On My Bedside Table is a book review series that wants to make sure that the best books are read over and over again.
Adventism’s Greatest Need, Ron Clouzet (2011).
From reading the title I expected Adventism’s Greatest Need to contain some profound, if not life changing, truth. In many ways it didn’t disappoint. By the author’s own admission, the majority of the information he presents is neither new nor original to himself. However, the manner in which he weaves it together presents a compelling picture.
This book is essentially a call to revival and reformation, and in it Ron Clouzet seeks to demonstrate why
“a revival of true godliness among us” still remains “the greatest and most urgent of all our needs”.
The book is divided into four sections: Promise, Person, Praxis (from theory to practise), and Power. In the first two sections, Ron probes the early experiences of the Apostolic church and the Advent movement to illustrate just how greatly God desires to bestow this gift upon His church. In the last 2 sections he explores practical ways in which we can put the theory into practice and engage in the work of seeking for and receiving this gift.
An important, yet simple, concept that stood out to me was the idea that the process by which we come to experience the blessing of the Holy Spirit’s power and influence in our lives is not a passive one. Rather it is one that comes as result of personal engagement and searching. In fact, “to seek this should be our first work”.
“This work has nothing to do with obtaining salvation – that is God’s work – but it has to do with letting go, and with coming to the point where God can bless us as never before. And what does this work consist of? Four things: confession, humiliation (surrender), repentance and earnest prayer.”
The reality of this fact dawned on me as I reflected upon the moments in times past where the intellectual understanding I gained had not necessarily translated into a more empowered spiritual experience. I realized that while it is important to grow in knowledge and understanding, we must never forget the importance of opening up our hearts to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Overall, I found this book pleasantly easy to read. I particularly liked the personal anecdotes and illustrative stories the author uses to punctuate his points throughout the book; from the story of the illiterate young man who learned to read under to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that he could witness in his village, to the 8 church members who dipped together in an icy cold Russian lake every single morning to demonstrate their commitment as they prayed that God would revive their dying church through His Holy Spirit (the results were quite spectacular). Through this book I came to better understand that while it is good to dwell upon last day events, we should not for forget that “the coming of the Spirit into our lives precedes the coming of the Lord to our world.”
Naison Chitiyo currently works as a chartered accountant and enjoys reading both books and articles whenever the time affords.