Christendom is divided on the activities of the Holy Spirit. Some preach that the gifts of the Spirit are no longer active and that the charismatic movement is dangerous. Others embrace the working of the Holy Spirit and His gifts today.
Storms has been an important voice on the issue. As a Reformed Christian who is also charismatic, I have appreciated the books Storms has written. He continues to help Christians understand and move in the work of the Holy Spirit today.
This book is not a defense of the operation of the gifts today. He has covered that in previous books. This book is aimed at those who believe the gifts are for today but have no idea what to do next. Storms provides practical guidelines to implement the gifts and their operation in the church.
Changing the culture of a church is not easy. Storms is up front about the cost and the work involved. He covers a number of topics including possible roadblocks. He writes about prayer, fasting, prophecy, healing, deliverance, and much more, including how to instruct others. He also covers how ministries go wrong, like with manipulation.
I think what struck me the most in this book was Storms' comment on a quote from Octavius Winslow. “Everything we know of God the Father and of Jesus does not come naturally. We owe everything to the ministry of the Spirit. Everything we understand in God's Word, whatever degree of insight we gain into the measureless truths it embodies, we must attribute to the ministry of the Spirit.” (178) That really gave me pause to think of how the ministry of the Spirit is usually ignored in most churches.
I recommend this book to pastors, staff and other church leaders who value the authority of the Bible and the continuing operation of the spiritual gifts. If you desire to see people have a better understanding of the spiritual gifts and be energized by the Spirit, this book will help you see that come to pass.
You can access the sermon series Storms preached on 1 Corinthians 12-14 at his church's website, www.bridgewaychurch.com. You can find out more about the book and read a chapter at https://www.practicingthepower.com/.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas) is founder of Enjoying God Ministries, senior pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, and a former professor. He is the author of over two dozen books and blogs regularly at www.samstorms.com.
Zondervan, 272 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.