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Throughout life, everyone experiences devastating occurrences at one point or another that can possibly hamper our spiritual lives, leaving us with a sense of being stuck and with no strategy for a resolution. Though we occasionally want to delineate these excruciating situations as walls, according to Ryan Rush, they are not the basis of our actual motionlessness — circumstances and bad feelings are not the actual walls. According to Rush, a genuine “wall” is not a physical or emotional incident, but rather “an unhealthy mind-set that keeps you from living life as God intends”. Rush’s writings seek to define these walls, indicate how to break through them by the power of God’s promises, and conveys how to approach life as a “wall-breaker.” Though it presents itself kind of like a self-help book at times, Walls simply emboldens accurate, biblical intellect that transports the reader beyond temporary contexts and carries the reader closer to God. The aim of breaking through these walls is not simply deliverance, but somewhat pushing the reader “to know God himself, to experience the intimacy with him that is the ultimate fulfillment”.
The foundation of Walls is Rush’s personal adversity centering on the first few years of his younger daughter’s life, which incurred some serious heart complications. This narrative regarding his daughter is the motivation for him to write this book and is the root of Rush’s desire to help people bust down their own walls. Rush is “convinced that there is a whole new world awaiting those who are courageous enough to face their walls head-on, deal with them honestly, and take the steps toward a Faith Breakthrough”. Rush reasons that busting down walls “starts with a discovery of God’s promises: discovering a passage or promise that you can hold onto and trust God for to make a Faith Breakthrough in the near days to come. A promise that can prove to be the turning point in your life and life story”. He incorporates several biblical references and promises that tear down walls such as discontentment, perfectionism, and uncertainty. This tends to be where the book shines the most. Rush’s use of God’s promises and the assurance we find in Scripture seems to be the strongest point in his book.
Throughout the book, Rush incorporates heart-wrenching stories of individuals within his own church who faced Faith Breakthroughs by clinging to these assurances of God. Along with present-day examples, Rush looks to figures within Scripture who were able to break down their own walls with God’s power, such as Abraham, King Josiah , and the paralyzed man brought to Jesus by his friends in the second chapter of the gospel of Mark. Though these examples are captivating and fascinating, their frequent occurrences throughout the text causes the book to be a bit longwinded, and at times the author seems to be rambling a bit. I would consider this to probably be the weakest part of his book. Some of the chapters could have been a lot more succinct and could probably have been more efficient if they did not drag on at times.
Ultimately though, instead of advocating his ideas as merely a self-help method, Rush emphasizes the Word of God as the true source of freedom from errant and oppressive paradigms. He considers a church member who sought to assert God’s promise of being debt-free, to which Rush responds, “Where is that promise?” and explains what promises God has specified concerning financial provision (79). In other parts of his book, he notes, “Sometimes passages become so familiar that we forget their incredible power,” suggesting James.
Though this book does seem to be applicable to all Christians, Rush’s work does tend to have a bias towards family life. Many of the examples he gives throughout the several chapters revolve around spiritual breakdowns and breakthroughs within the family unit. He includes a chapter on raising children to be “wall-breakers”, in which he notes that “teaching our children about love, grace, walls, and promises can awaken our homes to an entirely new level of joy and peace”. Families can definitely profit from this book as they seek to adhere to the promises of God.
For my own family, there are certainly mindsets and attitudes that could use a breakthrough in busting down walls with the support of God’s promises. As I read this book, I discovered how my past circumstances growing up in a dysfunctional family should not deter me from embracing God’s promises and plan for my life, and seeking to have a righteous outlook on my own family as I trust God in every season. My past is not a wall to breakthrough, but the mindset and the state that my heart is in certainly can be a wall that needs deliverance. The way in which I raise my family should consist of God’s provision of His word and the promises found within that text as His Spirit illuminates my soul. My prayer is that I would take these principles to heart and apply them to my life accordingly.
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