I’ve just finished a book study on Soul Talk, by Dr. Larry Crabb, about the language God longs for us to speak and how to speak it with power into the lives of others. Dr. Crabb is a psychologist, author, speaker and director of New Way Ministries.
The concepts in this book are moving me from the old way (religion, rules and performance) into the new way of freedom and life in Christ. Dr. Crabb sums it up:
“When we speak SoulTalk, we soon realize that without the Trinity, we can’t do anything. And with them, we can only marvel at mystery and cooperate with a process we can never control.”
“I can describe how true brokenness over personal sin is worlds different from agony over rejection, and only the misery of brokenness, never the misery of rejection, frees us to seek God. In brokenness over sin, we seek God as our first thing, pleading for his mercy, not screaming for our rights.” p. 235
“And I can chart the progress on the spiritual journey:
· from brokenness: “I’ve sinned against the one who sinned against me. My sin is as offensive to God as is his. And I’ve sinned against God by treating him like a second thing.”
· through repentance: “I’ve been on the religious journey, trying to do what it takes to make my life work and to feel alive. I want to trade in all that self-obsession for God-obsession.”
· into abandonment: “I’ll follow the Spirit wherever he tells me to go because I am willing to risk trusting God, even when he does nothing visible to warrant my trust.”
· toward confidence: “God’s been dancing all along. And now I’m walking onto the dance floor. I can hear the music. Look! I’m actually dancing, and I feel alive. Communion with the Trinity is real and fills the center of my soul. This is life!”
· resulting in release: “Now I want to bless those who have hurt me. My pain isn’t the point. Yes, I still hurt, but I’m becoming God-obsessed! I’m a little more like Jesus! And it’s who I really am. I’m discovering my true self. This is joy!”
“And the release of who we really are as new creatures in Christ, as solid, alive, and joyful Spirit-led beings, often brings in its wake all manner of second things: restored relationships...; emotional healing from trauma that led us in wrong directions...; an aroused appetite for God that is felt even more deeply when dreams shatter; and a joy that no loss of second things can destroy.
“When we get serious about seeking God’s presence over his blessings, two things happen. First, we begin to sense an inner strength, and perseverance becomes a possibility. Quitting doesn’t feel necessary, no matter how empty and discouraged we feel. Second, wisdom sneaks into our soul.” p.239
“My job is to follow the Spirit’s movement, never to try to move people on my own. I am to desire the spirit’s goal for my troubled friends: not a better marriage, but an aroused appetite for God that could lead to a better marriage. I m to wait for the Spirit to move and then tag along, to walk through the doors the spirit opens into their souls, not to insist they see something now and change.
“I am to prepare myself for the long journey ahead. The process of detachment from second things, things like protection against more pain, is always rough. It always involves suffering... Following the spirit into the new way takes us into a few ark nights.And when we’re there, we wonder if we’ve taken a wrong turn.” p. 241
“I am to know that the path to joy moves first into the desert where nothing makes sense and then leads into the valley where the pain in our hearts seems unbearable and unending. I am to cooperate with this process I cannot control, knowing that no suffering is worthy to be compared with the joy of dancing with the Trinity.” p. 242
Come join the dance!