“Are you tired inside and out? Are you overwhelmed with expectations and pressures, weighed down by the belief that you’re not good enough, talented enough, or spiritual enough to measure up?
You are not alone.” (From Back Cover)
Jennie Allen has written a book that is much-needed for today. She invites us to give up striving, performing, and trying harder to reach some goal and offers up instead the one truth we all need-Jesus.
From the opening of the book to the final page, Jennie points us to Jesus. In the introduction she shares this, “We’ve been deceived by the lies of an enemy who knows exactly how to twist our thirst to his purposes. And we desperately need to open our eyes to his perverse tactics.
IF I WERE YOUR ENEMY….
If I were your enemy, this is what I would do:
Make you believe you need permission to lead.
Make you believe you are helpless.
Make you believe you are insignificant.
Make you believe that God wants your decorum and behavior.
And for years these lies have been sufficient to shut down the women in the Church. But now many of you are awake. You are in the Word and on your knees. God is moving through you, and you are getting dangerous. You are free and leading other people to freedom. The old lies are no longer adequate.
But now many of you are awake. You are in the Word and on your knees. God is moving through you, and you are getting dangerous. You are free and leading other people to freedom. The old lies are no longer adequate.
So if I were your enemy, I would make you numb and distract you from God’s story.
Technology, social media, Netflix, travel, food and wine, comfort. I would not tempt you with the notably bad things, or you would get suspicious. I would distract you with everyday comforts that would slowly feed you a different story and make you forget God.
Then you would dismiss the Spirit leading you, loving you, and comforting you. Then you would start to love comfort more than surrender and obedience and souls.
If that didn’t work, I would attack your identity. I would make you believe you had to prove yourself.
Then you would focus on yourself instead of God.
Friends would become enemies.
Teammates would become competition.
You would isolate yourself and think you are not enough.
You would get depressed and be ungrateful for your story.
You would compare and believe you are better than others.
You would judge people who need God.
You would condemn them rather than love and invite them in.
You would gossip and destroy and tear down other works of God.
Either way you would lose your joy, because your eyes would be fixed on yourself and people instead of on Jesus.
And if that didn’t work, I would intoxicate you with the mission of God rather than God Himself.
Then you would worship a cause instead of Jesus.
You would fight each other to have the most important roles.
You would burn out from striving.
You would think that success is measured by the results you see.
You would build platforms for applause rather than to display God.
Then all of your time and effort would be spent on becoming important rather than on knowing Jesus and loving people. The goals would be to gather followers, earn fancier job titles, publish books, build big ministries rather than to seek the souls of men and the glory of God.
And if that didn’t work, I would make you suffer.
Then maybe you would think God is evil rather than good.
Your faith would shrink.
You would get bitter and weary and tired rather than flourish and grow and become more like Christ.
You would try to control your life rather than step into the plans He has for you.
The enemy is telling you that freedom is only found in finally proving to yourself and to the world that …
you are important.
you are in control.
you are liked.
you are happy.
you are enough.”
This book came alongside a season in my life where every single day I have to admit I am clueless on how to proceed. I have no choice but to rest in the fact that I know nothing but God has the answers I need. I couldn’t just keep up appearances anymore and it has been most freeing. Will we dare to drop it all and live from what we already have in Christ?
This is definitely a needed book and one I think everyone who has ever struggled with the idea that they need to try harder to prove themselves should read.
*Received a copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review