Fathers role when it applied to my personal walk.

There was more understanding I needed to learn. I never compared my earthly father experiences to our Heavenly Father. Louis covers several examples of the “type” of God is…for example, some see God the father as an old guy who could look like Santa, is really nice but not fully in touch with that is happening today. There are others like “Angry God” etc…

God the father covers his role in Colossians 1:16, “All things were made by him and for him.”

That statement on face value seems arrogant as I first read it without a better understanding of our Heavenly Father.

Going back to the original question asked at the top. Our mental image of God goes along way in either helping or hurting our walk. I never thought of it that way until reading this book.

That is a deep question and something I will be praying for help in removing any previous thoughts about our Heavenly Father involved in my life and make sure the accurate image is revealed vs. any preconceived notions.

Another true statement worth chewing on is:

“That’s why God is constantly in the process of revealing Himself. Through His Word, through creation, through the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, and yes, through the influence of godly people around us, God is constantly showing us who He is. God knows the stakes are high because if we don’t know who He truly is, then we could spend our whole lives with the wrong idea of God in mind, living out our days on earth trying to respond to a flawed image of God. That can cause any number of problems.

As I have continued my walk, God reveals new ways of himself that surprise me. A few years back, I was confused by the fathers role in the trinity. I prayed for God to make it simple yet something that would accurately describe each part of the trinity. His answer was:

  • God the father – architect, authority and creator
  • Jesus – operations manager, authority
  • Holy Spirit – daily support manager, authority.

If that seems simple, it is. I have worked in Information technology for 20+ years. I asked him to make simple for me to understand. God is WAY more than what I shared. I know this and get it.

The answer removed barriers in my walk at the time. I encourage anyone with tough questions for God, ask him he is a big boy?!

One of the top Things of chapter two is: The number one image of God that Jesus paints for us again and again is that God is a Father. He is our perfect Abba Father.

On to chapter 3…

“Not Forsaken” book by Louis Giglio chapter 1

I am studying a book by Louis Giglio ( Not Forsaken ) The book covers helping a person grow in their relationship with God ( Heavenly Father).

This post covers the first chapter thoughts and observations plus some personal thoughts about my earthly father that surfaced while reading this chapter. I will use these notes for later when we study.

Louis covers examples of how we have a deep desire for our fathers approval, not everyone growing up had a father or father figure and if a person did, it might not be the most positive.

My dad was “there”. He was at my games, allowed me to be a kid, he was an encourager in his own way while my mom was providing that “mom type love reassuring me it would be ok”.

My memories described by Louis are generally positive and helped me shape the person I am today. There were times I didn’t agree with my dad yet as experience and growing older, my dad was right even though at the time my pride would say otherwise. My dad was the typical “man” of his era. He was a self starter. He started and owned multiple businesses, involved in the community, enjoyed outdoors ( hunting deer and at my uncles in Wyoming).

My dad was mechanically inclined, there wasn’t much he couldn’t do from my perspective. One of his self professed weakness was his lack of formal education. He always encouraged me to go to college to help in my life. He would say “ I am a worker, do what is necessary to get it done”

Now that I am an adult. I appreciate my parents for their love and encouragement when looking back. I hope my grown kids have similar positive experiences about their childhood.

As I was reading through the first chapter, many examples came to mind, which was refreshing and brought back good memories. As of this writing, my dad has been gone for about three years. It seems like yesterday he was still there and providing advice.

One of the frequent items I was reminded while reading chapter one. Up until my early 30s, I would frequently seek a “final approval” from my parents when making big decisions in my life at the time. I don’t think that urge to seek your parents input ever goes away. As I have gotten older, their wisdom is more appreciated.

As I continue my walk with the Lord. I seek his advice through prayer and studying of his word. So much of what I failed in my earlier life. I went about the journey by myself without seeking advice from my parents or involving God. That might seem “odd” yet God has been a blessing as I involve him in the most basic and trivial times of my daily life. He wants to be involved.

Here a few highlights I pulled from the book:

God the father wants you to:

“And He wants you to live fearless and free. He always stands poised and ready to take a step toward you. You just need do it”

Psalm 27:10 is referenced:

“Even if my mother and father leave me, the Lord will take me in.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:10‬ ‭ERV‬‬
https://www.bible.com/406/psa.27.10.erv

When a person grows up without a father figure or has a bad experience regardless of the situation. Gods word clearly describes our Heavenly Father will not leave us nor abandon us in any situation.

I found in Matthew and Mark covers when Jesus was dying on the cross and says “father why have you forsaken me” Matthew 27:45-46 and Mark 15:33-41. Luke and John don’t cover these specific words but accounts are at Luke 23:44-49 and John 19:28-30.

I had a feeling of deep dispair when reading the scripture references. At that moment in eternal time. Jesus was sin and to re-establish the connection between his creation and himself, that was a necessary step for the father although it grieved him greatly.

It also allowed Jesus to relate to everyone . He knows every sin and daily struggle. When Jesus “knows” what we are going through. It was that defining moment where our sins were nailed to the cross.

Even in our own depravity, God the father loves us and won’t forsake and abandon us ever. This observation is my own discernment and how I interpreted the passages.

As part of this study, I would encourage each person to read the four accounts in the gospels the moment Jesus was dying on the cross. It was humbling and appreciative of Jesus sacrifice.

In conclusion, Louis did a good job in setting up the chapter. I liked his statement:

“after a small and uneasy moment while you begin to loosen your grip on whatever you’re using to cope with the absence of your father’s blessing, you’ll take that tiny jump, and you’ll find your heart laughing in the arms of a Father who is offering you the best blessing you could ever know.”

This sums up when taking a leap of faith, you might not be sure at first and speaking from recent experience, I can attest this is true.

One final example that happened the same week I started studying this book:

“Do you complain?

…if you do, your friends don’t like to hear it…your enemies love it….James Schofield ( my fathers words) from the 1980s”

Longer story…

“I have a friend I get to meet each week and deliver a care package of food through City Church Greenville (MI) food ministry.

When I pulled into the driveway on the day I normally deliver, my friends spouse was home. He is normally working a part time job. I sensed a need to pray or seek wisdom from him.

We chatted, prayed as normal and about the time I was ready to leave, he commented…there is one thing that “your dad” told me years ago that has stuck with me….then he shared the phrase above…

I was instantly choking up knowing these words of wisdom are from my earthly father, who is no longer with us ( my dad passed in Oct 2017) yet his wisdom is still alive and well…that was extra special…And seems to apply to today’s culture.

Hope this provides perspective today.”

On to chapter 2.

Serving where we are called, listening to the spirit and saying NO.

 

Are you serving in the right ministry? Are you burnout? Do you feel guilty?  Having a hard time changing?  People serving in a church or community seek some type of validation or satisfaction for their efforts.   When we are unsure where we belong, we hesitant to commit. 

Ive been serving at my local church in a variety of volunteer positions.  This includes different leadership, some experienced, some it was their first ministry.  Regardless of the assignment, there is uncertainty during transitions.   Im no expert and the longer I serve, the less Ill declare any knowledge of whats the right approach as a lay person.

During last couple of years, Ive primarily did personal studies in the Old Testament, mainly minor prophets.  The perspective and examples given by each of these prophets is amazing and worth studying.   I do my best where Im called.  Sometimes my passion gets the best of me and the spirit needs to slow me down.  

For years, Ive prayed for direction and with my recent change of seasons in life ( all my kids graduated from High School).  My free time increased allowing for flexibility in serving.  The Lord called me to help in Childrens ministry.  Regardless of the call, serving in the ministry or position the Spirit has led you is rewarding.  I dont know how long Ill serve or help where Im called.  When its time to move on, either a different ministry or church, all I ask is God makes it clear. 

Whats the point of serving?  One of the main reasons is gets the focus off ourselves and onto others.   The current book Im serving, Ezekiel was called to the Lords voice to his people during some tough times, Israel had fallen away from following God and Jerusalem was being destroyed for the rebellion.   During this time, God kept Ezekiel quiet for 7 years, (YES 7 YEARS).   As we serve, I draw on scripture for strength and examples.   When seasons of life change and we get a discontent or unsure of our call.  Look at examples in scripture.   There are other examples such as Joseph in Genesis 39, 40.   Paul in Jail and singing (yes singing).   As we hopefully get more wisdom in our older years, we look at examples in scripture to help guide us and have patience, in things we do.  

NOW, to address NO in the title.  We cant be afraid to say no when seeking to serve.   I encourage people to try different things, dont be afraid to fail and move around.   Try different churches, worship styles and find your church home. 

How big are chains when we ask God to break them?

I was praying recently for a few various people, including some of my own asks. I got this incredible picture of a chain that I couldn’t get out of my mind. Have you ever tried to find a picture to describe what you are seeing in your mind. Here is a sample, notice the guy looks very small compared to the chains. I’m sure the chains we have acquired in the spiritual realm are much larger, but you get the idea. The good thing, God can break chains this big or even bigger!

In Luke 4:18, Luke talks about “..Set the captives free..”. Since we are born with a sin nature. We inherently have chains based on that nature. Jesus was in Heaven, came as a baby and became an adult to spread his ministry. Part of this was suffering a criminal’s death and died on the Cross. He provided everyone a way to re-establish a connection or “chain” connected to the father.

Blood covering of protection poster

This post contains contact information to obtain a poster of Blood Covering of Protection. All profits from the poster will be shared with ministries, God willing all will be sent to Wellsprings Freedom of International. For a 24 x 18, they are $100 + shipping. A movie size poster 36″ x 24″ are $125 + shipping. Each poster includes a copy ofSeek : Lead more by example, less by opinion. Feel free to contact me at steve.schofield@gmail.com