Journey to the Mountain of God: Pursuing Intimacy with Your Creator
Pastor, teacher and radio personality David Ireland communicates his passion for God with an infectious enthusiasm sure to incite a similar excitement amongst his avid supporters. Whether a fresh-to-the-faith Christian or a seasoned, life-wizened believer, Ireland's newest offering provides perceptive insight and challenge to all. In short, JOURNEY TO THE MOUNTAIN OF GOD furnishes interested faith travelers with a simple road map for growing close with God.
In this 40-day plan, the author breaks down his pilgrimage quest into eight distinctive steps.
* Step One: An invitation to God's mountain.
* Step Two: Preparing the heart for the climb.
* Step Three: Valuing the fear of the Lord.
* Step Four: Pursuing a heart of holiness.
* Step Five: Daily disciplines for mountaintop living.
* Step Six: Basic ingredients for spiritual health.
* Step Seven: Unleashing God' blessings.
* Step Eight: Embracing a new perspective on all of life.
Fellow sojourners will traverse to the mountain of God by first gaining a fuller understanding of what such an invitation entails. Step One begins with awakening a spiritual thirst that develops an innate trust in God that embraces and recognizes the treasure of this eternal intimate relationship. Once believers are prepped and ready to move closer, Ireland then assists readers in assessing the health of their inner hearts. He challenges Christians to exercise their hearts by developing a moment-by-moment swiftness to repent of personal sin (including offering forgiveness to others), confessing said sin to those who will offer accountability, and making concerted, consistent efforts to apply biblical principles to everyday life problems.
Next, Ireland offers explanations on fearing the Lord and how to differentiate between the commonplace definition that mentally conjures up terror and dread, and the reverential, respectful and honoring fear all Christians should hold toward God. The author then tackles the always relevant pursuit of holiness, which he wonderfully describes as "apartness; the separation of a person or thing from the common to a divine use." The key point is that a believer is to be "dedicated to" and "set apart for" God's use. Holiness is "a nonnegotiable quality."
One of the highlights of Ireland's practical text culminates midway through his 40-day journey where he lays out the disciplines necessary to ongoing intimacy with God. These building blocks for success include obedience --- eat, drink and sleep obedience, writes Ireland. Faith follows, and then comes sensitivity, humility and teachability. Next, readers will learn about the ingredients to vibrant spiritual health starting with genuine worship, powerful praying, rich fellowship, Holy Spirit-inspired adventures and the surrendering of one's will.
In each chapter, Ireland offers personal stories and self-disclosing, often humorous anecdotes that readers will both relate to and learn from. An especially helpful add-on feature to this subject matter is the "Steps to Rehearse" section following every installment. This compact yet information-packed segment gives readers a chance to absorb and capsulate the day's message for increased impact and takeaway value.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on November 13, 2011