Thirsty for More (Book Review)
By Benjamin H. Liles
I do a great amount of studying. So much so it takes me some time as to how to approach and teach on something "To present yourself approved to God, an unashamed workman who accurately handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15, Berean Study). When I say what I do flies counter to what I have known so far about what I teach and do it right so I can show God I love Him. Okay, having said that, what does this have to do with Allison Allen's book Thirsty for More?
Scripture records, "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:5-7, New King James). Peter is quoting Proverbs 3:34, which says, "Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble."
I have the unenviable task to say this: I don't attach people who's star status will help me sell a load of books on people who will not study to show themselves approved. I want to see Jesus Christ lifted up. I hate the fact that I'm having to say about Ms. Allen's book Thirsty is that she has Jeremy and Adie Camp's words at the beginning of her book to help her sell her book. Do I think Allison is attempting to do something worthy? I would love to say she is attempting to do the same as Jesus, which is, "healing the brokenhearted, binding up wounds" (Psalm 147:3, Holman Christian Standard).
What we're called to do as followers of Christ is to discipline ourselves, to allow God to have His way with us: "In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, or lose heart when He rebukes you. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastises everyone He receives as a son.” Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you do not experience discipline like everyone else, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons" (Hebrews 12:4-8, Berean Study).
What I can say for Allison's book Thirsty is that she is trying to reconcile something the desert people are saying and doing which isn't consistent with Biblical teaching. This is what I have a problem with. I agree we all have times in our lives where we are being tested, but it is God doing the refining process within us. I go for times without a word from God because He's desiring to root something out of me that isn't right, that isn't pure. As He says to all of us, as His children: "Be holy, because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16). Peter quotes from Leviticus 11:44-45.
Grace has been given to us so we can show grace as well, which I said to my wife last night, "Grace for grace." Beloved, I want all of you to live justly and purely within the sight of God. I want the name of Jesus Christ always lifted high. I will not lift up my own name to make a dollar. So, I can't truly endorse someone's book that I feel somehow falls short of God's standard. As I said, I'm sure Allison Allen means well with her book, and my prayers are with her to teach well and to teach right. We are called to lift up one another in prayer and intercession, so don't think for a moment I'm against her. I just want her to teach right.
I want to be known at the end of my days by God as someone who has striven with God and men in His holiness; for I call on the Father "Who judges each one’s work impartially, live your lives in reverent fear during your temporary stay on earth. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot. He was known before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in the last times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:17-20).
Again, I must say this: grace for grace. For it is by grace we have been redeemed, and it is by grace we forgive and love each other as God has loved us, not to give license to sin, but to give glory to God alone. I say this to exhort you all, to build you up, to learn wisely, to live in the light of God's love, and His truth. So, in that sense I cannot -- in good conscience -- do as this publisher asks me to do.
With that said, I received this book Thirsty for More from Revell to give an honest, albeit biased review -- on behalf of God, to be right with God -- and accurate rendering of what I know is true about Him, and not based on celebrity.
Labels: Book Reviews