Ever feel like you’re in a spiritual rut? I know I have at times. So I was excited to review the book Unstuck by Arnie Cole & Michael Ross of “Back to the Bible.” This review is part of the book reviewer program through Bethany House Publishers. Of course, the opinions are my own, but I do get the perk of keeping the book.
The premise of the book is that often, as believers, we say that we want and desire spiritual growth, but somehow the method of growth seems elusive to us. In theory, we know how to grow spiritually (pray, read God’s Word, etc.) yet we often seem to stall out along the way, without the steps to take towards growth- losing, or never actually getting, the power we want.
Cole & Ross very systematically present a “method” for spiritual growth, or spiritual “un-sticking” by using their method called the Power of Four:
1-Spending time with God
2-Getting refreshed through His Word
3-Being recharged through the Bible
4-Having a meaningful two-way connection with Him
Each of these steps is explained in detail, and is easy enough for even a new believer to read this as a “how-to” for spiritual growth. Of course, I understand that spiritual growth is personal and different for each person, but this book helps stuck or new believers with charging or recharging the basic tenets of a relationship that is growing.
A quote, by A.W. Tozer, from the book that jumped off the page to me, and was promptly highlighted, was:
Everything is made to center upon the intial act of “accepting” Christ, and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him, we need no more seek Him.
That is SO true of so many believers and churches today. I believe with all of my heart that the gospel needs to be preached, we are to proclaim His Word to all nations, and that the Bible is inspired, living and able to change lives through the Holy Spirit. However, I also know that it is not God’s desire for us to accept Christ, and be satisfied.
I don’t agree with everything written in this article, but I do like the following excerpt:
For even in the circle of twelve, dear Pastor, there was Judas who followed after Christ Himself for three years and yet his heart was hardened by sin. But the other disciples – the true disciples – were changed from the inside out by the work of the Holy Spirit and they set the world afire with the brilliant flame of the Gospel…
…I just wonder if perhaps your congregation is actually full of people who long to know that they are more than sinners saved by grace, who long to hear that in Christ, they are saints who sometimes sin. I wonder what would happen if from the pulpit there were messages that energized them to learn what it means to live as a saint, fully loved and wholly redeemed. I wonder if the people under your care would be so inspired and intrigued by this New Creation Life you spoke of week after week, that they would be compelled, day after day, in the quiet of their own homes and hearts, to fall more in love with our Risen Lord.
The point is- God desires for our relationship with Him is to be alive, deep, growing, emotional, real, lasting, and exciting. Not boring or stuck in a rut.
So if you feel somehow that you could use a spiritual re-boot, or if you are discipling a new believer, I think this book could be a valuable “how-to” tool for explaining what God expects of us in order to experience a growing, vibrant relationship with Him.
The one negative aspect of the book was to me actually not a negative, but I can see how some readers might not agree. Because this book was intended to be a step-by-step, very well researched approach to growth, it is full of graphs and statistics. My type-A brain loved it! But I know not everyone feels the same.
Let me know if you decide to try this study for yourself!
The image source is from this website by Ross & Cole that parallels the study. Each day, along the study, there are additional helpful hints and pieces of advice on the website.