ISBN 978 0310 139843
178 Pages

Some books on spirituality address common questions with predictable answers. As if by asking the same question over and over again, you are going to get a different answer. John Starke usefully reframes the question of how we experience intimacy with God.

He does so against the backdrop of a performative individualism, which seeks to find instant validation through social media posts. Being noticed is our generation’s greatest aspiration.

Using the teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount about praying, fasting, and giving that aims for the “audience of one” rather than plays to the gallery, the author reframes our spiritual desires and motivations.

It is in the hidden place of communion with God the Father that our unseen devotion brings a sense of significance and security in our lives. The author suggests that if we find the sweet spot of resting in Christ rather than the exhausting anxiety of trying to find a place of rest elsewhere, we will experience the “secret place of thunder”.

That reference from Psalm 81 speaks about the place where God’s people are heard by God. The author suggests that we are all longing for a father. We all want to be seen. We all want to be noticed. Yet a million “likes” do not begin to compare with when our Heavenly Father says “I love you.”

Excellent book to pack for your holiday reading. A change might be as good as a rest. But real rest can be a genuine change.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.