I just finished reading Ascent from Darkness by Michael Leehan. And, well, to be perfectly honest, I was scared to request this book to review. I have read every Frank Peretti book at least once, and I absolutely love them... but when the spiritual battle is a real story and is so honest and in your face... it is a lot more sobering.
Michael gives us a clear and honest picture of his life as a satanist and his eventual salvation and transformation through the redemptive blood of Christ. He is unwaveringly honest and gives enough of a vivid retelling to wake you up to the reality of the spiritual battle waging around us. His writing is a little choppy, but he states at the beginning that he isn't a writer. He is blunt and to the point, which is how the story needed to be told. I never felt like he was embellishing or trying to glorify the darkness he was serving at anytime.
I read this book in two sittings (since I was on an airplane both times, I didn't have as much freedom to get up and get distracted by other things). I intentionally chose to read it at those times so that I could power on through. I expected that I would be a little uncomfortable reading it, and I expected that I would be a little shocked and scared. What I didn't expect is that I would be powerfully convicted. How naive and complacent am I about my salvation....? How lazy have I become in my walk with God? I struggled with the answers to those questions. I don't want to be a lukewarm Christian. I want to be the kind of Christian who walks around with a strong and clear "forcefield" (if you will) of power and protection from God. I want to be the kind of Christian that emanates God's glory... the kind of Christian that people can sense is different. Michael all too clearly describes the "weak" Christian, the ones he could easily lead astray.
After reading the first half of the book, I spent about four days processing and praying... feeling a strong urge to move closer to God. When I picked the book up again, I was so anxious to read about his salvation moment. I couldn't wait to read of God's victory and power over someone who Satan thought he had in the bag. Michael's story is one that truly needs to be read and shared. Christians all too often fear satanism and want to pretend that these things don't exist. When in reality, we have nothing to fear at all. God is infinitely more powerful. We should be praying more, intercessing more, and walking more closely with God everyday. To become complacent is the worst thing. Michael Leehan says in his book that there is no difference between a lukewarm, self-professing Christian and a satanist. It doesn't matter how good we are by worldly standards. If we aren't saved, we aren't saved. Black and white, cut and dry. A sobering message that I am thankful I received. I would highly recommend this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.