I won this book from the author and he sent me an autographed copy with an inscription made out to me. I was a little skeptical because I’m not normally interested in this genre, but I was willing to give it a go anyways. I’m so glad I did because I LOVED this book. I started out reading with a very critical eye and as soon as I got into the story-line, it won me over. The story was about Edgar meeting a lady (Lenore) in an inn in the Great Dismal Swamp and the magic that the two are blessed (cursed?) with. The writings of Poe were mixed in with Grimm’s Fairy Tales a a little bit of magic to make the plot line just a little bit more awesome. I carried this book everywhere and read a paragraph every time I could get one in. I couldn’t put it down. When I finished the book I immediately looked up Poe’s work just to refresh myself and see how the two tied together. Wilson has done a great job portraying his interpretation of what led to the writing of The Raven. This book is saying in my library for a long time!
Not for the spiritually unresolved or those lacking in faith. Must be firm in your beliefs to read and take this book for what it is. I LOVE the translating parts of it where Hebrew and Greek words are given, however I don’t agree with everything that Sheets says. Even though he gives scriptural backing for his opinions some of what he deducts seems to be taken out of context in the passages. I would’ve put it down if a trusted mentor had not recommended it to me, and even then it took me 2 years to finish because I kept putting it down.
It all started about 2 years ago I had the privilege to join a 9 month class based on the scripture 2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” I had some wonderful teachers and guides in this process. I am a very logically minded person, someone who would rather read and follow than meditate and figure out any day, so one of my weak spots is prayer. The lady who taught on prayer during this class is very well known for being a prayer warrior, someone I would be happy to imitate When she suggested I read Dutch Sheets Intercessory Prayer, I ordered my copy immediately.
I’m sad to say it took me a very long time to open this book and when I finally did, it took a very long time to get started. I made it to chapter six and I was stopped dead in my tracks by this section. Enjoy.
Whether or not God directly controls every event in the life of a Christian can be answered by stating that the basic laws of sowing and reaping, cause and effect, individual responsibility and the free will aren’t negated when we come to Christ. All promises from God are attached to conditions – governing principles. Most, if not all, of these conditions involve responsibility on our part. Protection is no exception.
Most of us don’t like that. It threatens us and somehow weakens God in our minds to imply He’s not in total control of everything. And the majority are greatly offended if anything is taught implying that a failure to receive protection, provision, healing, an answer to prayer, or anything else from God could be our fault.
I can understand how it might threaten us – I’m threatened by me – but I don’t understand why it offends. Are any of us claiming perfection? Aren’t all of us going to fail once in a while? Then why are we offended when a teaching suggests that these imperfections and failures might hinder us?
Why are we offended and opposed to a teaching that says our unbelief kept us from receiving something when so often the Bible says if we believe and do not doubt or waver we’ll receive (see Matt. 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Jas. 1:6-7)?
Why are we offended when it is implied that our inability to persevere created lack when the Bible says that we “through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12, emphasis added)?
Why are we confused of angry when it is suggested that our not doing something caused failure when the Bible says if we’re “willing and obedient” we’ll eat the good of the land (Isa. 1:19. KJV, emphasis added)?
As many as 80 percent of those who consider themselves born again don’t tithe, thereby opening themselves to a curse. Yet they are offended when someone implies that their lack of provision might be their own fault (see Mal. 3″:8-12).
We don’t forgive and still have the gall to thing God will hear and answer our prayers (see Mark 11:25-26).
Often, we eat poorly, don’t exercise and abuse our bodies in other ways. Then we blame our sicknesses on God’s will.
We don’t properly train our children, yet we’re offended with the suggestion that their rebellion might be our fault (see Deut. 6:7; Prov. 22:6).
We don’t abide in Christ and His Word. Still we blame it on “God’s will” when we “ask what we will” and it isn’t done (John 15:7).
We know faith come through hearing and meditation of God’s Word (see Rom. 10:17), and most of us do very little of that. But let someone imply that we didn’t receive a promise because of unbelief and we’re irate.
The Scriptures teach that “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High” (KJV) receives the protective promises of the remainder of Psalm 91…that I have an armor I must wear and carry, including the shield of faith, to ward off Satan’s fiery darts (see Eph. 6:13-18)…that Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and that I am to resist him (see 1 Pet. 5:8; Jas. 4:7)…and yet, let someone suggest that my lack of protection from some destructive happening could be my own fault and I’m offended. How about you?
I’m certainly not implying that God never allows us to walk through difficulties, that all our problems are because of disobedience or that all unanswered prayer is because of unbelief. I’m simply saying that many of our failures and difficulties are our fault, not “God’s will”; we have a part to play in the securing of protection and other heavenly provisions.
Let’s try to lay down our fears, insecurities and tendencies toward offense. Let’s accept the fact that the Scriptures are filled with principles that put responsibility on us, which must be met to receive God’s promises. Let’s realize this doesn’t cancel grace and promote salvation by works. Grace does not imply “no responsibility” on our part. Let’s realize the love of God is unconditional, but His favor and blessing are not.
Oh to live by these words. I’ve heard it said before that God’s circle of blessing is like a playground enclosed in a fence. We can play on anything in the playground. We are free to choose the swings, the slide, even the sandbox; but if we climb over the fence and into the outside world we can no longer be guaranteed God’s blessing – because we are not in his will.
I know I need to check myself and see where I’m standing. Am I outside the fence? Are you?