I have mixed feelings about this book. I mostly liked what I read at the beginning and the end but there was one area in the middle with which I have great reservations.
I like that Eckhardt begins his book by reminding us that we actually need times of desperation and desert experiences. “Without these seasons we would not be able to build the spiritual strength and character we need to withstand the weight of God's glory.” (x) It may be that God is bringing us to a new level. He reminds us of the work God can do in us when we are in a desperate place. I like that we need to realize the importance of personal prayer. We must recognize that we are in a spiritual battle and we must be in it for the long fight.
I like that Eckhardt explores the many possibilities there might be for God's delay in answering our petitions. It may be demonic activity. It may be we need to experience the results of a bad decision. God may be using the time to work deeply in us.
I like that in the latter part of the book Eckhardt writes that we must deal with the sin in our lives. (160) We must take away those things God tells us must go. (165) We cannot live just any way we please. There are such things as righteousness and holiness.
I was disappointed in the middle part of the book. Eckhardt goes into the typical Word of Faith teaching about multiplying finances and about how God has given believers authority over the earth and circumstances. We are to make confessions, to declare. “When I decree,” he writes, “something is going to change.” (113) “When you pray,” Eckhardt promises, “God will shake up every ungodly, wicked system that stands in your way.” (137) (He has included declarations at the end of every chapter for readers to use.)
Wait a minute. Eckhardst writes before and after this that God has a purpose to accomplish through our difficult circumstances. God is working on us, on our character. He is preparing us for something. Yet Eckhardt would say that our decreeing and praying would change those circumstances. Which is it? Do we humbly seek the character change God is doing through our circumstances or do we boldly (arrogantly) declare the circumstances changed? This is an example of contradictory teaching: suggesting we learn from our circumstance yet that we declare those circumstances changed.
At the very end of the book, Eckhardt says there is a purpose for being in a desert place. God is doing a work, perfecting character traits we need for what He has for us and to be able to bring glory to God. (199) I like that. Rather than declaring your circumstanced changed, find out what God is working in you through them.
My rating: 4/5 stars. This book releases August 7.
John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than 80 nations. He is a sought after international conference speaker and has authored more than 20 books. He and his wife live in Chicago.
Charisma House, 224 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.