Spirit Rising by Jim Cymbala [book review]

I just read Jim Cymbala’s and Jennifer Schuchmann’s new book, Spirit Rising. It brought many great questions to mind:

  • Have you ever felt something was missing from your walk with Jesus?
  • Have you ever sensed in your gut that there was more?
  • Have you ever been saddened by your complacency and disturbed by your apathy, but still felt powerless to make the necessary changes you’ve tried 1,000 times to make on your own?
  • Do you feel that you’re always missing the mark?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I encourage you to read Spirit Rising by Jim Spirit Rising Jim CymbalaCymbala available via Kindle, Audible, or hardcover.

I have walked with Jesus for 33 years, served in ministry, and taken a theology class. In all those years, I have never heard the clear, concise teaching on the Holy Spirit and His role in our lives that I read about in Spirit Rising.

The personal testimonies that Jim, pastor at Brooklyn Tabernacle since 1971, intersperses throughout the book are miraculous and encouraging testimonies of what the Holy Spirit is able, willing, and overjoyed to do when we are yielded to His leadership in our lives.

One of the most visited pages on my site surround dealing with personal spiritual battles. In many cases, half the battle is we aren’t living in the power of the Spirit.

Father has given us the Holy Spirit as:

  • Author of the Bible — Acts 4:25, Acts 28:25, 2 Peter 1:21
  • His Gift to us — Luke 11:13, Acts 2:38
  • Helper — Romans 8:26, Philippians 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:14
  • Teacher — Mark 13:11, Luke 12:12, Acts 14:26, Hebrews 10:14-16
  • Convictor — John 16:7-9
  • Guide — Acts 13:2-4, Acts 16:6, Acts 20:23, Acts 21:11
  • Spiritual Gift Giver — Hebrews 2:4
  • Power Source — Acts 1:8, Acts 10:38, Acts 11:24, Romans 15:13, 1 Thessalonians 1:5
  • Leader — Luke 4:1, Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 6:19
  • Joy Giver — Luke 10:21, Acts 13:52, Romans 14:17
  • Love Infuser — Romans 5:5
  • Counselor — John 14:26, John 16:7-9
  • Enabler — Acts 2:4, Acts 4:31
  • Someone who we can resist, grieve, & treat with contempt — Isaiah 63:10, Acts 7:51, Ephesians 4:30, Hebrews 3:7-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
  • Encourager — Acts 9:31
  • Prophecy Giver — Acts 19:6

Do you have consistent personal experience with knowing the Holy Spirit by these traits in your life?

If not, I highly encourage you to read Spirit Rising. It will invigorate your faith, embolden your witness, strengthen your spirit, and renew your faith in our God who still moves mountains.

Hear Jim’s interview on the 700 Club on Spirit Rising.

Where is Our Faith?

I love the account of Elisha and his servant when the King of Aram sent his army to capture Elisha (2 Kings 6:8-23).

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh, my lord, what shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’

And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

Where is Our Faith?How many times are we like Elisha’s servant with shaky legs and melting hearts asking ourselves and others, “What shall we do?”

Where is our faith?  Where is us taking God at His word to be our Savior, Defender, and to rescue us if we only ask?

Isaiah 19:20, “It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.”

Our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Heb 13:8)

We follow the One who says, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)

Jehovah Jireh — my Provider.  He is perfectly faithful in coming through with His power and bringing Himself glory through the impossible situations of our churches that need cleansing, our marriages that need strengthening, and our ministries that need the wind of the Holy Spirit’s fresh empowering . . . if only we would pray and believe that He is who He says He is as in Zephaniah 3:17.

“The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

We can be utterly secure in His love, attention, care, protection, and His victory over the vast armies that are coming against us (2 Chronicles 20:12-17).

Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)

Let us reconsider the power that has been given us through prayer and then let us reconfigure our lives and purposes accordingly.

Photo on Flickr by spaceodissy

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Finishing (Adventures in Faith series)

Knight Kneeling

O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.

In that day they will say,

“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” – Isaiah 25:1, 9

Finishing well . . .

It is the cry at the core of every believer’s heart who has fixed their eyes on Jesus.

The battle scene from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe rivets my heart each time I see it. This scene encapsulates the core aspects at stake in the battle for us to finish well as believers.

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The dialogue from this scene breaks down into these core aspects that are at stake in the battle for us to finish well as believers.

FEAR

DRYAD: Fear not my princes. I come with tidings of grave news..
Peter walks out of the tent.
PETER: It is true, he’s gone
EDMUND: Then you’ll have to lead us. There’s a whole army out there waiting to follow you.
PETER: I can’t
EDMUND: Aslan believed you could. And so do I.
OREIUS: what are your orders?

Let us replace our “I can’ts” with “I can with His power and strength.”

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. – Philippians 2:13

BATTLE VIEW

GRYPHON: They come, you highness, in numbers and weapons far greater than our own.
OREIUS: Numbers do not win a battle
PETER: No, but I bet they help

From our human vantage point in the physical realm, it will often seem like we are outnumbered in both strength and force. We lose sight that the victory is sure; the battle has already been won.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

ENEMY’S VIEW

WHITE WITCH: I take no interest in prisoners. Kill them all
Army charges, gryphons attack
OTMAN: Look to the sky

In whatever way he can, the Enemy will seek to “take you out,” to emasculate (to deprive of strength or vigor; weaken) your spiritual strength, and cloud your spiritual vision.

For every person who doesn’t have a living relationship with Jesus Christ, this is their fate: death and destruction. What are you doing to be a part of the rescue effort for their souls?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. . . – John 10:10

BATTLE VICTORY

BATTLE TRULY BEGINS
PETER: Are you with me?
ORIEUS: To the death!
PETER: FOR NARNIA, AND FOR ASLAN!!!!

Do we have that level of voracious, unwavering commitment to our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Where are you in the battle?

  • Are you letting His courage trounce your fear?
  • Is your battle view accurate based on our King who has already gained the ultimate victory?

Who is the King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty;
the LORD, invincible in battle. – Psalm 24:8

  • Are you giving the Enemy a foothold in any part of your life?
  • Are you unwaveringly committed to your brothers and sisters in Christ in your local church family and in the Body of Christ worldwide through prayer and support?
  • Are you actively involved in the rescuing of those who haven’t yet escaped the Enemy’s grasp?

As soon as you are washed in Christ’s blood and clothed in His righteousness, you must begin to hew your way through a lane of enemies, right up to the eternal throne. Every foot of the way will be disputed; not an inch will Satan yield to you.Charles Spurgeon

photo credit: Tididi via photopin cc

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