Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala

Jim Cymbala writes that "the Holy Spirit is God's agent on earth, yet he is the least understood, least preached about, and least discussed member of the Trinity."  Wouldn't you agree?  This is a great resource for learning about who the Holy Spirit is, what he does, and what we can expect when our lives are surrendered to him.  It took me longer to read this book than most because it isn't full of fluff that I'm tempted to skim over.  Instead it kept my mind at attention and my hand busy underlining!  The teaching is intermixed with testimonies from some of the members of the Brooklyn Tabernacle that demonstrate how the Spirit can move. 

If we want to be filled with more love and joy, to overcome fear, to have a deeper understanding of God's Word, to desire holiness, and to have a more powerful prayer life - we need the Holy Spirit.  Often when we discover our failings we simply decide to try harder.  But Jim Cymbala writes that "without Holy Spirit power, we'll never have enough of what we need to become the people God wants us to be."  This book has inspired me not to try harder to change on my own, but to develop a more sensitive spirit so I can hear and respond to his prompting.

The final chapter talks about when Israel lost God's blessing and presence, and didn't seem to care.  The author writes "Could that be happening today?  Hymns and praise choruses are sung; a sound doctrinal sermon is preached; our church services are timed and orchestrated perfectly.  Too often, however, there is little of the presence of God that produces awe, conviction of sin, overflowing joy, and life-transforming ministry.  We can easily settle for "church" instead of God.  And every succeeding generation shaped in that mold makes it harder for anyone to dare ask, "Where is the Lord?" "

We need to be seeking the Lord and evaluating the temperature of our own spiritual lives.  This book is a great tool to get started!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

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