Friday, March 15, 2013

Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher by Chad Norris


Chad started reading the Bible and following what he saw there. He began to go deeper and deeper into the Kingdom of God. “So for me,” he writes, “the days of proclamation without demonstration are over. I have seen too much. I have heard too much.” (19)

Chad shares his own story, his struggle with depression and panic attacks, his disappointment with God. He went to counseling. He got medications. Later he tried to go off the medications on his own and suffered greatly, experiencing spiritual warfare.
He went to another counselor and at one of his sessions he saw Jesus. He surrendered to the Holy Spirit and His power. He decided to really read the gospels. His eyes were opened to realities he had never seen before. He began to understand more and more what it meant to follow Jesus. What was a reality for the disciples is a reality for us today.
God is closer than we think and more real than we think. It is possible to operate today the same way Jesus commanded his disciples to operate.

Chad listens to the Holy Spirit. He prays for healing. He gives people words of knowledge. “Faith for the impossible is a normal state,” he writes. (120) “Heaven is yearning for Christianity with demonstration.” (106)

Chad admits he doesn't have all the answers. Quite a few times over the last ten years he has prayed for people and nothing has happened. Faith is messy, he says. But he is willing to go where Jesus sends him.

And Chad admits he still battles anxiety and he is thinking of going back to counseling to work on a couple more areas in his life. “It is possible to struggle with the messiness of life and see the supernatural at the same time.” (76)

People ask Chad what they need to do to see the Kingdom manifest in their own lives. Get to know God more intimately than anyone you've ever known, he advises. “When we want Him more than everything else in the world, we will see His works flow naturally from our walk with Him.” (134)

I was impressed with this book because Chad is a “regular” guy. Although he is on staff at a church, he is not a theologian (by his own admission). He still struggles with anxiety. Yet God uses him and works through him. So, we have no excuse. God is waiting to work through us too. In fact, Chad believes that soon there will be no more distinction between charismatic churches and those non-charismatic. The supernatural will be moving to traditional churches. What is required, he says, is to stop ignoring what Jesus told us to do. If we call ourselves “disciples,” we need to do what he tells us.

Chad Norris is Pastor of Life Transformation at City Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Since joining the church staff in 2010, he has served as teacher, discipler and mission team leader to Haiti. Before joining the City Church staff, he co-founded Wayfarer. With that ministry he served as a writer and speaker, publishing several Bible studies. He has also served as college minister at the Church of Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. Chad and his wife have three children. You can find out more at www.chadnorris.com or find him on Facebook at Facebook.com/author.chadnorris.

Chosen Books, 192 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from Chosen Books for the purpose of this review.
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