Forgotten God is written by Francis Chan and although I’ve had this book on my shelf for years I just made time to finish it. And I don’t know why I waited so long! Chan has a way of just being straight about his faith. He’s not trying to make you believe something you don’t. He’s not trying to win people to Jesus with this book. As a matter of fact, if you’re not a Jesus follower, then I probably wouldn’t pick this one up as your first connection to the church world!
The book Forgotten God is about the part of God we tend to overlook. We overlook this part of God because we don’t know what we’re looking for. We ignore this part of God because there’s something just too big for us to get our minds around. I mean the Father is understandable because we all know what a father is – even if we didn’t have one or ours wasn’t all that present in our lives. We understand the son because we’re either a son or a daughter of someone. So this imagery isn’t lost on us either. But spirit? Come on. What’s a spirit?
Chan spends the entirety of this book delving into why the presence of the Holy Spirit of God is so vital for our existence as Christians. He wrestles with the idea is it better to have Jesus with us physically for a day or the Holy Spirit inside us for a lifetime? Chan would argue, and I have to agree here, that having the spirit inside us is of far more value than being near Jesus for a day.
Throughout the book we’re drawn to the realization that just because we can’t see the Holy Spirit it doesn’t mean he’s not at work. Chan reminds us that the Holy Spirit is a person. He’s not an it or a thing. He’s a person. He’s a he!
Once he deals with the real nature of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit is a person with personal attributes, Chan then moves to a more convicting topic of what difference has the Holy Spirit made in your life as a follower of Jesus? If the Holy Spirit is a person of the Godhead. And if he possesses all of the power of God. And if he is sent by Jesus to us for the purpose of strengthening us in our faith, then why does it seem like so little has changed in our lives as a result of the Holy Spirit?
If we truly have the Holy Spirit living inside us shouldn’t there be some kind of difference in how we live compared to those who don’t have the Spirit? Or put it another way, if the Holy Spirit no longer lived inside you what would be different about how you live your life?
These and many other challenging questions will force you to wrestle with your identity as a follower of Jesus and how you put your faith into practice. I definitely recommend this quick, easy read.