(Review) Lazarus Awakening: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God by Joanna Weaver
Publisher: WaterBrook Press.
Genre: Nonfiction, spiritual growth, strongholds, forgiveness, a new creation, the story of Lazarus.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
Lazarus Awakening includes several additional sections: the Bible verses from John 11:1-12:11, a Bible study guide, "Resources for Resurrected Living," a "Who I Am in Christ," "Identifying Strongholds," and "Hints for Unwinding Grave clothes."
The story of Lazarus, his death and resurrection from the tomb, is the Bible story for several points in the book.
- When hope seems lost.
- The great enemy, Satan.
- Getting rid of the grave clothes.
- Listening to God's voice.
- Wrestling with what we feel are "our rights."
- Death is not the end.
Lazarus Awakening is a powerful book.
I've never known a person who is not broken in some aspect. Some people hide their brokenness more than others, but they're just better actors.
We are all broken people in need of redeeming grace. We cannot save our souls from eternal death. And we cannot save our broken spirits from the pain and suffering in this world.
We need Jesus.
Two questions in chapter five that resonated in me.
1. Are you a tomb dweller?
Strongholds are simply those places in us where sin and the 'old self'' have established such an immense power base that we feel helpless to escape their control. We love Jesus, but we remain stuck in our mid-chambers, unable to live free." Page 71.2. Do you have regrets?
In a sense we're like the tormented man of Mark 5. We live in graveyards filled with memories. Wandering through life in perpetual mourning over the things we have done and the things that have been done to us. We may do our best to outrun the mistakes and regrets, the hurts and disappointments, but apart from God we find it difficult to escape the cycle of shame and self-hatred that keeps our 'sin...ever before' us (Psalm 51:3, KJV). Unfortunately, the coping mechanisms we embrace in order to manage our pain only reinforce the strongholds in our souls. Page 72.Joanna Weaver has a graph on page 70, listing the "hurts, hang-ups, and habits." These are "things that keep us from true freedom." A second graph is listed on pages 76-77, "Dethroning Lies." These graphs are important in having freedom from the bondage of dwelling in a tomb of pain and regret.
Chapter six is on the things that keep the stone unrolled away from our tomb. These are "unworthiness," "unbelief," and "unforgiveness." There is a graph on pages 90-91, "Disciplining Your Mind."
Chapter eight is another favorite chapter, "Unwinding Grave clothes."
"Unfortunately, most of us would rather observe a resurrection than actually participate in one."
Wow! Weaver states this in response to people who don't believe a person has changed dramatically from the old self to the new self.
We unbind grave clothes "through acceptance and love, those whom Jesus has resurrected." Page 126.
As Warren Wiersbe puts it, the answer has less to do with geography and more to do with opportunity. Because the best way to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength is to love the people who happen to be standing next to me. Even when loving them involves unwinding grave clothes." Page 136.Lazarus Awakening is a strong tool for people working through a recovery program, or for family members of those working through a recovery program.
I love the lay-out of the material in the book, bringing me from the origins of who God is as my heavenly Father, and those attributes of what my earthly father was like, because the two can become mixed-up creating conflict and disappointment. The next steps in the book are sin and redemption, followed by unforgiveness and strongholds, and ending with unwrapping grave clothes, and my eternal home in heaven.