Friday, December 13, 2013

Top Ten Books of 2013 - Honorable Mention - Lord, Is It Warfare? Kay Arthur

This blog isn’t dead just sorely neglected!  For the last year there have been some other demands that required me to shuffle the blog to a lower rung in my life.  Perhaps I can give a very short explanation at a later point.  However I have a challenge of sorts with the year-end being the fact that I read more than ten good books, in fact so much so that there were some that did not necessarily make it into a “Top Ten” category but they are good enough that I feel they would be worth an honorable mention. 

Author:  Kay Arthur
Publisher:  WaterBrook Press, 1991


I have seen Kay Arthur books over the years but had never read one.  I was in Lifeway toward the end of 2012 and happened to see this book and decided it would be worth a try.  This book falls into the “Lord” series that Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries have written over the years.  This book is excellent because it requires interaction on the part of the reader.  You cannot just read this book passively to really get what Arthur wants from you.  The book is
designed to take you over an eleven week period.  Each day during that eleven weeks you are with it every day and there are questions you answer, biblical cross references that you have to write out and instructions on how to mark up your Bible.  For those who work with handwritten journals, this resource will cause you to get very good at journaling and I believe it has the capacity open up your eyes like they have never been opened before!  As you work through the various spiritual warfare passages obviously beginning in Ephesians 6, you will begin to make the connection from the Scriptures to the horrific schemes and methods of the devil.  For those who don’t believe in spiritual warfare all you have to do is read this book and you will become convinced that there is a reason that our society if moving in the direction that it is. 

Kay Arthur also encourages you to reach for outside resources that will help you to grasp more than what she has in the book.  She relies heavily on The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9 which is an incredibly helpful commentary set.  For those who are endeavoring to do verse-by-verse in their preaching this commentary set is well worth what you will pay for it.  However, if you cannot afford this whole set, then you would be helped by Clinton Arnold’s book, Ephesians:  Power and Magic along with 3 Crucial Questions on Spiritual Warfare and Powers of Darkness:  Principalities and Powers in Paul’s Letters.  The note section at the end of Lord, Is It Warfare? is very helpful also.  If you are a pastor or someone who is responsible to preach or teach regularly this book is a treasure trove not so much in itself but what it causes you to do in your study.  I have no doubt that what you dig out will also come out in your presentation.  I looked back over some of my sermon notes and Bible study notes during the time that was reading this book and found that there was much that went into what I was preaching during that period of time.    

Some quotes from the book:

Satan would love to keep you ignorant, misinformed, or fearful of the subject of spiritual warfare.  However, in this case the old adage “ignorance is bliss” has to be the enemy’s adage, not God’s.  Remember, Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  Truth is always liberating!

Ignorance of the enemy and of warfare will not keep you out of the battle.  Instead, it makes you extremely vulnerable.  That’s why God has been careful to let us know that there’s an enemy who wants to wrestle us to the ground. 

The word translated struggle or wrestle in Ephesians 6:12 speaks of “a hand-to-hand fight—a fight characterized by trickery, cunningness, and strategy.”  God doesn’t tell us all this to scare us but to prepare us.  We need to know why there’s a struggle, why there’s a conflict, and then we need to know how we’re to live in the light of it.

You will be blown away when you start going through the passages in Acts 19, Deuteronomy 18, and Leviticus 19.  The book is designed in such a way that the questions which are asked are worded in such a way that you will see the power of Scripture like you never have before.  To really cinch up what you are doing with this, take the Amplified Bible or the ESV and work with these translations as you go through the book.

Finally, I previously mentioned that this book is designed in such a way as to cause you to write in your Bible.  I am not an anti-tech guy because I must admit that I have a few gadgets that have been tremendous blessings to me.  However, there is nothing like having a Bible that you have marked up over the years and has the comfort of a well-used ball glove.  It is sort of like realizing that if you borrowed someone else’s glove, it would do but it just wasn’t yours.  I encourage you to keep a Bible and don’t ditch it just because you are using an iPad because one of these days, there will be a great legacy you leave to your children and family if they can see where you tracked around and marked up a Bible. 

Thanks for reading. . .        


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