Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Learn How to Defend Yourself

     Chosen Books provided a complimentary copy of Larry Richards' The Full Armor of God: Defending Your Life from Satan's Schemes in exchange for an honest review. There is spiritual warfare that takes place beyond our perception. This isn't the fairytale warfare where happily ever-after exists just beyond the bend in the road. It is real and merciless. The author walks the reader through the Apostle Paul's Book of Ephesians that lays out the "armor of God." Richards breaks down the verses, as well as the historical context that lends credence and weight to the plan. When one understands the military use that was familiar under Roman-controlled land two millennia ago the equipment becomes more meaningful.
     The Full Armor of God explains the spiritual forces in this world that want to distract Christians everywhere from leading a righteous, Kingdom-focused life. He then explores the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sandals of peace, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth and the sword of the spirit. Satan's schemes are investigated and subsequently, the equipment best used to defend one's self. The truth that stands in direct opposition to the schemes are affirmed.
     Every time I pick up a book on spiritual warfare I do so with caution for a couple of reasons. The first being that if God's Word is being used to lead me to righteousness I can almost be certain that attacks will come. We're not speaking of demon-possession, but of Satan's lies, self-doubt, sin, obstacles and/or a distorted path in my walk. Secondly, I believe the deceiver will use such debated topics to lead believers astray from God's truth. The Full Armor of God is a godly volume with a reverence for the Almighty. Richards wisely relies on Ephesians' wisdom and not his own to encourage believers.
     Some information is repeated throughout, which I ultimately learned to appreciate. It was nice to see the Greek word being used explained again, so I didn't have to look back in reference. The form that was used for each part of the book was a great help to make it simple and clean. I know The Full Armor of God will be used for future reference. There is a great little small-group study in the back along with an appendix on Christian counseling in conjunction with the lessons learned throughout the book.
     I would not advise this book to be used by a new believer unless a mature believer was walking along side them. Mature Christians will be greatly encouraged and hopefully, will learn to defend themselves, as well as gaining information to pass on to others. God had given us the resources to protect ourselves from Satan's attacks. We just need to heed the advice and wisdom of the Word to make use of the spiritual weapons. I commend Larry Richards for standing for God's Truth and writing well on this hot topic. May The Full Armor of God protect you.


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