Chasing Lions

Have you ever chased a lion? Of course not. That’s a silly question I know. No one in their right mind would ever chase lions. At least none have lived to tell about it! But I bet you have chased a few dreams in your life. And sometimes those dreams have felt pretty big and overwhelming haven’t they? Did you know that fully grown lions can weigh close to 500 pounds? And even more amazing is that they can still run at close to thirty-six miles per hour. Why do I tell you this? Because sometimes the dreams that God places inside of us feel like they are 500 pound lions that we will never be able to achieve. Dreams that we run from instead of chase after. This is the premise behind Mark Batterson’s new book Chase the Lion.

Before I tell you more about what the book is all about, let me tell you what it’s not about. Chase the Lion is not about having dreams of health, wealth and prosperity and as long as you love God all your dreams will come true. Batterson never mentions that and never alludes to that false doctrine. I’m not saying that I personally agree with Mark Batterson on every theological thought. But I do believe that God places each of us here (earth, place you live, etc…) for a purpose. He has also placed within each of us dreams and aspirations. Your dreams may be different than my dreams and that’s ok. In fact, that’s more than ok, it’s normal. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that He came so that we might have “abundant life.” To have the abundant life that Jesus speaks of we will have to chase after the dreams that God has placed within each of us. If those dreams are placed there by God, they will be dreams that focus on Him and bring glory to Him…not us. So, dreams and goals are not the issue. The condition and intent of our heart is the real issue. So let’s be clear, dreams and aspirations are great, as long as those dreams are to make much of Jesus and less of ourselves.

Now that we have an understanding of the premise of the book, let’s take a deeper look into the message behind the pages. I have read and enjoyed just about every book that Mark Batterson has written. And this one is no different. I love to be encouraged and challenged in my faith. Mark Batterson seems to do that with every book he writes. And like everyone else, I have dreams and goals that I want to achieve. However, I have found myself feeling guilty for having those dreams. I have felt guilty because I am afraid that my dreams are about me. But the truth is, the dreams I have are not just about me. They are about others. Most have to do with my family. And they are about making much of God with the gifts, talents and passions He has burned within me. So there is no reason to feel guilty about dreams that have to do with others and make much of God. Chasing the Lion settles that early on in the first pages of the book. On page 8 Batterson writes, “A God-sized dream will always be beyond your ability, beyond your resources. Unless God does it, it cannot be done!” He states over and over that God-sized dreams are not only about us. They always include other people.

So, what is the lion God has called you to chase? What are the dreams that you feel unprepared and unqualified to reach? The subtitle for the book states, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” Have you ever said, or thought, the words, “I can’t do that.”? That may be an indicator that God is calling you to do something that will stretch you and glorify Him. I don’t like to be stretched. I like to be comfortable and on safe, flat ground. But the more I learn about God, (and I still have a long way to go) I realize that God hasn’t called us to safe. He’s called us to be obedient and to follow. If we are obedient and we do follow Him, sooner or later we will have to step out of our comfort zone. Peter had to step out of the boat. David had to step out onto the battlefield. We will have to step out and do what God has called us to do. Anything less would be disobedient!

On the very first page of the book, Mark writes The Lion Chasers Manifesto. I won’t write it all for you here. You can read it for yourself when you pick up your copy. However, I do want to share the parts that I underlined on my copy.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.                                                                    Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.   Don’t let fear dictate your decisions.                                                                                         Don’t try to be who you’re not.                                                                                                    Dare to dream God-sized dreams. Dare to be different.                                                       Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.                                                   Chase the lion.

God after the dreams that God has placed within your heart. Start by going out and picking up your copy of Chasing the Lion. You’ll be glad you did!

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