Saturday, June 6, 2015

Grace That Breaks the Chains

Last Spring I went on a women's retreat and our speaker used materials from Victory Over the Darkness. I really appreciated the truths that she was sharing and wanted to delve deeper and so I bought the book myself.

It was such a such a great read I wondered why I hadn't ever read it before. Now I recommend it all the time and think it's in my top 10 book recommendations for Christians. Knowing who we are in Christ is so important for Christians to have a grasp on. When we don't know who we are in Christ, we are so unsure of our position and standing. When we know the truth it sets us free, and that led me to getting the next book by Neil Anderson, The Bondage Breaker.

It also was a great read and builds on a lot of the principals from the first book. The Bondage Breaker goes into depth about how to overcome sins that keep us from living a Spirit filled life. The Steps to Freedom in Christ found in chapter 11 is a tool that has been used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world to renounce the sins and finally finding victory.

As I looked through books recently this one caught my eye because of the subtitle:

I struggle with perfectionism and have been learning this year about resting in God's grace so I thought this book might be a helpful tool. It is an excellent read for anyone who deals with perfectionism or especially for those who have been influenced by a legalistic home or church.

The trio of authors started with a Barna survey to determine how widespread a legalistic worldview was within the church. They asked questions such as, "The Christian life is well summed-up as 'Trying hard to do what God commands.'" The majority of people surveyed, 57% agreed strongly with the statement and another 25% somewhat agreed. The problem is that the Christian life is NOT about our efforts to be good and obey the rules. Performance-based Christianity opposes the truth that apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).

In the first half of the book they used scripture and personal experiences to explain the laws of legalism that bind us in guilt, shame and fear and exposed the power of our own pride and the true enemies of our freedom in Christ. The second half built on that foundation and showed how to renounce the lies and live in the truth, breaking the chains that legalism and performance based Christianity. With memorable analogies and real-life examples I gleaned new ways to combat my own legalistic tendencies and left each chapter with a fresh love for the Lord and appreciation for His grace.

I heartily recommend this to all Christians who struggle with feeling they will never measure up and have lost the joy of their salvation.

I've passed it on to my hubby who is also a first-born and knows his perfectionist tendencies. He tends to go into full-drive OCD when it comes to books...he really enjoys keeping them looking nice and new, never ever dog-earing pages or underlining. I think he may have nightmares about bent covers and creased spines. He took it and proceeded to try and fix a couple of the edges that were imperfect. Oh the irony! Lord help us rely on your grace and not on ourselves for our worth!

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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