I just finished reading The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges! 🎉 There are a few books I am taking my sweet time on, and somehow this one slipped into completion. I will be returning to it for the rest of my life if I believe Philippians 1:6. Hence, this week’s Wannabe Wednesday!
If you want to get serious about growing in your walk with Jesus, this book’s incredible: easy to approach, practical in wisdom and centered on Christ. “[I]ncisive,” is how Dr. Herbert Lockyer, Sr. introduces it in the foreward, as well as, “appealing, and conscience-stirring.”
Bridges is a classic voice in the world of great Christian books, but his name didn’t really stick for me until I read this post on my favorite blog for ladies who follow Christ. Shame that his name is so close to Jeff Bridges too. 😂 Every time I introduced the book to a friend I had to think about what if a cowboy glared at me beneath the brim of his dusty hat and commanded that I read this…it would be a good call anyhow.
Girl Talk Home, is written by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters, Nicole Whitacre, Janelle Bradshaw and Kristin Chesemore. They don’t post super frequently by any means, but I think I value it more for that.
Carolyn posted “The Kind of Young Women the Church Needs Most,” making a case for this kind of listening, putting pursuit to serving and sowing, rather than believing our ministry’s value rests solely in a megaphone.
She noted that Bridges only began writing books in his mid-forties—kind of brings some grounding to our obsession with having it all together at, oh I don’t know, even our early 30s. Makes it laughable to hope to be complete by the cusp of our 20s.
He may have gotten a late start, he told Joy, but he thought it was necessary to have gone through all he had experienced in order to be able to write what God had called him to write.
I, for one, am grateful that Jerry Bridges wasn’t writing books in his twenties. His biblical wisdom is valuable precisely because it has been refined for years in the daily grind of obscure obedience. He didn’t write fresh out of a trial or high off an accomplishment. He learned his lessons slowly, over decades of walking faithfully with God, with no one watching or publishing.
While reading many great Christian blogs/websites, I constantly find references to verses that give very direct guidance. This rule of blog-scouring (cough, and scriptural authority) ought to convince me to read my Bible with much more intention during planned times, but the truth is I pile on the distractions. Most posts and even books written on how to read the Bible involve just a few directions to diligence, since the Spirit is who causes the shift in a heart and makes what was previously unclear precious. Prayer of course is indispensable.
I just saw a tweet that said as adolescents we bark, “Don’t tell me what to do,” but in the flux of early adulthood, we stammer, “Please tell me what to do!” The Bible has. it. It has Him, Jesus.
I think the most valuable growth spiritually is, for the most part, unseen to the self. Time is a necessary ingredient in simmering depth into trust and wisdom. It takes time to get to know someone right? Fear of God, the kind that reveals how much we need Him, is after all the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7)—of clinging to Him above all else.
As a millennial girl in this big/small world, I get distracted a lot by things I wish I was or, sadly enough, had. Sportier, wish I could sing, taller, prettier, less sensitive, better at initiating socially—the list goes on. Thankfully, I’ve gotten heaps better at forgetting those things even in the last few years.
But when I come to these gems of guidance, I’m thankful to be so freed. Focus on Christ is the greatest thing the heart/mind can fight for. Dedicate some solid time to good reading!