Beautiful Battle: A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare
The evangelical community is rife with books on spiritual warfare. Some titles are both instructive and practical, while others border on the theme from “The Twilight Zone.” Mary E. DeMuth’s work is the first I’ve come across that is so comprehensive in scope that at times readers will forget they are reading a book on spiritual warfare. This is a good thing. Often, books focusing on powers and dominions of the spiritual world as described in the Bible come across with too much emphasis on these destructive entities and their works, or they lightly brush over the clear warnings found throughout the pages of scripture. The author very skillfully finds a welcome balance between the two.
"With abundant scripture verses, real-life stories and heartfelt prayers, this resource is sure to become a book that women will read and then revisit time and again."
DeMuth’s adeptness also shows forth in how she weaves everyday life and its challenges into this spiritual battle foundation. In four distinctive parts, she lays the foundation for understanding what spiritual warfare entails; how women can proactively fight this battle using the tools offered in the Bible; how to react properly in the heat of the battle as it assaults in a variety of forms; and learning to live in victory by embracing hope, perspective and overcoming as a community of believers.
One of DeMuth’s characteristic nuances is her abject honest transparency, which always serves her well, but especially so in this book. She notes how slick the enemy is in getting into women’s hearts and minds through everyday occurrences, and shares numerous stories from her own life when she realized (sometimes well after the fact) that what she was going through was laced with spiritual attack and influence. Taking the mystery out of “spiritual warfare,” DeMuth unveils plain and practical truth (and follows up with similarly practical principles to internalize and embrace) for life.
Preparing women for the fight of their lives, remembering that the Bible tells Christ followers that life on earth is war, DeMuth offers some frequently overlooked practices for proactive battle engagement. In this second section, she encourages women to learn to pray like they breathe (in and out throughout the day), embrace and devour the truth found in the Bible, practice the type of risk that uses their God-given gifts for His work, identify and slay any “idol” that sets itself up in competition with the love for God, understand what worship means and what it looks like day to day, live the Bible by studying it, memorizing it and meditating upon it, embrace the Sabbath rest in obedience to God and because we need it so much, and run after inner healing of the heart (even when it’s scary to do so).
DeMuth’s writing style is both eloquent and homey, which is not easy to achieve. To be sure, women will read a few pages, stop themselves, contemplate the strong truth offered in such a loving fashion, and then keep reading (as the reading continues to change them). With abundant scripture verses, real-life stories and heartfelt prayers, this resource is sure to become a book that women will read and then revisit time and again.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on March 20, 2012