When I gave my life to the Lord 10 years ago, I began to consume the Word of God. I set a goal to read the whole Bible in one year, but I could not put it down. I was finished in three weeks! To this day I make it a practice to spend time in the Word on a daily basis.
Reading the Bible is a fundamental part of growing in our relationship with God, and there is no substitute for this spiritual discipline. But I have found that reading Christian books has been a huge help in my spiritual journey as well. I am constantly reading books that help me to grow in my walk with God and ministry. One of the reasons I decided to write and publish books of my own is because I have been so impacted by reading.
Though I could name many, I want to highlight three books that have changed my life. These are not necessarily the best books I have ever read (though they rank among the best), but the most life-changing. Because of the timing of reading them, the content they presented, and the effect on my outlook, these books have changed my life and impacted my ministry probably more than any others:
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala had a dramatic impact on my life when I first read it several years ago. This book is about the journey of Pastor Cymbala and the church he pastors, The Brooklyn Tabernacle. It highlights the power of prayer, and is a call to the body of Christ to put prayer back in its prominent place.
It is a wake up call to the Western church to stop building the church with formulas, programs, and worldly methods, and get back to calling on the name of the Lord and depending on the power of the Holy Spirit.
The late Derek Prince is one of my favorite Bible teachers and authors. I read his book They Shall Expel Demons when I was in college and it was a big eye-opener. God seemed to be preparing me for this book by giving me dreams in which I found myself casting demons out of people. But I had no idea what these dreams meant, and had never had teaching on deliverance ministry before.
This book laid a foundation for the ministry of deliverance; that is, casting out demons in order to free people from the oppression and torment of the devil. It opened my eyes up to the reality that deliverance ministry is much more needed than I previously thought, and that Christians often need deliverance from evil spirits.
Sometimes you read a book and you find yourself highlighting more of the page than you are leaving blank. This was the case with When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson. This book awakened me to the message of the kingdom of God, and how His kingdom is moving in the earth. It is filled with powerful stories of the kingdom advancing, and many testimonies of miraculous healing.
This book gave me a fresh hunger to see the reality of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:10: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It gave me a desire to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in my life in a greater dimension and a see a greater measure of healings occur in my ministry.
Some reading that changed my life was Ray Stedman’s Let God Be God and Rick Howard’s This was Your Life: Preparing to Meet God Face to Face. And I agree that the teaching of Derek Prince completely grabbed hold and revolutionized my life, perhaps more than any one else.
Thanks Emily. I have not read either of those yet, but they sound good!
[…] by Jake Kail on Nov 21, 2012 in Books, The Christian Life | 0 comments Yesterday, I wrote an article about three books that have affected my life and ministry in powerful ways. Christian books have […]
Thank you so much for this list! I had actually not heard about the first two, i will look them up.
Some books that impacted me a lot is Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, The Heavenly Man by brother Yun, Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, and Power Healing by John Wimber.
The Heavenly Man is an awesome book! I have not read Claiborne’s stuff, but I was also impacted by Jack Deere’s books and Power Healing by John Wimber.
Nice! I really recommend you to check out Claiborne, also I think Greg Boyd is excellent in his book The Myth of a Christian Nation. As i have argued on my blog – http://holyspiritactivism.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/the-supernatural-and-political-kingdom-of-god/ – these people explore the political aspects of the Kingdom while Wimber, Deere and Johnson focus on the supernatural dimension of it. Both are equally true, signs and wonders must be combined with peace and justice.
God bless you!
I am new to this blog. Thanks for the wonderful work you are doing. I read your articles on Holy Spirit. Really blessed by it!
I have read the three books you mentioned. All of them are very inspiring and helpful. BTW, have you read “Miracle of Miracles” by Mina Nevisa. It an amazing account of God’s deliverance and healings. God Bless.
Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you’re being encouraged by the articles. I have not read “Miracle of Miracles” but it sounds great!