Dare to Live a Life of Adventure


Erwin Raphael McManus

Thomas Nelson, 2002, 246 pp

ISBN 0-7852-6430-2


Erwin McManus is pastor of Mosaic, a multicultural church in the heart of Los Angeles.  He says, don’t sleep through your dreams!  “In the hearts of men and women there is a yearning to live the quest.  We are all haunted with the fear of living lives of insignificance….  Somehow we all know that to play it safe is to lose the game.” (7)


Life as God intended us to live it is nothing less than an adventure.  It comes at great risk and at significant cost.” (8)


“What if you knew somewhere in front of you was a moment that would change your life forever….?” (9)


The book is shaped largely around the risk that Jonathan took when he and his armor bearer approached the Philistines.  “The Jonathan Factor is the explosive result that occurs when who God is so shapes who we are that it changes the way we live life.  How we view God dramatically affects the persons we become.” (12)


“The most important moments rarely come at a convenient time.” (15)


“If you are willing to let go of the past, then you are ready to step into the future.” (16)


“Our choices either move us toward God and all the pleasure that comes in Him or steer us away from Him to a life of shame and fear.” (19)


“Most of us could summarize our lives around five or six defining moments—moments that if we had chosen differently would have radically altered the trajectory of our lives.” (22)


“Time is a tyrant.  It consumes choices left unmade.” (24)


“It is not enough to stop the wrong and then be paralyzed when it comes to the right.  God created you to do good.  And doing this requires initiative.” (35)


“Where there is freedom, we must initiate, and where there are boundaries, we must honor them.” (37)


“There is a tragic reality that many times the very things that God blesses us with become the obstacles to seizing our divine moments.” (38)


“The more you move with God-given urgency, the more God seems to bless your life.  The more God blesses your life, the more you have to lose.  The more you have to lose, the more you have to risk.  The more you have to risk, the higher the price of following God.” (39)  “What we have received from God has taken preeminence over the God who has received us.” (41)


“Seizing your divine moment is not simply about opportunity; at the core it is about essence.  It’s about the kind of life you live as a result of the person you are becoming.  The challenges you are willing to face will rise in proportion to the character you are willing to develop.” (47)


“When you are passionate about God, you can trust your passions.” (47)


Blackaby taught us to ask, “What is God doing?”  McManus suggests we also ask, “What is God dreaming?”  “Is there something that God wants initiated and He’s waiting for someone to volunteer?”  (51)


“What can I do today to make a difference in the world?”  (57)


Jonathan’s focus was not, What is God’s will for my life? but How can I give my life to fulfill God’s will?”(64)


“If the cross teaches us anything, it teaches us that sometimes God comes through after we’ve been killed!” “When we live, it doesn’t mean the victory comes without suffering.” (65) 


“The journey with God is full of surprises.” (68)


“The focus of prayers must shift away from trying to get God to do what we ask or even asking God what He wants us to do; like the early disciples in the book of Acts, we are to ask God to give us courage to do what we already know.” (72)


“Faith is all about character, trusting in the character of God, being certain in who God is and following Him into the unknown.” (73)


“Realize He may actually increase the uncertainty and leverage all the odds against you, just so that you will know in the end that it wasn’t your gifts but His power through your gifts that fulfilled His purpose in your life.” (76)


“The adventure of faith begins with faithfulness.  Being faithful is taking responsibility for the good we know to do.” (78)


“It is ironic that we run to God to keep us safe when He calls us to a dangerous faith.  He will shake loose everything in which we place our trust outside of Him and teach us how to thrive in a future unknown.” (97)


“Most would rather sleep through life than live their dreams.” (The Perils of Ayden)


“We are always more open to influence than authority.”  “Manipulation is the use of influence to control others for personal gain.  It is the dark side of influence.” (104)


Whenever employees complain about their work, “the problem is always the same: it’s their boss.  The scenario is pretty consistent.  Their boss doesn’t have a clue and won’t listen.  It is amazing how many companies have the person with all the right answers working for the person who doesn’t even know the questions.” (105)


“All too often when we cannot change things up [the chain of command], we conclude that we cannot change anything.” (107)  “Two roadblocks that often mislead us are lack of authority and lack of resources.” (108)


“This is the essence of influence, to win the heart and soul of another person through the strength of your own character and personhood.”  “Influence is born out of trust….”  “People who are influential pass on what they have like the flu.  They’ll sneeze all over you.  Influence is contagious….” (109-10)


We’ve sneezed on our kids and “they’ve been infected by who we are.” (111)


“Character is the resource from which influence draws.  Relationships are the venue through which influence travels.  More often than not, God’s invitation to us to seize a divine moment is found in the needs of other people’s lives.” (112)


“We must never underestimate the importance of one moment, one word, one deed in the life of another human being.” (117)


“Wee pass on not just who we are, but who we genuinely desire to become.” (120)


“Trustworthy people are surrounded by people who trust them.”  “Character breeds influence.  Influence shapes character.” (121)


“I you want to increase your influence, risk bringing people up close.”  “The ultimate end and most profound result of influence is when a person is free from any command or power you may exert and yet still reflects the influence of your values and passions.” (124)


“The most important decisions of our lives will require us to forsake invisibility and risk becoming visible.” (133)


“We have been taught that whenever God is in something, there is not chance for failure.  At the same time we are reassured that when God is with us, we are guaranteed safety.  In the process we create the most ironic oxymoron—‘safe faith.’”  “We fail to see divine moments when all we see is danger and risk of failure.”  (139)


“The strength of God comes in the form of joy, and the strength of that joy gives us the courage to face whatever cross we may have to bear.  Divine moments are not fai-safe, and they are not risk-free.” (140)


“Allowing us to fail is not a punishment from God, but a part of God’s process for shaping who we are.”  “Those men and women who would seize every divine moment must be willing to embrace failure as a part of life.”  (140)


“Prayer moves from God, what is Your will for my life? to God, what is Your will, and how can I give my life to fulfill it?” (143)


“Failure is closely related to risk, which is closely related to success.” (144)


“When you’re moving with God, you must move with an advance mentality.  You move forward unless God tells you to stop.  You advance unless God tells you to wait.” (155)  “Many times when we claim we are waiting on God, He is waiting on us.” (158)  “Those who seize their divine opportunities move with the God-given yes unless God says no.  They work from the go and wait for the stop.  They understand that the mission gives them permission.” (161)


“One of the most asked questions about our congregation is, How are we able to mobilize so many people to overseas missions?  It’s really pretty easy to explain.  If your church if full of members, you get an occasional missionary.  If your church is full of missionaries, the rest is just about geography.  Most churches don’t send missionaries because they don’t have any.  We have for several years averaged nearly one adult a month moving as a career missionary into what is known as the ten-forty window where the most unreached people in the world live.  These were not people suddenly called to missions; these were people who were already on missions, and then God chose a change of address.” (166-67)


“You cannot advance the kingdom of God with people who are in retreat.” (168)


“Most divine moments need to be seized, not simply walked through.”  “Some of life’s greatest opportunities are not behind doors or windows, but behind walls.  They require genuine effort.” (177)


“Our religious integration of Christianity with capitalism and consumerism has resulted in a view of life that says if God is in it, it comes easily.”  “Giving ourselves to great things comes with a cost.” (178)


“If you chose to seize your divine moments, it will eventually happen.  It is unavoidable.  There will come a moment of impact when your insistence will meet the world’s resistance.” (179)


“When we run from his purpose, we run from His presence.” (183)


“The nutshell questions is, ‘What did you do to get the church growing?’  Before I even begin to attempt to answer that question, I have my own question that I like to ask: ‘Are you willing to do the right things even if the result is decline?’”  (186)


“Whenever we seize a divine moment, we magnify the presence of God.  To act on God’s behalf is to express what’s on His mind and on His heart.” (189)  “Our obedience creates a spiritual epicenter through which God shakes up the world around us and others come to know Him.” (191)


“Prayer can be a religious form of rebellion.  While feigning a need to get clarity from God, we are actually avoiding what God has made clear.”  “There are some things we just don’t need to pray about.  It’s not as if we’re going to change God’s mind about things He has spoken out of His character.”  (208)


“Our lives are to be a continuous conversation with God.  This kind of life of prayer is one where we are sensitive to every prompting and whisper of God.” (208)


“Prayer is an obstacle when we keep praying about things of which God has already spoken.”  “Prayer can also be an obstacle when we hide behind prayer while the moment needs action.”  “The purpose of prayer it so keep you connected, and when you’re connected to God, you are moving with Him.” (209)  “Prayer should move you, not paralyze you.” (210)


“Small prayers have huge impact when they come from people who are living a life of obedience to God.” (211)


“When you obey and then pray, there is unexplainable power.” (214)


“Jesus was saying, ‘Watch My life and you will see God work.’”  “We can know this same experience.” (219)


“If He lives in us, whom should others see when they look into our lives?” (230)


“God uses the challenges we face to shape the character within us.”  “Divine moments compel us to live differently, and this different life that we are called to live requires us to become different.” (241)


“It is a powerful thing when you give yourself away to a higher purpose.”  “Simply translated, we get better when we give ourselves away.” (242)