Chasing Daylight by Erwin McManus

Originally, Chasing Daylight was released as Seizing Your Divine Moment. This book was a game changer for many people. Looking at the story of Jonathan and the armor bearer from 1 Samuel 14, Erwin McManus walks through the skills necessary for entrepreneurial leaders.

As a textbook in my Missional Innovation doctoral course with Bethel Seminary, here are some of the cohort’s favorite quotes:

Choices: Choose to Live

“When you seize divine moments, you instigate an atomic reaction. You become a human catalyst creating a divine impact. The result can even be earthshaking.”

“The Jonathan Factor is the explosive result that occurs when we step into a divine moment and unleash its full potential.”

“When God interrupts us, are we willing to respond in a moment’s notice?”

“When you choose to remain stuck in a moment, you become incapable of seizing divine moments.”

“Moments are not independent or disconnected realities. Moments carry the momentum of the past and fuel the momentum for the future… Life is the sum total of what you do with the moments given you.”

“While moments are the context within which we live, choices chart the course and determine the destination… 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.”

Initiative: Just Do Something

“We have defined holiness through what we separate ourselves from rather than what we give ourselves to… There is a subtle danger of hiding apathy behind piety.”

“The book of Hebrews reminds us that one of the primary evidences of spiritual maturity is the ability to distinguish between good and evil, or to know the difference between right and wrong.”

“they held so tightly to what they had that they could not open their hands to receive what was to come… fear of losing what has been gained.”

“When a whole group of people start living differently because of their relationship to Jesus Christ, the entire community changes. Sociologists call this redemption and lift.”

“In Christianity the goal of the spiritual journey is the transformation of our desires.”

“Once you’re moving in a direction that is aligned with the character and heart of God, you find God’s personal mission for your life begins to come into focus.”

“So many moments are lost when we’re looking only for what we can get. You can enter into divine moments only when you are willing to serve.”

Uncertainty: Know You Don’t Know

“The Jonathan Factor is expressed when we have absolute confidence in God in the midst of uncertainty and are willing to move with God even without a guarantee of personal success.”

“First-dimension faith is involved when we step out into any area of trust in God outside our experience, but the challenge set before us is clearly in the realm of possibilities.”

“If a prayer’s ultimate intent is to fulfill God’s will, we can move with confidence, even if God doesn’t answer that prayer the way we expect.”

“We are to ask God to give us courage to do what we already know…. Faith is all about character, trusting in the character of God, being certain in who God is and following Him into the unknown.”

“Serving others functions like a compass in the midst of a fog… doing the right thing regardless of the circumstance or consequence.”

“Whenever we respond to God’s invitation, our need for God becomes heightened. Whenever we take on a God-sized challenge, self-sufficiency is no longer an option.”

“This relationship between faith and uncertainty is inescapable… Do not be surprised that what God asked of you yesterday is insufficient for your journey of faith today.”

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

“It is ironic that we run to God to keep us safe when He calls us to a dangerous faith.”

Influence: Breathe In, Breathe Out

“We would much rather be magnetically pulled in a direction than controlled by the force of power and consequence… Influence can be a great think, especially when we distinguish it from manipulation”

“God’s greatest moments for us are never for us alone. They are always about our lives touching the lives of others.”

The essence of influence is “to win the heart and soul of another person through the strength of your own character and personhood… Authority can shape what a person does, but influence shapes who a person becomes.”

“All of us pass a bit of ourselves on to others. You better like who you are and make what you give to others from yourself a gift and not a curse.”

“Character is the resource from which influence draws. Relationships are the venue through which influence travels… Nothing matters to God more than relationships… Having a right relationship with God results in having right relationship with others.”

“Influence is defined as ‘a power affecting a person, think, or course of events’ – especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort… We underestimate how deeply our influence can change a person’s life.”

“Character breeds influence. Influence shapes character. The relationship between character and influence is like breathing – the deeper you inhale, the stronger you can exhale.”

“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.”

Risk: Live Before You Die, and Vice Versa

“There is something about divine moments that requires us to go through the pass, to venture beyond the point of no return.”

“We choose to remain anonymous… uninvolved, and our love for personal privacy disguises both our indifference and our isolation. You can live your life and never be seen…. This is not about making life a stage and demanding the starring role. This is about stepping up and making sure your life counts. It’s about volunteering when God is asking, ‘Who will go on My behalf? I’m talking about our silent abdication of responsibility, our choice to move to the backdrop when someone is needed on the forefront.”

As human beings, God has given us the choice about being visible or invisible. “We can become dull for the purpose of avoiding any potential dangers and hide in the backdrop of life, or we can choose to become more visible to those around us and causing those who stand in our way to have second thoughts. It is so much easier to choose to be invisible. Oh, there are other words for invisible – average, mediocre, normal, compliant, predictable, safe – and the list could go on and on…. Eventually all of us long to be needed or cared for, loved or appreciated, and that requires visibility.”

“To have the life that Jesus Christ offers us, we must in that moment commit ourselves to die. If we are unwilling to die to ourselves, we are unable to receive the life that only God can give. The moment in which we have the most to gain is also the moment we have the most to surrender and are the most visible… the greatest opportunities require the highest risk.”

“If you have never failed, it might just be possible that you have never risked… never really lived… Failure is often the context for miracles.”

“Risk that God respects is fueled by a passion for His purpose and a willingness to subjugate our lives to His mission. 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?”

“There is so much that God wants to do that can be seen only after we begin to do it.”

Advance: Go Unless You Get A No

“when you’re moving with God, you must move with an advance mentality. You move forward unless God tells you to stop.”

“Every follower of Christ has the prime directive of representing Him on this earth. We are all called to be His witnesses. We are all commissioned to make disciples. We are all given the assignment of serving as His ambassadors of reconciliation. We are all commanded to love not only God, but also our neighbors as ourselves. We are all mandated to follow His example by serving others even as Christ has served us.”

It is the “God-inspired permission that made them (the people in the book of Acts) an unstoppable force. This goes beyond proactivity and initiative. It is a sense of manifest destiny, a confidence that nothing can stop you from accomplishing God’s purpose for your life. No challenge or enemy is powerful enough to stand in the way.”

“If you’re going to seize divine moments, you must be willing to face your giants… After risk comes advance. After ‘no turning back’ comes ‘you must go forward’.”

Impact: Leave a Mark

“Most divine moments need to be seized, not simply walked through… if divine moments were that easy to seize, everyone would be living the abundant life of which Jesus spoke.”

“You cannot be a people of conquest if you’re unwilling to enter the battle.”

“Whenever God is doing a new thing, He does it through people.”

“A part of the calling is to bear the initial impact on the behalf of others. This is true in every meaningful endeavor and was so beautifully modeled by our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Movement: Ignite a Reaction

“Prayer is an obstacle when we keep praying about things of which God has already spoken. If He has commanded us in His Word, there is nothing to pray about – just obey.”

“The purpose of prayer is to know God and, in knowing Him, to hear God’s voice and understand that God has heard your voice. The end result of this kind of prayer is a heart pliable enough to move wherever God is calling. The purpose of prayer is to keep you connected, and when you’re connected to God, you are moving with Him.”

“This is one reason it is critical to seize every divine moment. You can never know at the onset all that God intends to do through your simple act of obedience.”

“There is no more appropriate place for the church to be than where people need God the most. . . .We were equally committed to not being of the world and to aggressively being in the world. The irony is that often the places and the things that we eliminate are the very places Jesus visited and the things He did.”

Awakening: Wake the Dead

“Potential is a glimpse of what could be, yet there must be a shift from where we have potential to where we are potent… no one moves from potential to maximum capacity without the help of others. Often lost potential is the result of lack of investment.”

“It is easy to make decisions that are objective and rational when you’re not personally involved. When you become connected at a heart level, your base of information changes.”

“The primary symbols of the Christian faith – the cross, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper – are all declarations that through sacrifice comes life.”


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