Monday, May 16, 2011

Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver—A Book Review

This author’s popular title, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, has never made it to my hands or bookcase.  So grateful I am that her latest has!

The subtitle for Lazarus Awakening is Finding Your Place in the Heart of God.  And aren’t we all somewhat in the process of that—or have been?  In some way?  Many of us believe God, we believe IN God, but we struggle with God believing in us and being for us. 

One of the current arguments in Christendom today is that there is too much emphasis on love and grace without enough on righteous, holy living and eternal damnation.  Isn’t that interesting?  How does one desire to live holy apart from tasting a love so divine that all other appetites are quenched?  One does not evade hell out of fear of the place, but through grace extended by the only One Who conquered it!

So what does the story of Lazarus hold for us?  Much!  And Mrs. Weaver unfolds the story beautifully in this book.  If you are like me and have grown up in the church with Bible stories being as common to you as nursery rhymes, then you also understand the struggle to visit the story carefully, freshly—as an observer present during the exchange.  This author does a lovely job of slowing the reader down to see depth of truths in a miracle we may only recognize as further proof of the Messiahship of Jesus.

Ten chapters take us slowly and carefully through the story as well as through principles of Divine Love. 

“Lord, the One you Love is Sick” . . . don’t we all struggle with the sickness of sin and the spiritual slumber our Enemy threatens to lull in us.

“Our Friend Lazarus” . . . More than service and even our worship, God desires our friendship—our desire to live in deep relationship with Jesus.

“When Love Taries” . . . My time-table is not God’s.  And there’s good reason for that!

“Tomb Dwelling” . . . Living with strongholds in our lives and the freedom possible!

“Roll Away the Stone” . . . Roadblocks of faith—exalting God’s truth over my feelings!

“When Love Calls Your Name” . . . Following God’s voice; obedience and where it can take me.

“Unwinding Graveclothes” . . . Jesus brought the dead man back to life, but it was those around him that were asked to help with the process of freeing the bound man.

“Living Resurrected” . . . God’s glory is realized in the life fully alive in Him.  No partial resurrections!

“Laughing Lazarus” . . . No longer walking in fear or anxiety but believing God’s care is tangible in peace and serenity.

Being Precepts trained, I appreciated her digging into the original Greek language as well as the quotes she supplied by Bible Scholars Spiros Zodhiates and Warren Wiersbe.  Several brothers and sisters are given space for their nuggets of gleaned truth like Charles Spurgeon, George Mueller, Hannah Whitall Smith, Elisabeth Elliot, Beth Moore, and Francis Chan as well as others.

While much of this book was not “new” information to me, some of what she spoke of is only 3 or 4 years young in my Christian walk.  I appreciated her different format and take on thoughts and concepts I have been embracing and experiencing much freedom in.  There were a couple of areas in which I disagreed with her.  In one case, she asserts that God created humans because “God was lonely” and that he felt a “lack”.  Maybe it was poor wording, but there is no lack in the Triune God—nor any way us humans can fill or complete Him!

Personally, God met me in amongst the pages at various times through verses and words that He has been gently speaking over me the past 2 months.  How great is His love!  How infinite His way of showing it!  I was particularly moved by the second line of page 140 which stated, “Jesus cares for you,” followed by a name on the third line . . . Robin!  Not a common name to find in any book, let me tell you! J  This is an area where I have lived in unbelief—that God loves me personally and passionately; that He is always actively providing, protecting and caring for me!

I am anxious to one day read the previous two books in this trilogy.  I wonder what He holds for me there! 

{This book also contains a 10-week companion study guide and several helpful resources in the back.  I already had the information in Appendix D: Who I am in Christ by Neil Anderson, which is invaluable weaponry when countering the Enemy’s lies against us!}

Disclosure: Multnomah Books provided me Lazarus Awakening for free for review purposes with no expectation that I would provide a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions shared are entirely my own. 

I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a quick minute and rate this review.  The selection of books from which I get to choose from increases according to my number of ratings.  Thanks so much!

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