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Thursday, July 19, 2018

"Spirit-Led Heart" (Suzanne Eller)

TITLE: The Spirit-Led Heart: Living a Life of Love and Faith without Borders
AUTHOR: Suzanne Eller
PUBLISHER: Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2018, (208 pages).

What does it take to have a heart that is Spirit-led instead of self-led? In a world where Christianity is increasingly seen with disdain, and even Christians seem to feel God is far away from them, we need guidance from time to time regarding things of faith. Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit coming to us. Even when we feel God is far away from us, we cannot let feelings dictate reality. Just like the presence of the sun. Just because we are in a dark room does not mean the sun is not out there. We need guidance to sense the presence of God in more ways than one. This book is one resource to help us do just that. In addressing each emotion that arises out of fear, weakness, and a sense of insecurity, Eller helps put things in perspective to help us recognize that God is Sovereign and He is in control. We need to trust His leading. Spurred by the prayer of her friend, Jennifer Dukes Lee, she feels a sense of relief and is released to trust God more. From uncertainty and self-doubt, she seeks out faith in God via a promise from God. Instead of relying on our own power, we learn that the Spirit-led heart is empowered by God for the greater good and purpose. Our lives are not defined by opinions or mass appeal but by truth alone. She shows us the lies that we often fall prey into and replaces them with truth; with direction; and with boldness. I like the way she describes Spirit-led direction.

"Direction isn't about where we are; it's who is on God's heart as we go."

Too often, we are handicapped by our limited perspectives and views. In order to see the big picture, we need to learn to come out of our little boxes. We need to see from God's point of view. Plus, venturing into an unknown territory can be scary.  With God's presence, we can derive comfort and assurance that we are not alone. When in difficult situations, we know that God will guide us in His time. With wise discernment and gentle counsel, Eller leads us through the emotional turmoils that can happen to us at different phases of our lives. Each chapter starts with a quote followed by a description of the problem. The author then carefully weaves in biblical insights with examples in life to show us that if God leads her, we too can let God lead us. She ends each chapter with four things: The Word; the Promise; an Invitation; and a Prayer.

There is a nice ring of personal touch to the book. Eller acknowledges her own weaknesses and struggles. She assures us that even as she writes to teach, she is there with us in the mountain of challenges. She struggles with faith and the making sense of the meaning of it all. The framework of each chapter makes this book a nice extended devotional to help us sense the Holy Spirit. The discussion and study guide at the end of the book helps us do our own Bible studies to help solidify some of the concepts introduced in the book. Eller's devotional is extremely readable; openly honest; and gently assuring. Those of us looking for theologically heavy subjects will not find them in this book. Nevertheless, the gentle manner in which Eller brings out the problem and identifies is comforting in itself. More importantly, see her writings as a way for us to receive the Holy Spirit into our daily lives. For when God moves, He moves in a way that we are unaware of unless we take time to wait upon Him and seek His Face.

Suzanne Eller is a popular speaker and author serving with Proverbs 31 Ministries and leads women in their spiritual walk with Christ. She maintains an active blog at tsuzanneeller.com and has published several books.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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