Are you feeling stale in your Christian journey? Do you feel like something is missing in your faith? Do you find a sense of longing in your heart? If so, then Donna Gaines is convinced that you’re not alone and indeed there’s a reason for it. In THERE’S GOTTA BE MORE!, she offers a step-by-step look at how to grow in your relationship with God.
Gaines begins by explaining that God crafted each of us with a unique plan. We have three distinct parts: body, soul and spirit. Because of sin, we have been separated from God, but our spirits still long for a relationship with Him. Writes the author: “Yes, we humans fell from the More that God had created for us. But the good news is that we have been saved for more. We have been saved for more through Jesus Christ. When we receive Christ into our lives, we are born again. Our spirit is regenerated and the Spirit of God comes to live within our spirit.”
Throughout the rest of the book, Gaines explores different aspects of discovering more of God. She lists some of the deadly lies many are tempted to believe. Lies like God is holding out his best, God is distant and harsh, and God is legalistic and never satisfied will hinder someone from growing into all they’re created to be. Instead of believing these lies, we base our beliefs in the truth of scripture. The Bible becomes the foundation for all we believe and the way we see the world.
As we grow in God, we are invited to walk in the Spirit --- a moment-by-moment dependence on the Spirit of God to direct everything that we do. Gaines writes, “That is life in the Spirit. It is not settling for less, accepting things as they are. We must not be satisfied with the status quo; instead we must go after more --- everything Jesus Christ purchased for us on the Cross.”
Walking in the Spirit means things like having a regular Love Checkup and comparing our lives to those found in 1 Corinthians 13. It also means recognizing true strongholds of protection that God offers and not settling for the counterfeit. Part of walking in the Spirit is casting off the old sinful nature and doing things that reflect your pre-redeemed nature, instead choosing to renew your mind with the scripture. In addition, Gaines tackles topics such as the essentials of forgiveness, recognizing God’s will and discovering God’s Word as an anecdote to fear, doubt and despair.
THERE’S GOTTA BE MORE! covers the ABCs of the basics of Christian faith specifically for women. Twenty-two short chapters touch on a wide variety of themes and issues. While their brevity prevents an in-depth look at any one topic, the broad stroke approach works as readers will find themselves identifying with at least several of the chapters. One of Gaines’s strengths is her storytelling ability. The book is sprinkled with stories from her own family, life and experiences. Insightful and compelling, there are too few personal anecdotes included. Hopefully, her next project will feature more of her own story.
THERE’S GOTTA BE MORE! is recommended to women who are new to the faith and have sensed staleness in their relationship with God.
Reviewed by Margaret Oines on April 1, 2008