“With” is a deeply practical and revealing book about “reimaging the way you relate to God.” Jethani lays out four common misconceptions people have in relating to God; Life Under God, Life Over God, Life From God and Life For God. Jethani breaks these four views down, demonstrating that underneath each of them is an idolatrous desire to use God to control our future/outcome and is often rooted in fear.
In contrast to the above four views, Jethani argues for living Life with God, in which God is the end goal. God is not a means to an end, He is the end! The insidious nature of the other four views is that we use God to indulge our consumeristic appetites of destruction, we use Him to get blessings but don’t learn to life with Him in satisfaction and contentment.
For me the fourth view, Life For God was a bit eye opening. Jethani argues that while there is truth to being on mission with God (as there is some truth in all four views), the bottom line is that to live your whole life on mission is often just a cover for making your life count, giving you purpose. Thus Jethani argues that in reality we are using God to make our live significant, rather than living with God. In this analysis God has become a means to an end again, instead of the end!
Jethani states; “He [God] did not die merely to inaugurate a mission (Life for God) or to give us a second chance at life (Life from God). He did not endure the horrors of the cross just to demonstrate a principle of love for others to emulate (Life over God) or to appease divine wrath (Life under God). While each of these may be rooted in truth and affirmed by Scripture, it is only when we grasp God’s unyielding desire to be with us that we begin to see the ultimate purpose of the cross. It is more than a vehicle to rescue us from death; it transports us into the arms of Life. The cross is how we acquire our treasure. It is how we find unity with God.
Get the book, read it. Make it a top pick, peel back the masks of our religious idolatrous!