Noble, Perry. Unleash!: Breaking free from Normalcy. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012. Print.
image from: http://www.tyndale.com
This is yet another book I received free at TLA. When I started reading it, I really wasn't into it. I kept thinking about all of the other things I could do/read/watch instead of this book. However, I stuck with it.
From the back cover: "Perry Noble challenges us to grab on to God's promise of full and complete living. Using the biblical story of David as a backdrop, he reveals the major barriers that often hold us back and keep us trapped in the mundane."
I liked the interweaving of David's story into a story of how we can live an "unleashed" life. I got out my spiral and took some notes while I read (I didn't have my flagging things close by to use.). Noble explains that "unleashing our lives is not about convincing God how great our plans are but rather understanding that we can live the life God has planned for us--right now" (Noble 11). Noble explains that "we think too small when it comes to the potential God has placed within us" (Noble 4). His example is amusing. He asks the reader to think of a number. "Nearly every time I do this experiment...they tell me a number in the ballpark of one to one hundred. But why? Why would we pick a number between one and one hundred when we have the option of choosing any number in the world? Why would we not pick 1,284,383?" (Noble 3). Good point!
I also found that while reading, I kept letting myself get distracted, or I was making connections between my religious teachings & beliefs and questioning what I was reading. This book really got me thinking about some things.
One thing Noble discusses is the "great American lie" where we say you can do anything you want to do. (53) I have told students some variation of this countess times. Noble argues that this is a lie because sometimes, there isn't enough belief in self or trying hard that can make some things possible. His examples are valid. However, Noble states that we are on "on this big ball of dirt called earth" for a purpose (Noble 55). God has a purpose for us. "The key to living a meaningful life is not to focus on what we want but rather on who Jesus is and what He wants for us. As we wrap ourselves up in Him, we find more purpose, meaning, and joy than we ever could have imagined" (Noble 55). Ok. I can believe that and I will stop spreading the "great American lie."
Another "ah ha" thing Noble points out in this book is the idea that "God never gives us more than we can handle" (110). Yes he does, according to Noble. God does so that we will learn to depend on Him (Noble 110). I am going to think about this the next time I want to tell someone this idea from 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Noble talks about three reasons we don't do what we know we should do (Noble 137).
- "I'll pray about it"--this is inactivity!
I also learned that "one another" appears in the New Testament more than 50 times (Noble 154). God wants people to connect and be in each other's lives and support each other. I struggle with this. I want to be helpful to others, but I'm not always able to accept others' help.
I know I read this book at this time for a reason (or perhaps many). I look forward to how the teaching of this book unfolds in my life. There are other things that I could write about, but I think it's more personal than I want to share on this blog. Again, I took notes, wrote down some interesting ideas/thoughts/scriptures I want to remember, and let the words reach me where I am.
On a critical note, the book seems to repeat some things. I wondered if this was because it was an unedited proof or Noble was driving a point home (sometimes this would apply) or he just had to repeat. Also, at times I thought that Noble might be putting in "personal" examples that weren't true. I know I shouldn't think a preacher lies, but at times I did question him. Maybe I was reading too close to the truth, and my doubts were the devil's shadow.