God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer (read July 22, 2015)
A family friend gave me this book, because she had an extra from her Women’s Study and thought I should join them while I was home for the summer. Even if you don’t believe in God, or have a pre-conceived notion about Christian books (I used to), just hear me out. Think of it of a self-help book, because that’s really the goal: to improve readers’ lives.
This is the first ‘Christian Life’ book I’ve ever read. I grew up in a church-going family, went to Sunday School and VBS, and watched A LOT of VeggieTales, so I have a pretty general understanding of Christianity and the Bible. But, like the author, I had not understood that God was working in my life just as much as He was with people in the Bible; in my mind, miracles and answered prayers were reserved for other people.
God Is Able centers around Ephesians 3:20-21, a doxology written by Paul:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Shirer proclaims God’s infinite power, and how He works in our lives, even if it isn’t in the way we expect, or want, at the moment. This book isn’t especially “preachy” or condescending, which is one thing that tends to irritate me about some Christians. Using very conversational language and metaphors, the author relates the Word to common doubts and problems many Christians face: people thinking their problems are too superficial, and aren’t worth prayer.. people expecting God to give them everything, when they devote so little to Him.. people trying to fight God on things because they think they know better or want to be in control. But my favorite, most relatable issue was that of separating the God of the Bible from the God of the present. He is one and the same- was then, is now, and will be forever. It’s easy to believe in a “theoretical” God, but harder to think He could actually help you. As Shirer puts it, “…it’s possible to be a ‘disciple’ and not ‘believe.'”
While this book is definitely geared towards Christian women, I would recommend it to anyone who is open to reading about God and how He can power your life. A quick read, this book is also great for anyone who maybe needs a kickstart (and probably those who don’t think they do) on getting their faith back up and running.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5