Nothing to Prove

Jennie Allen is one of my favourite authors and people in general. The way she writes and communicates speaks directly to me. There aren't many non fiction books where I just can't put it down but Jennie's writing does that to me. The Spirit speaks so clearly through her so when her book Nothing to Prove  came out in February, this momma read every nap time and evening. I honestly feel like I could have highlighted this whole book.

The theme of the book is realizing that freedom comes when we realize and accept we are not enough, but recognize that God is. And with that realization God becomes all we need and this world offers us nothing. Our freedom comes when we accept who we are in Christ and that we have nothing to prove to this world or God.

Here are some of my favourite quotes, and please go get this book (or email me and you can borrow my copy)

"God already knows we are not enough, but He's not asking us to be. We are the ones who have chosen to walk through the desert with enormous packs strapped to our back full of everything but water. As if the Kingdom of God were held up or together by us. So I purpose a great experiment. What if together we name the junk we are carrying around and figure out what to with it? What if we name our limitations, our fears, our imperfections, our striving, our sins, rather than try to escape them? What is heavy for you right now? (p 33)

"But she had to name what she was carrying before she could ever get free of it. And you and I have to do the same if we want to ditch our backpacks. I want to be clear: This will take courage. Because to get to the place where God can be enough, we have to first admit that we aren't." (p 40)

"When we see ourselves the way God sees us, we don't have to strive. Being near to God doesn't produce pressure of legalism; it produces worship." (p 44)

"You are I actually know what our mundane, eternal stories are leading toward: Jesus coming back and seizing His people and building a kingdom that won't end...The small things aren't only building eternity; we also find Jesus as we live in them. Jesus is in the midst of each ordinary, messy, mundane moment.... Vision and rest and work and joy and Jesus and difficulty are meant to coexist." (p 55-56)

"I realized that night that I have been living a lot of my life for God instead of with God. And this is a lot of pressure on a girl." (p 61)

"We want to do things for God without spending time with God. It is an epidemic in the church, and we wonder why we are so empty and unhappy. God built us for Himself, and all our attempts to manage life apart from intimacy with Him only further expose our ache for Him." (p 94)

"Here's what I believe is happening: We are so lonely and we do not feel known; we do not feel understood. We do not feel connected to people in a really deep way because we are expecting them to fill something that only God can fill. So, in our pursuit of deep connection, we have to recognize that we can often look to good things like community, authenticity, confession to take the place of connecting with Jesus. Loneliness is meant to be an invitation to draw closer to God. But our tendency is to try frantically first to meet that need with people, to prove to ourselves that we are lovable and funny and worthy of attention. We are made for dependency on God. We were built for that. Because God is invisible we put our neediness on people, and that becomes unhealthy one hundred percent of the time. It's called codependency. If we connect with people and we don't connect with God, we end up asking people to be our enough. People will always eventually disappoint you. Don't be surprised. They aren't enough either. Only God has the resources and ability to exhaustively meet your needs...When we begin to find our deepest, most fundamental needs met in God, then we will go from using people to meet our needs to enjoying people despite the ways they disappoint us. Community is meant to point us to Jesus, not replace Him." (p 109)

"It is terrifying to be caught in our brokenness. But more terrifying than being caught is being alone and in the dark with all of our pride intact." (p 119)

"If you and I could hold on to a clear vision and hope of a secure home and a God coming for us, I believe it would rest and still our fearful self-protective hearts." (p 131)

"Like Moses, we begin to believe that since we are not adequate, then we shouldn't do what God has called us to. And we lit the work of God through us because we think it is all about us, our abilities, our resources. But it is never about us. It is always about hungry people in bondage whom God wants to set free." (p 134-135)

OK, I'm only halfway through the book but this post is super long. Gah, re reading these quotes makes my heart stir and get excited that I have nothing to prove to no one. I love being able to rest in who God says I am, to be defined by Him. So I end this post as a part one and will write some more of my favourite quotes in the coming weeks!

Hope you had a restful weekend and are ready to do the work Jesus has for you this week, not in your  strength, but only in His.


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