I don’t know about you but these last few weeks have been some of the most intensely hopeful days of my life. The Lord has been blessing my family and I have been greatly encouraged in many of the things that the Lord has put before to read concerning Him. I previously shared a review of Peter Diamandis’s book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. I’ve also shared a review on Marianne Williamson’s book The Law of Divine Compensation. Today, I want to share with you my latest read by Jim Cymbala titled Spirit Rising: Tapping Into the Power of the Holy Spirit.
For those of you who may not know, Jim Cymbala is the pastor of one of the most prominent churches in New York. When my wife and I were dating, we actually had the privilege to go worship there. I still remember that day as one of the most Spirit filled services that I’ve had the benefit to be a part of.
In this book, Jim begins it with a testimony of an encounter he had that was so profound that it transformed the way he viewed the interaction and leading of the Holy Spirit. It had been a moment where there was an unction to do something significant for Christians in Pakistan after having read a New York Times article that reported the murder of a Christian family there. Little did He know, but at the very time that he presented this burden on his heart to the congregation of the church, there would be someone in the audience, who had never been to his church, who was connected to that area in Pakistan.
At a time when Pastor Cymbala had no clue how he was going to help, nor how he’d get the aid he wanted to send to Pakistan, The Holy Spirit had been orchestrating things. This is the beginning of how Pastor Jim begins to explain the desire of the Holy Spirit to partner with us to do amazing things in our lives.
This book contains not just his own testimony but also testimonies of people who have come to the church and have had their own Holy Spirit encounters that have radically changed their lives. One of the things that Pastor Cymbala points out from the start of this book is how so little emphasis has been truly given to the Holy Spirit, and it is such a shame when scripture tells us that we ought not grieve the Holy Spirit. Having the Spirit working in and through us in church and in the world in which we are called to make an impact in can only occur through yielding to the Spirit’s leading.
Jim Cymbala breaks up this book into three distinct sections. The first section covers the Holy Spirit as being God’s Agent on earth. With this thought in mind he points to how the Holy Spirit is a disrupter of the status quo. He also conveys the message that there is a sense of helplessness without the empowering of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus was enabled to do all of the mighty works that he performed and it is through the Holy Spirit that we as Christ’s body supposed to do likewise.
The second section of the book covers the signs and wonders that occur when the Spirit moves. Through a number of testimonies of others, Jim delves deeply into the Holy Spirit’s power, love and influence to change things.
The final section truly gives insight into what it looks like when we as Christians surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leading and desire to be active in and through us. In Pastor Cymbala’s final thoughts in the conclusion he eludes to some very deep and thought provoking questions about where we as believers go from this point in his conveying of who the Holy Spirit is and what His purpose is in the earth. If we are truly to be the Church, we must resolve to not be a powerless people. Apart from the Holy Spirit our Christian walk is just that; powerless. Pastor Cymbala makes the case that our experience with God is a lackluster, lukewarm existence which was never meant to be.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who has felt like their relationship with God is lacking of depth, anyone who desires to know the person of the Holy Spirit, or wants to know what it means to “tap into the power.”
I think it many in the Body of Christ assume too many things when it comes to Christianity and what that means for the individual and the Body at large. Yet, we can all grow more and become more when we allow the Holy Spirit to arise in us.
QUESTION: What has been your experience with the Holy Spirit?