Friday, April 20, 2012
As part of the Tyndale Blog Network, I'm reviewing Named By God by Kasey Van Norman. As part of agreeing to read the book in its entirety and giving an honest review about the book on my blog, I was provided a free copy of the book.
I had not heard of Ms. Van Norman prior to reading this book, but after receiving the book and reading about her on the back cover of the book, her passion is to reach those who are far from God and to ignite a spiritual flame in those who already know him.
Ms. Van Norman writes with the perspective that each of us is given a new name by God when we accept Jesus as our Savior, which is backed up by several scriptures from the Bible. We will not know that new name necessarily this side of eternity but when we meet him face to face and he gives us the new name chosen by him for us, it will be a glorious time. Examples of people this side of eternity that have gotten new names are Saul to Paul and Simon to Peter.
She also does say though that each of us are named by God just by the very fact of who we are in his eyes and how he looks on his creation and on those that have put their faith in him. These names include beloved, free from sin, victorious, safe, healed amongst others.
Her premise is that we can be healed from our past, that everything that happened to us, whether it be something that we had no control of or something we allowed to happen or something we initiated in the case of sin, we can be forgiven about, we can ask God to heal us from and we can put the past behind us and go boldly into our present and our future knowing who we are in God's eyes.
In her early teenage years she had a traumatic event happen to her that took years for her to heal from emotionally. but down the road she was able to help someone else deal with something similar and she came to see that God was able to work that to good to help others.
She also committed a sin against her husband and, of course, against God that shook her to the very core when she "came clean" with it and confess it. Though it was a sad, dark time in her life she came to see her husband's forgiveness as well as of, course, the forgiveness of God when she asked for it and also that although that sin happened, she could learn from it and grow from it rather than get stuck in it and not move forward in her relationship with God.
She used biblical people also used by God in their walk and their struggles as well as their victories. She gave practical advice on how someone can heal from their past, not get stuck in their present, but move to a victorious life in Jesus, including spending time with him in prayer, attending church, serving at church, etc.
My thoughts, I enjoyed the book. It confirmed thoughts I already had and had already been taught by others or read myself in the Bible. For someone who is struggling with their relationship with God or wondering if they are even loved by God, this book would definitely help them in defining who they are in God's eyes as well as give them steps they can take to draw closer to God as well as to help themselves deal with their past. If one did follow her recommendations in the book and commit themselves to spending time in the Bible, praying to God, seeking him daily and spending time with him daily, serving others, one's walk with God would deepen.
As a book to use in adjunct to one's daily time with God, I would recommend it.