I received an advanced copy of I Declare War by Levi Lusko from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I had previously read Levi Lusko’s book Through the Eyes of a Lion and had loved it so when I saw that this was available to read early, I jumped on it.
I Declare War has a subtitle: “4 keys to winning the battle with yourself”; however, the subtitle does not fail to mention that it’s also about winning the battle against Satan and his demons with God’s help. (This is not a fault because how long would that subtitle be.) Despite that, the whole book is exactly about that.
The book goes through 4 cards, a la the card game “War”. The first card that Lusko discusses is “Declare War on What You Think.” Throughout this section, Lusko combines personal experiences, scripture references, and secular research to discuss how to actually take thoughts captive.
The next card Lusko goes through is “Declare War on What You Say.” He discusses the power of words in a very similar fashion to how he discussed declaring war on what you think. After all, thoughts and words are very much the same at times. However, he discusses the emotional impact that our words have on other people and helps to put more into light the psychological reasons why we want to respond the way that we do rather than seek to understand what the other person actually meant.
He then discusses the card “Declare War on What You Do.” This section discusses how so much of what we do is routine stuff that we ultimately live on autopilot about 55% of the time. With this section, he discusses taking back the control and rerouting bad habits into good ones.
The very final section is the one that is the most scripture heavy as it is about “phantom power,” the acknowledgement that we as humans will always be imperfect and that ultimately we need to be in tune with God for any of this to actually truly work.
While I did like this book, I felt that there was a certain nuance that was absent in discussion of mental illness. While the description of this book mentions specifically that this book is for those that struggle with depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, and addiction (all mental illnesses), the book tends to want to put the blame solely on the person suffering from these or else blame just the spiritual side of things. While this is never outright said, it definitely is implied. This is not helpful to those that suffer with those. A lot of what is told in this book is stuff that many who have a mental illness and believe in God have been told many times before to do to change to become healed. Additionally, as such, it’s a lot of the things that have been used as hurtful words towards the misunderstanding of mental illness especially in the Christian church.
However, if you don’t read this book with those things in mind, this book is fine as is and will challenge you to think about your thoughts and your actions. I just however wouldn’t recommend that anyone with a mental illness go into this book expecting more than what they’ve already been told by many people of Christian faith.
Final rating: 3.5/5, rounded up on Goodreads.