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5 Stars Out Of 5
The Cross and the Switchblade
December 13, 2016
I watched the movie so many years ago. I liked it, but don't remember enough to tell about it except the scene where Nicky Cruz and his gang were going to the crusade and chosen to take up the offering. If that much is all you remember about the movie or the book, you need to get the book and read it again if you have to.
Someone gave me the book recently. It was the 50th anniversary student edition which is not for resale. I want enough of these books to pass out to strangers the way it was done for me. It tells the secret of how they have been so remarkably successful in getting heroine addicts off of drugs so easily. Near the end of the book in the last few chapters, it tells that every one of those who got off heroin told that they knew they were free forever when they were filled with the baptism of the holy spirit! If you know anyone who is addicted to drugs, get them a copy. I insist!
I read this book as a teen,loaned it out and never got it returned. With that being said,I've never forgotten it or David Wilkerson. Its a book about what God can do in our lives if we will just have the faith and trust him. A few months ago I received this book as a gift. Now I have the movie also. It would be wonderful if every youth had this book. Adults it will lift your spirits as well. David Wilkerson was not a pastor that "talked to the talk" he lived his walk for all the world to see. Not for his personal glory but for God's, or should I say God used Pastor Dave to be a model of how our relationship with God should/could be.
This book has been around for quite some time (published originally in 1962) so I am probably one of the last people to read it. Even though it is an older book, I found it wonderfully refreshing and inspirational that David Wilkerson was such a pioneer at listening to God's promptings and being radically obedient to his calling to help the inner city teenagers in gangs in New York City. When he followed God's guidance, nothing short of a series of miraculous events happened and God was able to use David in a powerful way to bring others to Christ. For me, the simple lessons from this book were:
1. By spending more time alone with God, David was able to hear from God more clearly (Dave was a late night owl who used to watch TV from midnight till 2am. He sold his TV set so that he could spend more time with God). The two hours a night that Dave spent in prayer allowed him to become much more in tune with God and the specific call that was on his life to help inner city youth.
2. We don't have to be equipped to do the things God calls us to do. Dave had no specific training to deal with drug addicts, violent teens, street evangelism, etc.. But, if God calls you to do something, He will also equip you to do it.
3. Being radically obedient will allow you to do some radically amazing things for God's purpose. Most people never reach that kind of radical obedience, but can you imagine the impact that Christians could have if they became radically obedient?
4. True transformation to turn around a life only comes from the Holy Spirit changing a person from the inside out. At the end of the book, Dave reflected on why certain teens were successful at pulling themselves out of bad situations and others returned to their addictions. He concluded that those that had accepted the Holy Spirit allowed a true and lasting transformation to take place.
An easy to read book that is almost unbelievable and too outrageous to be true_..except it is a true story!