Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on September 18, 2013
Oh "Heaven Awaits the Bride", what shall I do with you?
As one will shortly find out, this book is about Ann and her husband's heavenly visions. It details their journey through Heaven and their interactions with angels, God, etc. Along with chronicling their journey, they conveniently reference many Scriptures throughout the book; which, for people like me, is greatly appreciated. It's divided into two parts (or rather, two books in one). In my opinion, it should be read similar to Rick Joyner's "The Final Quest" - not as an actual Heavenly visitation, but as heavenly visions that are to be weighed and discerned.
As I write this review, I have rather mixed feelings about the book. Less than a year before I began reading it, I experienced God in such a way that I had gone from loving Him, to having fallen in love with Him. This changed everything! While reading the first half of the book (Book 1 of 2, essentially), I was stirred inside in the most wonderful of ways. I found myself falling even more in love with God, and greatly inspired in my relationship with Him. That's obviously a really good thing!
But then something began to change...Holy Spirit began teaching me about grace. After entrenching me both in the depths of His love and the scandal and beauty of His grace, I wanted to go back and reread the book I was so fond of. But this time it was different. What previously inspired me in my relationship with God, began to actually bother me. I found myself seeing God and my walk with Him through a different lens, one of both love and grace. And when I started reading the book from my new viewpoint, I saw a lot of striving, self effort, and things that we are to do to experience more of God, instead of boasting solely in what Christ has done. For example, in one conversation Anna had with an angel, she asked them why we still get sick. The angel responded, "It's because believers aren't abiding in Christ" (I'm paraphrasing). First, abiding in Christ is the reality of every believer, not a thing to do. Second, if it were a thing to do (Ie. actively practicing His presence), I personally would never be sick since I have the privilege of enjoying God's presence all throughout the day, every day of my life! It's only by what Jesus accomplished on the cross that we remain in health, NOT because of our works. Why have I still gotten sick? I don't know; but I know for certain it has nothing to do with me "abiding in Christ", or I would definitely never get sick.
The "abiding in Christ" example is merely one of what I felt was an underlying belief throughout the whole book: a belief centered around man made efforts and striving instead of resting in what Christ has already accomplished for us. I could totally be wrong on that, but because it was so strong throughout the book, I couldn't get very far the second time I tried to read it.
With that said, I absolutely love the authors' heart behind the book, and that's to inspire believers in their relationship with God; to help us fall more in love with Him; to show how much God is crazy in love with us. Because of that, I'm giving "Heaven Awaits the Bride" a 3 out of 5 stars. It dramatically impacted me in one season of my life...and was something I couldn't continue reading in another season.
Either way, may anyone and everyone reading this experience our beautiful and wondrous God is ways that exceed their expectations and imagination! Much love!