Matthew 22:37 instructs us to have the Magnificent Obsession. Anne Graham Lotz tells us HOW. I'm giving you a sneak peek into that HOW ...

~ Today’s Scripture Art and book review of The Magnificent Obsession were designed to help you write God’s Word on your heart. ~

*This post may contain affiliate links. To learn more, click here.

When choosing your next book to read, are you like me and lean toward newer books rather than older books? I am learning this is not always the best policy.

I bought The Magnificent Obsession {Don’t you just love that title?} at a used bookstore several years ago.

Then it sat, and sat, and sat some more on my shelf.

But I did occasionally decorate with it! {You know how much I love blue and green together.}

The good news is, my colorful book finally got used in the way it was intended.

And I devoured it.

Now I’m recommending The Magnificent Obsession to you.

It was my kind of book – equal parts challenge and encouragement and inspiration.

I’d like to see this obsession go viral, instead of cats and quizzes.

Obsess [uhb-ses] (verb) – to dominate or preoccupy the thoughts, feelings, or desires; to think about something unceasingly or persistently; dwell upon.

Matthew 22:37 instructs us to have the Magnificent Obsession. Anne Graham Lotz tells us HOW. I'm giving you a sneak peek into that HOW ...
Shop today’s printable verse HERE.

Here’s how Anne Graham Lotz (yes, she is Billy Graham’s daughter) says the contents of her book The Magnificent Obsession came to be: “I wanted to know God as Abraham did … as His friend.”

She further explained that she didn’t want to know God as her imagination conceived Him, or as others said they knew Him, but as He really is.

Me too! What about you?

So what do we need to do to really know God as He is?

This book discusses in detail how Abraham did it, including a few stories sprinkled in about how Anne did it.

She says, “If you and I ever truly know God, it will not be an accident. It will be because we have pursued with focused intentionality. It will happen when, like Abraham, we abandon every other goal, every other priority, and embrace the God-filled life until He becomes our magnificent obsession.”

It may not surprise you to hear that the main way to truly know God is through His Word.

What a gift He gave us! How could we ever begin to know Him without His Word?

Matthew 22:37 instructs us to have the Magnificent Obsession. Anne Graham Lotz tells us HOW. I'm giving you a sneak peek into that HOW ...

Abraham didn’t have the Bible, but he had the actual, verbal words of God.

Can you imagine? And God called Abraham His friend.

God actually said that!  

Isaiah 41:8 (ESV): But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend;

We can have that too, you know.

Galatians 3:9 (NLT): So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

My new obsession … to have God call me His friend.

One of my favorite things about this book is that Anne points out cool things about Abraham – verses that we’ve probably read a billion times but glossed right over.

For example, when God came to tell Abraham that the time had finally come – that Sarah would be pregnant within the year (Genesis 18) …

Anne observes, “I would have totally understood if Abraham had exclaimed, ‘Sarah! Sarah! Did you hear that, Sarah? What do you think? We’re going to have a baby! A lifetime of waiting Is over! Twenty-five years of walking by faith has paid off! You’re going to be a mother! Sarah, let’s go pick out a tent for the nursery.’ But unbelievably, Abraham walked away with the three men! He got up, left Sarah, and walked with the Lord! He seemed to be more enthralled about being with God and getting to know Him better than he did with receiving the answer to the prayer of a lifetime.”

A critical lesson we should not gloss over.

And then this happens …

Genesis 18:22 (ESV): So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.

Anne points out that as Abraham stayed in God’s presence, God stayed in his. God allowed Himself to be detained. What a wonderful truth that when we draw near to God, He draws near to us too.

James 4:8 (ESV): Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Anne asks, “I wonder, how available are you to hear God’s voice? What does God want to say to you that you have yet to hear because you haven’t made the time to listen? I’ve wondered that about myself when, for whatever reason, I’ve gone through the day without opening my Bible. What promise would He have given me to turn my doubt into confident hope? What encouragement would He have given that would have carried me through my day with joy? What warning would have alerted me to impending danger or attack? What have I missed because I was too busy, or too worried, or too sleepy, or too distracted to make myself available to Him?”

Matthew 22:37 instructs us to have the Magnificent Obsession. Anne Graham Lotz tells us HOW. I'm giving you a sneak peek into that HOW ...

I actually could have written several different reviews on about eight different topics because Anne covers so much in her book. Instead, I tried to pick a few nuggets to entice you to read it yourself.

But I want to share one more thought-provoking tidbit for the road …

Anne’s insight about suffering:

“Exodus 20 caught my eye. God had instructed Moses that He would come in a dense cloud on Mount Sinai, then verse 21 says, ‘The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.’ As I read it, then reread it, I heard God speaking to me: Anne, most people remain at a distance from Me when they think drawing near will involve crises, problems, challenges, demands, hurts, and confusion – tests – all the things you’ve been going through. They are afraid of the ‘cloud’ of suffering or pressure or pain, the darkness of confusion and lack of vision for the next step. But I want you to be like Moses and embrace the cloud and the thick darkness – because that’s where I am.”

Exodus 16:10 (CSB): As Aaron was speaking to the entire Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and there in a cloud the Lord’s glory appeared.

That’s a paradigm shift from our human thinking, isn’t it?

Matthew 22:37 instructs us to have the Magnificent Obsession. Anne Graham Lotz tells us HOW. I'm giving you a sneak peek into that HOW ...

I also smiled and nodded at Anne’s many references to the importance of staying in God’s Word …

“How often I’ve found that my lack of peace is directly related to my lack of Bible reading. If you lack peace, if you are afraid, could it be that you are neglecting to read your Bible or diminishing its importance?”

Psalm 119:165 (CSB): Abundant peace belongs to those who love your instruction; nothing makes them stumble.

“Failure in my life almost always begins with a famine of God’s Word and prayer. Without them, I’m left to make decisions based on my own logic or circumstances or feelings or the counsel of others. And that’s never a good place to be. God will give you and me promises that bring peace in the midst of our panic, but we must tune our hearts to listen to His voice.”

Tuning our hearts to God’s is something Abraham did well.

We can learn so much from the details of his life. Anne is a wonderful tour guide through Abraham’s journey – complete with insightful “inside” information.

I encourage you to read The Magnificent Obsession if you’d like to be inspired and equipped to know God well enough to be called His friend.

*My prayer for you is … that this blog will inspire you to open your Bible every single day to seek God’s face and write His Word on your heart – because HE’S the key to lasting heart change!

Have a comment? I would love to hear it HERE or HERE.

You might also enjoy these …

4 Books to Discern Your Purpose In Life

Check Out > My Personal Bible Study Method

Want a FREE SAMPLE of our Fear Not 365 Scripture Writing Plan?

See > A few of my favorite things!

Shop > Our Scripture Writing Journals!

Matthew 22:37 instructs us to have the Magnificent Obsession. Anne Graham Lotz tells us HOW. I'm giving you a sneak peek into that HOW ...

Did you know?

I like to send original Scripture art (like the one above) to my Insiders!

Yep – I email a new printable once a month so it can be used in these 20 Clever ways!

Join the fun by subscribing below …