on February 4, 2014
Free at Last is a comprehensive study, that if one goes into it with an opened receptive heart, will find the keys necessary to walk in a greater freedom in Christ Jesus.
This is a book that I will keep in my personal library for use in home bible studies. Mr. Riddle did a very nice job of explaining many different beliefs and strongholds that keep a Christian stuck where they are and unable to move forward.
If you follow the directions given in the last two segments, Accept Gods Love, and Repent, you will find a new level in your relationship with God that will leave you in awe. Riddle, explains ways to receive a greater experience of Gods love in your relationship with Him and then explains what repentance really means taking the fear and mysticism out of it.
These steps take time and commitment. The outlines God gave us in His Word will work for you only if you make them work for you. Many give up too soon. My suggestion would be to read the book through, underline and highlight everything God highlights to you and then go back and re-read it again, taking the time to put into application the steps he shares. Who knows...you just might find what you were looking for...Freedom at Last.
Two thumbs up.
on July 28, 2010
I wasn't sure to expect when starting this book. Would it be on deliverance? A Christian view of 12 step? Will Riddle does quite a good job of working through many issues to help Christians gain victory in their lives.
We can only repent and change, he says, when we REALLY want to. Sometimes people just don't want the consequences as opposed to the sin itself. He notes, "A double-minded person never stands on the truth long enough for it to work." This is all part of taking responsibility, he says.
Furthermore, it is very important to forgive people for the pain they have caused us and to not condemn with statements like calling someone a "liar" or "a jerk."
Do you blame your parents, for your problems? Riddle says it is time to stop. If they didn't do something to help you, you wouldn't even be here. And try looking at all the positive things they did.
He also talks about dealing with changing our thought patterns for "the here and the now" as opposed to focusing on supposed "generational"curses. He is correct that Christ was victorious over the devil so we don't have to give Satan any more power than he really has.
Riddle also accurately observes that Christians can get caught up in always wanting excitement in their walk with God, to the point of it being counterproductive. He says we need to "let go of the need to be excited" and "embrace the need to be changed."
He emphasizes how much we need to stay focused during prayer, when the enemy tries to distract us. He wrote, "Have you ever notice that when you sit down and pray, everything you need to do next week comes to mind?" Yes, I can identify with that! He says we must never let "distraction, false belief or something else" come between us and God.
He makes many other good points as well.
I do have a couple of quibbles, though. In his chapter on works, Riddle emphasizes that works are not what save us, which of course is true. But I think he could have addressed the issue of the role of works in the Christian life. See e.g. Eph. 2:19 and Phil. 2:12.
He also says, speaking in tongues as a weapon against the desires of the flesh "can be devastatingly effective." I would frankly rather speak in prayer and Scripture myself.
But for the most part, the author has a lot of good advice. Check this book out!
on December 3, 2015
I've just finished reading this book. It took me a couple of weeks to slowly and prayerfully work through the materials, and that's just a first pass.
In the past two-three weeks, in the course of be just working through the book, this is what happened:
- I started hearing God speak into my life a lot more clearly. I now understand it's because I opened up to God areas in my life that I really didn't think need examining and reviewing. As I was reading the book, that's what I realized and did.
- A sense of joy, peace, destiny, and hope has moved to a qualitatively new level. That feels really nice!
- I started bringing up a lot of things before God that were burdening me, and I knew I was receiving tangible freedom in those areas. The book describes the freedom process, and for me it began to just "click" into place. It felt very natural. Many years ago I've been through a couple of similar experiences, so it's maybe part of the reason it now "clicks" so easily. I could tell it was working right away because in a couple of tense situations where difficult things would normally happen my reaction was different, on a heart level, so things went much better. I haven't "arrived", but things are definitely going in the right direction.
- In a little more than 2 weeks, I made two new great connections, without me trying anything different at all. They just dropped onto my lap - meaning I just got contacted by folks, and great things happened both times. Again, that hadn't happened "just like that" for years.
Now, I have to say this. I had a copy of the first edition of the book given to me by a friend about 3 years ago. I started working through some things, but I wasn't ready to commit to the process. Part of the reason is that I got hold of some theology (not incorrect, but fairly one-sided) that appeared to promise seemingly faster results in the same areas of my Christian walk. The other part is that I was afraid to truly open up for the process, having just come out of fairly heavy legalism. Overly emphasized grace teaching, which seemed to be very medicinal to me at that point, just swung me over from legalism all the way to the other extreme. A lot of the bad things fell off with that new teaching, but a lot of things still weren't working nearly as well as they should, and some things got worse. I knew something was really off, but I couldn't put my finger on it. That's when I got hold of the second edition of this book, almost by accident. The experience has been amazing. I think I was really ready for the book!
Now, for the caveats. I have been and am really hungry for God and for real transformation. My slower-than-desired results weren't for lack of zeal for Christ, or for being lackadaisical about real life change. My problem was that my personal relationship with God needed some serious tuning in a few critical places. I couldn't get this type of guidance in my familiar Christian circles. This book did just that, and then some.
What came my way in these two weeks can best be described as a torrent of God's love affecting real inner transformation, spilling over into the outer, tangible realm.
Despite a lot of clearly divine guidance, this is not a miracle finger-snapping, just-like-that transformation. It requires a real commitment, which I previously lacked. Paradoxically, making an apriori commitment seemed to be the key ingredient which sped up the whole process significantly, as far as I can tell - compared to what I experienced before.
The book (2nd ed.) dismantles a lot of "sacred cows" with grace and sensitivity, so it was easy to let go of quite a few of religious idols, knowing the replacement (God, personally!) is so much better. I wasn't well-aware of those idols, I just knew something didn't smell right. Some key insights for me were: balancing my part in the transformation process with the revelation of the finished work of Christ, and with "in Christ" realities. Also, forgiveness in Christ is well-balanced in the book against the need for repentance (turning from sin AND toward God). Pharisees turned from sin toward less noticeable sins, and one can turn toward God while being comfortable with their sin - neither will really work. It has to be both, and the book spells it out very clearly. That was another key insight. Turning from sin is carefully separated from self-condemnation and feeling guilty by introducing a concept of (positional) righteousness which is manifested progressively as more and more areas of life are yielded to God.
There's a lot more packed into this short book, but I really should stop here, because the way I am describing some takeaways that are key for me is more theological than relational, and that would be giving a skewed impression of the book. The book has hit bulls-eye, in my opinion, in balancing theological (explained in very accessible, simple terms) with relational. That's one of this work's strongest facets, and is quite rare these days.
If you simply want another book filled with good information - well, buy this book, but with that approach you would be wasting a great chance to take your life to a new level with God. It's not so much about the book per se, it's about the realities that it so accurately describes and points to. I read book by Watchman Nee, Bill Gillham, Bob George, James Richards, and a few others - while all wonderful books, for whatever reason they didn't impact me as much as this one.
Perhaps part of the reason is that this book is more of a "how to" book. This resource is meant to open up your relationship with God, let his light shine into all areas of your life, and be cleansed, empowered, and transformed by God. It does require hunger, commitment before God, and commitment to the process. But please don't let all that scare you off. The process is heavenly and joyful, and - let me assure you - I've tried just about everything else out there, I didn't get near the results from anything else that I'm getting with this.
Even if you aren't ready to commit to the process, this book will give a solid tune-up to your theological compass (if you let it), which in itself is more than worth the price of the book.