Other than celebrity memoirs, this is the first non-fiction book I have reviewed. I am so glad that I received a copy of this book! I was attracted to this book because the synopsis was about experiencing the Holy Spirit in your life. This really appealed to me because I am always looking for good devotionals and studies to accompany me on my Christian walk. What is most incredible to me about this book is that these sermons of A.W. Tozer were written decades ago (he lived from 1897-1963) but they read as if he were writing about life and the church today!
I found myself able to relate to so much of this book, particularly passages about how the structure and focus of worship in churches has evolved over time. One of my favorite passages was one that spoke about how entertainment has taken the place of worship in the church. Sure, all churches want to draw a big crowd, but when a church becomes “successful” based solely on the number of attendees it draws, then there is a big problem. This really hit home for me. In searching for a church home recently, so many churches seemed to be focused on being the hippest and the coolest when it comes to God. That’s all fine and good until you allow the focus to become about what’s cool and entertaining by the world’s standards instead of about worshiping the Holy Spirit.
Another important point was about making sure that the messages being heard in church today are based on Scripture. Something I have personally observed in recent years is how much value is being placed on a Pastor’s opinion instead of turning to what the Word says. I mean of course Pastors are there to be leaders and help their congregations find answers when they have questions, but I seem to be hearing a lot of “Pastor so-and-so says…” instead of, “the Bible says…”
This book could easily be used as an individual devotional/ study guide or shared in a group setting. Each chapter covers a different topic in regards to the Holy Spirit in our lives and ends with three reflections, which are questions to help you think more deeply on the message of that chapter and reflect on how it may apply to your own life.
In short, this book was moving and powerful and is absolutely relevant today. I’ve already thought of several people I’d like to recommend it and/or gift it to. If you are looking for a good guide to growing the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, I highly recommend you try this book!
I’ve already underlined and highlighted several passages in this book and I’m sure I’ll add more when I re-read it but here are a couple that really hit me powerfully:
“If what we do on Sunday morning is completely contrary to our attitude and practice the rest of the week, perhaps what we are doing Sunday morning is hypocritical. How is it possible for us to be one way one day and completely the opposite the next day?”
– A.W. Tozer
“The church with the latest method is the church with the largest crowd. We have trained this generation of Christians to follow the method instead of following Christ. People do not come to church anymore because Jesus Christ is glorified; they come to church because that is where they can be entertained and feel good about themselves.” – A.W. Tozer
Wow!! Good stuff!
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.