Author and pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church is a cheerleader. For Jesus.
And for you—to follow Jesus.
You can’t help but get fired up when you read his books.
Wild Goose Chase is my third Mark Batterson book. None have disappointed.
In this book, he encourages you to passionately pursue God’s will in your life. Warning: this may turn you into a dangerous person. Instead of playing not to lose, you start playing to win.
Mark wonders if churches do to people what zoos do to animals.
We try to remove the danger. We try to remove the struggle. And what we end up with is a caged Christian.
…We have a primal longing to be uncaged. And the cage opens when we recognize that Jesus didn't die on the cross to keep us safe. Jesus died to make us dangerous.
He lists six cages that we get locked into instead of chasing the wild goose (i.e. reclaiming the adventure of pursuing God). He ties each into a Biblical story, fully fleshing out one per chapter.
1. The Cage of Responsibility
Too often we turn our responsibilities into excuses, when our greatest responsibility is to pursue God’s will, which on the outside might appear irresponsible.
When God puts a passion in your heart, whether it be relieving starvation in Africa or educating children in the inner city or making movies with redemptive messages, that God-ordained passion becomes your responsibility.
2. The Cage of Routine
We take constants for granted, but God is the ultimate constant. Work to keep the sacred from becoming such a comfortable rut that you no longer even think through it.
One of the greatest dangers we face spiritually is learning how and forgetting why.
Occasionally make a change of place and a change of pace to get a change in perspective. Break out of your routines.
3. The Cage of Assumptions
Don’t think you know it all. You can’t. Ask questions. Learn more.
Pride is offended when assumptions are challenged. Humility welcomes the challenge because the desire to know God is greater than the need to be right. And humility, coupled with curiosity, drives us to keep asking, seeking, knocking.
…The bottom line is this: the more faith you have, the fewer assumptions you will make.
Remember that God is able to do anything he wants to. Don’t limit God in your life because you refuse to challenge your assumptions.
4. The Cage of Guilt
We all hear rooster’s crows that set off our feelings of guilt. But because we’ve been forgiven we can recommission those feelings to remind us to be grateful instead.
Sin – Grace = Guilt
Sin + Grace = Gratitude
The grace of God is the difference between drowning in guilt and swimming in gratitude.
5. The Cage of Failure
God can use your failures and disappointments as detours instead of dead ends, transforming you into the person he wants you to be.
Don't incite a mob or put a hole in the bottom of your boat. But sometimes a closed door is the very thing that gets us where God wants us to go.
…God is far more concerned about your future than you are. We put so much pressure on ourselves, as if the eternal plans of almighty God are contingent upon our ability to decipher them.
…And if we think one misstep can frustrate the providential plans of the Omnipotent One, then our God is way too small.
6. The Cage of Fear
Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. And remember that indecision is a decision that keeps you in the cage. Play offense with your life rather than just defense.
There is nothing remotely passive about being part of the kingdom of God. We are called to forcefully advance the cause of Christ.
Faithfulness is not holding the fort. Faithfulness is storming the gates of hell.
I recommend any of Mark Batterson’s books when you need an extra kick of motivation. He’s easy to read and provides Biblical examples and personal testimonies to accompany his messages.