Spiritual Warfare Jesus’ Way: How To Conquer Evil Spirits & Live Victoriously, by Larry Richards
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review.]
I should state at the outset that this book is not likely to be something that everyone enjoys reading about. Spiritual warfare is a subject of great personal interest, both in reading and writing , largely because of my own harrowing personal life. I might not have cared as much about darkness in high places if it did not care so much about me. Interestingly enough, this book, which takes a detailed and pointed look at Jesus’ involvement with the demon world, comes to the same conclusion, that we should not go looking for trouble in the spirit world, but rather we should be direct and courageous when we are faced with demons, knowing that we have been given the victory through Jesus Christ, and any such power and confidence we have is not because of who we are as individuals, but who we are in relationship to God the Father and Jesus Christ. This is a useful tip, and probably the first thing that needs to be remembered in dealing with the subject material of this book.
There are, broadly, two kinds of books that deal with the subject of spiritual warfare. The first kind is a sort of memoir that seeks to show the legitimacy of binding demons and freeing people from being troubled by them. This book is the second kind, featuring theoretical and practical tips on dealing with spiritual warfare, keen on making sure that the reader understands that this is conducting spiritual warfare as it was conducted by Jesus Christ (and the early disciples of the Church) rather than being a matter of personal glory. That said, this particular book has an attitude of tactical flexibility when it comes to dealing with the demon world, along with a focus on practical tips as well as the overall picture.
The contents of this book are notable. Although this is a relatively small book (even with the 40 page or so appendix on the encounters of Jesus with demons in the Gospels, the book is only about 180 pages), it has six parts and twenty short chapters. The first part of the book looks at the origins of the spiritual war not only in Eden but also in the rebellion of Satan. The passages used in this section, like Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, are likely to be familiar to many readers. The second part of the book deals with personal preparation for spiritual warfare, looking especially at how Jesus Christ prepared Himself as a human being for His temptations in the wilderness. The third part of the book looks at the context of spiritual conquest in terms of the model of Jesus as well as the role of friends and the ground rules about dealing with the spirit world. The fourth part of the book looks at defining demonization, which is the author’s way of dealing with the question of where demon possession lies in terms of someone’s spiritual state, including the symptoms of demon possession. The fifth part of the book looks at the way one confronts and overcomes demons through confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit and overcoming the legalism and hierarchy that demons operate by. The sixth, and smallest, part of the book looks at three guidelines for victorious Christian living: being aware of Christ’s presence, nurturing love and concern for others, and accepting one’s role in spiritual warfare. Since we do not often choose spiritual warfare, but it chooses us, these are wise guidelines.
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