Heaven’s Muscle by Bren Hughes
Displayed with permission from JimErwin.com
Heaven’s Muscle by Bren Hughes
Heaven’s Muscle by Bren Hughes is a book primarily about the work of the Holy Spirit. He encourages the reader to defy the spirit of religion and embrace the Holy Spirit. Throughout the book he states insightful thoughts about the work of the Holy Spirit.
Hughes begins his book by addressing what he calls the “spirit of religion”. He defines this spirit as legalism which can prevent the Christian from following the Holy Spirit (23). He continues to elaborate on the spirit of religion as a barrier to being empowered by the Holy Spirit. He identifies different spirits which promote religion and prevent a Christian from living the Spirit-filled life. Hughes identifies characteristics of good religion (26).
Next, establishes the biblical basis for the work of the Holy Spirit. Hughes shows how Jesus did His work, not in His own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit (52-53). Because of the anointing of Jesus at His baptism, Hughes contends that baptism is an important step for the Holy Spirit to do His work (59). Hughes believes that all believers can perform miracles (56). However, the reason we can’t see miracles is because of a spirit of religion which hinders the Holy Spirit (64), Who can be insulted (65).
Hughes then focuses a section his book on challenging the spirit of religion, by depending upon the Holy Spirit. The greatest spiritual gift is love. Love is required for the spiritual gifts to work (68). Hughes makes an excellent argument against the cessation of some spiritual gifts (72). He suggests that you can ask God for spiritual gifts (78).
Hughes makes the strong case that as Christians, we need an awakening from legalism (88). He asserts that some of our human afflictions, from physical ailments to depression, free, and self-criticism are symptoms of demonic activity (89). Hughes continues to address the theme of bad spirits which a Christian can encounter. Hughes makes an interesting distinction between diseases and demon possession – Luke 8, Matthew 8:16, Matthew 10:1, Acts 5:16 (92). Hughes effectively shows explanations from the Old Testament of illnesses which came from demons. Today, we would now attribute to modern mental illness (92).I agree with Hughes in his assessment that freeing a person from the influence of bad spirits can take time. Relapses are possible. Lasting deliverance is not immediate (94).
Hughes continues to make the case in this book that the spirit of religion, (which is legalism) comes from demonic spirits (1 Timothy 4:3) (96). Hughes’ assessment about how to detect the spirit world is Biblically correct, although not trusted by western science (98). Hughes suggests discovering a person’s spiritual pathway. He summarizes the nine spiritual pathways which are discussed in more detail in Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas (137-139). There are spiritual gift tests and inventories to help a person discover their spiritual gifts. I wonder if there is a similar instrument to help me discover my spiritual pathway? It would be helpful if Hughes would point the reader to a resource to help them find that spiritual pathway.
Hughes continues showing how to deal with negative spirits with the power of the Holy Spirit. He shows how 2 Timothy 1:7 and Micah 3:6-8 teach us that God has given us a spirit of power, love, self-discipline, and faith to fight the spirit of fear (146). There is a purpose to the Holy Spirit’s power. Hughes rightly states that God’s goal is reconciliation. Our work is the work of loving people because loving is what God does (147).
As a Christian learns to take action, to use Heaven’s muscle, Hughes states that it is alright to doubt. He states that doubt is just a form of humility (148). Humility is a quality that every Christian should show when they learn to depend upon the Holy Spirit. For the Christian who wants to learn a thorough understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit, Heaven’s Muscle by Bren Hughes would be an excellent resource.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. 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.