Ok, first, let me say I realize I’ll probably get struck by lightning for this review but I really struggled with this book. The subtitle is “Discerning and Defeating the Spirit of Control.” As a perfectionist, I thought this book might be great in helping me “Let go, let God” but it was something else entirely. Steve Sampson goes into great detail in retelling the story of Jezebel, the evil queen of the Old Testament who managed to lure the spineless king, Ahab, into all sorts of idol worship. When the prophet Elijah confronted the king, Jezebel went for blood.
The story is a great jumping off point but somewhere along the line, it seems like Sampson spends more time extolling the strengths of the “Jezebel Principality” than he does in teaching how to deal with its influence. And, according to Sampson, its influence is mighty. He lists 40 different traits that are part of the Jezebel Spirit, everything from refusing to admit guilt, loving to vent or is pushy and domineering. The list was so comprehensive that I was left wondering what sins were left over to be the result of just being flawed humans.
Now, I’m a Christian and I firmly believe that there is a force for evil and that Satan has helpers. However, I do believe that focusing on the evil spirit that causes our misbehavior is putting your focus in the wrong place. When your child misbehaves, do you accept from him or her that they were “made” to do it by someone, or do you just work on helping them with better behavior? We are free-will agents who make choices, some good, some bad. I think our energy is best spent on focusing on who we should be and what we are called to be, rather than diagnosing which influence we can blame our bad behavior on. Psychologists have found that to make changes, you need to focus on what you wish to be, not what you don’t want to be. I would have liked to have seen more focus on how to honor God with our choices and less about the power of the Jezebel spirit.
My other concern with this book is that it seems muddy to me, it was difficult to get a handle on where he was going with this information. Of course, Sampson may say that this is another example of the Jezebel spirit in action…confusion is one of her many specialties!
This book was provided to me by Baker Publishing Group for this review.