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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Unshaken" (Crawford W. Loritts Jr.)

TITLE: Unshaken: Real Faith in Our Faithful God
AUTHOR: Crawford W. Loritts Jr.
PUBLISHER: Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2015, (144 pages).

The Bible tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. The author of this book asserts that without faith, there is no Christianity. In other words, it is impossible to live the Christian life. The reality among many Christians is not that they are without faith but they have allowed fear, discouragement, and frustrations to influence them and shake their foundations of faith. This is especially so when believers feel that their faith had let them down. Based on a series of sermons preached at Fellowship Bible Church, author and senior pastor Crawford Loritts Jr tells us that Bible describes faith more than it defines faith.  He uses two foundational perspectives to guide us along. First, faith is about letting God fulfill his will through us. Second, obedience is proportional to the level of faith.

This calls for "God confidence" which is from above. Such faith from above is sustained in God. It defies circumstances. It is anchored in Christ. It is strengthened by God alone.  Faith in God is dependent on God's unspeakable love, complete assurance, and security in Christ. Such assurance and security extends to the future. Based on the knowledge that God is steadfast and firm, we have everything to be hopeful and trusting of God. Fear and uncertainly may cast shadows of doubt but God's assurance shines a light to drive all shadows away. Loritts knows the barriers to embarking on such a journey of trust by showing us five questions we can ask ourselves.

  1. Is there any unconfessed sin in my life?
  2. Is this idea or desire anchored in the Word of God?
  3. Is this idea or desire intensified when I pray?
  4. Is the witness of the Holy Spirit affirming the idea or desire in my heart?
  5. Does this idea or desire pass the wisdom test?
If there is any one thing that is an evidence of faith, it is how any holy ambition gets magnified. Just as he has presented the five self-examining questions, he supplies "seven keys to strengthening" one's faith. 
  1. Accepting the reality of opposition
  2. Standing ready to resist
  3. Keeping our minds focused and truth-filled
  4. Embracing growth pains
  5. Staying in God's presence
  6. Associating with faith-filled people
  7. Acting out faith in truth and love.
For the rest of the book, Loritts shows us how faith can be demonstrated. Through obedience, we turn faith from a noun to a verb. This means complete obedience, unreserved, and faithful to the Word of God. This means serving God's objectives without reservation. This means trusting that God will provide a way even when there seems to be no way. Through vision, faith means looking forward to the future, our spiritual destiny. It is a glorious destination, a better country, a better place, that drives the disciple to trust. Through a sense of mission, faith will persevere. There will be roadblocks but the biggest of them all is disobedience, dread, and discouragement. Through endurance, our faith gets toughened.

Throughout the book, there is a powerful reminder that faith is from above. Faith is not easily discouraged. Faith will be tested. Faith that perseveres will overcome all obstacles. The biggest barrier is of course ourselves, especially when we disobey. As people of faith, we often face difficulties when we want to put what we believe into practice. Immersed in the world, we can lose sight of the big picture of God's will and be entrenched in some small world we have dug ourselves into. Rather than beginning with ourselves, we all need to begin with God. Acknowledge that we are weak and powerless in ourselves. Be assured that God cares for us and God desires us to trust Him. The author gives us a step by step description on what faith entails. If you are down or discouraged, read this book. It is a good tonic to rejuvenate your tired soul.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Crossway Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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