Eucharisteo Is Not A Formula

I love Ann Voskamp.

I read her blog, have read (and marked up) her book, even given copies away as gifts. I’ve learned from her and keep my own “list.” But…


There is something that needs to be said {and I need to say it to my own heart}:

Eucharisteo is not a formula.

It is possible to start a list and hope to see God in it and “do” everything just right yet end up missing the whole point. Let me explain.

Our approach in Western Christianity is to make everything a formula. Our independent, affluent, self sufficient culture sort of makes this our default.

The problem is, formulas indicate control~ ours. We do something for God’s revelation, power, goodness, grace, manifestation, etc. God’s outpouring in our lives is dependent then on us and on whether we have concocted the *right* formula.

God, on the other hand, invites us to relationship, which is the relinquishing of control and trusting in the character of another (God.)

Relationship is Trust. Faith.

I say this because I am afraid our tendency is to see people like Ann Voskamp and Beth Moore and others, and love what they have with the Lord and we want to follow their footsteps to having it too. So we “try it” amd are discouraged when we can’t follow suit or when ours doesn’t look the same or when the results we thought we’d see aren’t there.

The pattern for many of us is that of constantly jumping from one thing to another, thinking…hoping… this time will be “it,”  that somehow this is the missing piece and it will all come together, finally.

But it is faith that builds relationship, not Beth Moore’s bible study or Ann Voskamp’s List. The transforming factor in their lives is faith, not formula.

I know this agonizingly well.

I spent many years of my Christian life “trying” instead of believing.

Faith is about letting go of control. For Ann, eucharisteo was the way she practiced letting go and trusting God. For her, like it must be for us all, it is not about formula but faith.

We like to control our own spirituality. In fact, we even believe our spiritual growth is our responsibility. When caught in this trap, something wonderful like eucharisteo then becomes a formula we try to use. It is such a way of life that many of us can’t even see it.

“For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own…” Romans 10:3

It is possible to desire righteousness and seek after it and go about it all wrong because you know not about God’s righteousness, which only comes one way:

“But now, apart from the Law (works, self-effort, formulas), the righteousness of God has been manifested, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:21-22

We don’t have to manufacture our own righteousness, we can simply accept Christ’s.

If you can’t use spiritual disciplines as a means of deepening faith, letting go of control, and receiving Christ’s sufficiency…then let the discipline go. It only creates self-effort.


7 Comments on “Eucharisteo Is Not A Formula”

  1. Carol Apgar says:

    So much of what you write is a reflection of beliefs and attitudes that I have assumed for many years. It is truly an act of true faith and deep trust to let go of the “control” of our spiritual development. Praying that God will continue His good work in you and others through reading what He has revealed to you!

  2. Denise Mabie says:

    Very well put. Our only hope is Christ alone!

  3. Renee says:

    I think you are so right!!! I posted not to long ago about eucharisteo too, after reading Ann’s book 🙂 And I agree with you on the formula thing!!!!

    But long before Ann’s list, long before I started reading her blog, long before I started writing my blog, God huge me to learn Phil 4:6-7, the same principal of Ann’s gratitude list is part of that verse, but it as to be taken in context and we do see the bigger picture that way.

    “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

    Indeed not being anxious is asking us to have FAITH in Him that is in control, and to have peace, his peace we need to let go, letting our controlling habits go and let Him take over, we need to surrender.

    I think that is harder for us to surrender when we “can provide” for our need, and so we think, because God is the one to give, who bless, “our” money is not our own but his, what we have is not ‘ours’ but his.

    If we could just realize that it all belong to Him, maybe, just maybe then we could use our blessing to glorify Him and not us.

    Sorry about this rambling, your post was taughts provoking, thanks you for sharing it with us, and being the beautiful sister that you are!

  4. Kristen says:

    I appreciate your blog so much. The things you write about are things I struggle with on a daily basis. Thank you for your transparency and wisdom.

  5. Heather says:

    Thanks for sharing this ….a gentle reminder that I need these days!

  6. Jodi says:

    This is true. I’ve been hopping from Godly thought to another, trying to figure out the formula, coming up with “aha!” moments, only to realize it’s all my own strivings. It is hard for me to simply rest in Him, but I know that one day, I’ll be standing with hands open, at rest, wondering what to me so long. Thank you for being a vessel of His love. Through you and others He’s brought to my attention, I’m learning to Jesus more and more every day.

  7. Jodi says:

    Goodness; to “love” Jesus more every day. : )

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