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The Solution for Overcoming Obstacles in "Walls" by Ryan Rush

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Ryan Rush has an impressive resume. He is pastor of Bannockburn Baptist Church in Austin Texas. Mr. Rush is a public preacher, teacher, and speaker. As well as, an author of at least three books. He also hosts television and radio programs.

In the book Walls, Rush talks about barriers that fully prevent people from living out their lives possible. This feeling of disparity can arise from a variety of circumstances in a person’s life, such as depression, illnesses, school, or job situation. But for Rush, these are not true barriers. A true barrier, what he refers to as a wall, is not the person’s circumstances or the events occurring in their life, but rather the unhealthy mindset that arises as a result of these conditions. It is this frame of mind that creates mental and spiritual hurdles in the way of connecting with God and living our lives the way He intended. Rush dedicates the starting portion of the book to understanding how walls are created and how one should learn to recognize, approach, name and claim them. This is a result of his experience showing him that walls can only be broken after their existence has been acknowledged. The rest of the book focuses on the solution for overcoming walls. According to Rush, the starting point is to have in faith in God and focus on the promises God has made to people and use these to ward of disappointment and have a Faith Breakthrough. He demonstrates the power of this approach by preparing the book with examples of people who have success with this approach, including himself.

Rush has a simple and direct style of writing which helps make it feel impactful. His use of multiple, detailed examples of the success of his method are a great tool for showcasing its effectiveness and providing the reader with encouragement. Additionally, him sharing his personal life experiences and issues is very compelling and helpful to know that he has walls. It makes him feel like a normal human being who has gone through real pain and challenges in his life, rather than an unfeeling, distant authority figure talking about a subject they have no personal experience with. Using multiple examples from the scriptures is helpful in demonstrating his point regarding God’s promises, though some might find it to lengthy. His advice on the importance of acknowledging one’s problem as a crucial step is critical, if basic. Placing discussion questions at the end of each chapter is a good way to engage the reader in doing some active thinking. Unfortunately, the lack of more specific, detailed advice really needed to be added to the book. The solutions Rush presents are a bit too simplistic; wall problems are not that simple to be rid of. without a lot of practicable guidance. Rush, to his credit, acknowledges that the process itself can differ from person to person and mentions talking to other people as a potential way for sparking some inspiration. Perhaps using the discussion questions as a conversation topic in some formal group setting would be helpful. Overall, the book can be used as a source as of encouragement, and a spiritual tool to help break down walls using scripture.

Acknowledging the existence of walls is the first step in the process of overcoming one’s problems. This has been revealed true to me by my past experience and reading it again in the book was a helpful reminder of its significance. Rush’s view that our circumstances are not the key factor and that we should not blame them for our pain is also very powerful. What happens external and in the spirit realm is, sometimes beyond our control. The only thing we truly have authority over is in the way we choose to respond. The attitude with which we engage with our situation can be the biggest poison and roadblock on the way to recovery and happiness. Rush’s main thesis on the power of promises is something that I’m willing to experiment with and test. Finding solace in scripture is hardly a fresh concept, but specifically using the promises God has made as a source of inspiration to overcome mental obstacles and bring a change in one’s attitude is worth pursuing. The examples Rush used throughout the book shows that the method can be effective and if nothing else, there is always room for more contemplation of God’s words. Using the discussion questions as a springboard for sparking interesting conversations with friends and family also seems like it could be a fruitful endeavor. Overall the book gives me a few ideas that I can use in enriching my life.

Bibliography

  1. Rush, Ryan. Walls: Why Everybody’s Stuck (and Nobody Has to Be). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2011.

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