I love reading novels. As a teenager, I read all kinds of novels: from romance to detective to horror. Stories connected me in much deeper ways and made my imagination soar.
Because I grew up with a father who read alot, I remember I would get into his room and search for books that had stories in them. But my search almost proved abortive because Dad read expository christian literatures that didn’t quite interest me, books written by Rick Joyner, Charles Surgeon and some others, but I was able to lay my hands on God’s General, a book that had lots of interesting stories as well as a few other books.
In SS2, I was first introduced to fictions with Christian themes. I never knew they existed. Reading ‘Left behind’ for teens by Tim Lahaye drew me into another world that reminded me of God and his word. I cannot forget how I felt when some of those teens missed the rapture. It was scary at the same time reflective. Many years later, I would come in contact with books by Francine Rivers, Frank Peretti, Karen Kingsbury, Ted Dekker…and I would come to know that stories can greatly affect the soul in a spiritual sense.
So, I want to share 4 novels that have had great influence on my walk with God.
1. Mark of The Lion Series(A voice in the wind, Echoes of Darkness, As sure as dawn)
I had to put these three together because each book is not independent of the other. I remember that the second time I would sit with these books, I cried. It wasn’t just about the story but I saw in Hadassah, a major character in the story, a true reflection of Christ. Something I craved for so much. For the first time my eyes were opened to a deep understanding of 1 Corinthians 13:3-6. It made me realise that even when life has dealt terribly with us, God still cares about us. I came to a clear understanding of Agape- The God kind of love.
2. The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers.
I have read this book twice. Very deep story. I saw how easy it was to stand and boldly declare God’s word and yet live a different life contrary to God’s expectation. I remembered when Dynah got raped and she became pregnant, she was driven out of the university because it was a Christian school and they didn’t want to soil their name by allowing a pregnant lady in the school even though she got raped on the school’s premises.
I remember her fiancé, the vibrant man of God who pressurized her to abort, who had to quickly back out and cut all contact with her because he couldn’t destroy his reputation by sticking out with a pregnant Dynah. It was his friend, a man no one would reckon with because of his looks and his past that stood by Dynah through those trying days.
Appearance can be deceptive. The person you think is on fire for God with his fine suit and big Bible may not even have a deep relationship with God. This is one reason seeking God for guidance is important because He alone knows the heart of all men.
3. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti.
In my life, I had never come across a writer who jarred my imagination like Frank Peretti at least not until I met Sidney Sheldon. Sometimes I think we both share similar writing styles…Like bringing movies into prose. Dramatic prose as people would call it. From the moment I picked up This Present Darkness, my heart and my soul and spirit were engaged. It was like I was watching a movie. How I enjoyed the part where the swords of the angels began to glitter as they attacked the hosts of darkness when the Christians prayed fervently. They were unaware of the battle taking place in the spiritual. It taught me that prayer indeed changes things. I’d love to read this book again.
4. Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers.
I really want to meet this woman one day and ask how she managed to tell Bible stories in such an interesting and captivating manner. It was as if I had never read the stories in the Bible before. I love the story of Ruth and Boaz best. Till date, each time I pick up that book of the Bible, my mind returns to Lineage of Grace. Seriously, when grace begins to work in your life, amazing things will happen. I’m glad I’ve been grafted into the lineage of Grace by the blood of Jesus Christ.
What novels or books have blessed your life. Would you mind sharing them with me in the comments section?