Book Review: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

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451884_1_ftc_dpDon’t Judge this Book by its Cover

A few months ago I joined the Thomas Nelson Publishers blogger book review team. What a novel idea. I signed up, agreed to write a review and publish it on my blog as well as one other commercial site. In exchange, I received the book I chose to review in the mail.

I chose “Jesus Calling,” a devotional by Sarah Young.

I was drawn to the content based on a few tweets from others reading the devotional. I grew up in my faith with the Oswald Chambers classic “My Utmost for His Highest.” I love my online devotional time on the Jesuit site sacredspace.ie—one of my favourite experiences on the web. I also love Henri Nouwen’s “Bread for the Journey.”

Now “Jesus Calling” is fast becoming another classic in my life. Sarah Young writes what she hears Jesus speaking to her in her spirit. She has honed her listening through years and years of writing in her journal and being attentive to what the Spirit wants to say to her.

As I have spent time in “Jesus Calling, ”I have heard Jesus speaking to me many times in beautiful, fresh ways. Sometimes I hear Sarah’s personal filter—she is the pen, the messenger, after all—but I also recognize this as the voice of my Shepherd.

Here are a few of my favourite calls:

• “Rest in My Presence, allowing Me to take charge of this day. Do not bolt into the day like a racehorse suddenly released. Instead, walk purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one step at a time.”

• “You are on the right path. Listen more to Me, and less to your doubts. I am leading you along the way designed just for you.”

• “You must discipline yourself to live within the boundaries of today. It is in the present moment that I walk close to you, helping you carry your burdens. Keep your focus on My Presence in the present.”

I definitely recommend “Jesus Calling.” My only caveat comes with the actual design. Here’s what I suggest: Please don’t judge this book by its cover. I was surprised when I opened the parcel I received in the mail. I was actually somewhat taken aback. The book came dressed, looking like a dated (and forgive me for this) missionary. You get the picture. I had to force myself to pass through the visual barrier. The size and design also visually placed it in the gift book category, which surprised me. I am in my thirties and have never bought a Christian gift book. For me, the content just didn’t fit the cover design, paper choice and format.

As I dove into the content, however, wanting to keep up my end of the agreement, I was drawn in by the fresh writing. This book has taken me new places with Jesus. There’s a lot of wisdom here, so much Beauty and great Depth.

“Jesus Calling” is worth laying down all your preconceived ideas about where you might receive and delving deeply into this revelation of Jesus.

So, while the design placed this book for me in a different audience; the content of this book crosses generations for those who are open to experiencing Jesus in a fresh way.

If you can pierce through the visual barrier of the book jacket, the content will grab your heart, because it is Jesus speaking through one of his beloved daughters.

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  • Stacy

    Looking lively on the blog!

    I tried your link to the Jesuit site. It has the wrong suffix. It should be .ie (for Ireland). Nice contemplative stuff there.

  • DG

    This is no more than mystic contemplative spirituality which is NOT found in God’s Word. Where in the Word does God speak audibly and through a pen to someone? No where! God speaks to us through His Word! The Holy Spirit dwells within those who have come to repentant faith in Jesus. Is not God’s Word sufficient?! This is no different than R.Foster’s mystic spiritual disciplines. God’s Word is sufficient. Man does not add to it!

  • HM

    Sounds like tickling ears to me. Scripture says that in the latter times, where will be many who will seek after fables and different winds of doctrine. They will not seek after the purity of God’s Word, nor will they heed it. They will profess to worship God but their hearts are far from him. They will have a form of godliness but deny the power.

    It is apparent today that many who choose to call themselves Christians are sadly lacking discernment and wisdom and instead keep seeking after every philosophy of man instead of just being content with God’s Word which is sufficient unto salvation and godliness.

    Even worse is when someone claims that visiting a jesuit site and reading things not contained in scripture is somehow “exhilarating and illuminating”… yea, satan can disguise himself as an agent of light alright…

    I hope and pray that people turn from their own understanding and stop relying on themselves, repent and turn back to the pure faith, for the time is coming and already is here when they will not endure sound doctrine.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    Thank you, DG and HM. Why not leave your name and we can engage, person to person … I’m curious, did you read Sarah Young’s book?

    I honestly believe we should engage with something, before we can reject it. Once you have engaged with it, with an open heart, trusting that Jesus will not desert you in the midst of it, I would love to hear your comments.

  • DG

    “engage”??– “engage what? ‘typical Emergent term. No thanks.
    God’s Word is sufficient.

  • CE

    I’m curious as to why you can only “engage” if you have someone’s full name? You wouldn’t know them anyway so I’m not really sure why that would matter. After all, they know who they are.

    Anyway, I’m seeing the same thing apparently that DG and HM are seeing. I’m not really sure what you mean idelette by “engaging” something. If by that you mean that you would have to read this book before you can form an opinion, I believe that there was quite enough given by way of example above to see that there are some theological problems with this.

    Spending more time in God’s Word and less time in someone else’s contemplative journal would probably be a wiser use of a person’s time.

  • HM

    I have to walk in agreement with the posters above who dont agree with this heresy running through most churches today, and by churches I mean those who claim to be born-again Christians….

    I prefer the Word of God for it is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and all mysteries are therein for us to be in awe of.

    Ditto on “engage”, an emergent term, sounds like another fav of that movement… “conversation”.

    I prefer Biblical doctrine as my guide.

  • http://miketodd.typepad.com Mike

    Great post Idelette, thanks for the recommendation. God still speaks, and speaks in many, many ways.

    (I know this isn’t the point of your post, so I’ll avoid going off on a tangent about “bibliolatry”!)

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    Last time I checked the Bible says, Love your neighbour as yourself. That very same Bible you like to hold up in such a mean-spirited way also says, Love your enemy.

    My Bible also says, Pray for those who persecute you … So today, with sadness and grieving that brothers and sisters who call themselves Christians will attack their own, I can only do this:

    Dear Father
    My heart breaks for the brokenness. I bless these voices on my blog. I pray that Your Kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven, in their hearts, in my heart and in every heart that visits here today and every day. I pray for your Body on the earth–that we may find our common ground: our love for Jesus. Help me and help these voices, to stand in Love, just like Jesus did.
    Amen.

    Final word: Please also remember that you are visitors here–guests on my blog. This is not a fighting rink, but a platform for respectful conversation. If you can’t respect that, you will no longer be welcome here.

  • http://miketodd.typepad.com Mike

    Another thought occurs…

    Your detractors are right in one respect. We really are talking about two fundamentally different views of the Gospel. (In fact I think they are two different gospels, but I won’t force the point.) And if that’s the case, it’s unlikely that these two views will reconcile. Knowing you like I do I know this won’t sit will, but say what you need to say, prayerfully consider the contrary opinions, then don’t spend much time worrying about them.

  • evert

    great post idelette. i am going to try obtain this vital read.

    i am amazed that people to this day believe that g-d’s inspiration of scriptures stopped with the (ancient) scriptures we access to with the torah and other books.

    g-d continually speaks to us through sunrises, music, poetry, books and gently prods us in his direction.

    he has never been limited by or to the works of man. if we believe that he is greater than all of us and all of this we will not limited him only to the ancient scriptures and will accept the fact that ’cause he loves us, he has already ordained every day of our lives.

    every action.
    every incident.
    every thought.
    every smile.
    every tear.

    we can get caught into worshiping the biblical scripture and loose sight of messiah and everything he has changed.

    who are we to judge that only the letters in the new testament are inspired?

    perhaps the greater things that were promised are upon us, and perhaps if we look at it in that light then we will realized that we have limited g-d to another box.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    Thanks, Mike. I’m new to all this antagonism. Yikes.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    Thanks, Evert. Like how you said it. Thank you, friend.

    And Mike, “detractors” is a really good way to put that. (Couldn’t you just hear Dorothea on the whole subject of distractions here?) And I am seeing that. I think you once referred to me, directly or indirectly, as pollyanna-ish–my naive belief that we can actually all get along … Ok, I am learning and growing and maturing. It’s good.

  • http://miketodd.typepad.com Mike

    Must have been indirectly ’cause I don’t think I could have spelled pollyanna-ish.

    : )

  • shannon

    The Word of God, as Karl Barth reminds us, is Christ. Scripture bears witness to it; it is not itself the Word of God.

    And in Scripture, God speaks through dreams, visions, small still voices, angels, donkeys, corrupt kings, games of chance (“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord”–Proverbs 16:33) and even the dead (remember Saul summoning Elijah?)

    In other words: God speaks in whatever way God chooses. And I’m glad, Idelette, that God spoke to you through this book.

  • shannon

    And HM, if you don’t like “engage” and “conversation,” I guess you have no use for a God who says “Come, let us reason together.”

  • http://jeffgreer.wordpress.com Jeff greer

    maybe those that are saying ‘God’s Word is sufficient’ shouldnt be spending any of their time reading blogs! or maybe their idea and interpretation of the bible and ‘God’s Word’ has become the ‘Angel of Light. don’t you know that the power of God is Love… if you lack love, then you may have a form of godliness, but you are denying it’s power. also, if you don’t think God speaks to and through people in other ways besides that leather bound book in your hands, then you very well may be denying His Holy Spirit as well… I would be very careful accrediting Satan for something the Holy Spirit is doing…(that is Jesus’ warning… not mine, or Paul’s) just some thoughts to ponder. :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/towardhope john

    Great review idellete.

    as for the critics on this post, we have to remember that there is no “pure” gospel…it is always veiled in language, culture and time and therefore susceptible to reductionisms…the challenge is one of discernment for believers to tease out and discover the work of God in space and time (informed by the pattern of scripture) through those who know and do not know God. It’s very Ignatian and jesuit, which I thought you might like….

    this is the same discernment required by those who had to be open to God showing up as a baby from a town no one expected….

    the scriptures give us the account of how our forefathers and mothers in the faith discerned and encountered God in their time as God acted in History.

    asserting that we have the type of control over God that would limit God showing up in surprising ways outside of our constructs of God is the sin of idolytry, or as Mike put it bilbliolitry.

  • http://www.amandajsalmon.blogspot.com Amanda Salmon

    Hi Idelette, i’m sorry you feel attacked by those writers. they obviously dont like the perspective you had on that book. they dont know you, or the work you do for God. As someone who knows you a little, and also has looked into some emergent perspectives, and who can also identify with DG & HM’s perspectives on keeping the word of God pure, i would like to make a comment:
    i think Sarah’s journal is personal. i think she wrote down and shared things that God encouraged her in, probably from reading the scriptures and praying, then she wrote “ok, i’ll do that.” or “that applies to me”. and then published and shared those personal steps in her journey, they are thoughts that may or may not apply to the reader. parts of it obviously spoke to you.
    but i dont see it as her getting a new message from Jesus, writing “His” words and them becoming a new scripture. it would be like me reading a great verse, and sharing with a friend who i thought could also benefit from the application i found for it.
    I dont think DG & HM are of the devil, they just want to keep the scriptures pure and dont want someone saying that Sarah was inspired by Christ to write a new message. As you know, i’m sure, the scriptures are active and living. they can speak to you as a brand-new believer, and they can challenge and humble you and speak to you again in a new angle as a long-time believer.
    Just wanted to give a perspective as an outsider to the whole thing, and having not read the book either!

  • http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/ Mike Ratliff

    A friend suggested that I come here, read the blog and comment.

    Those who are saying that Scripture is sufficient and that this sort of thing is wrong because it is “contemplative” are right. However, the issue is really why is it wrong to seek another path or another voice, et cetera outside of the clear commands from God found in Sacred Scripture. The reason is that God has made it clear in His word that “other voices” are not from Him, which is from above, but are actually earthly, unspiritual, and demonic (James 3:13-18).

    I am sure that it was a pretty “cool” experience going through this devotional, but if it isn’t grounded in the solidity of the Word of God then it is not from Him, but from the enemy of our souls. If you believe that the worldly wisdom of Henri Nouwen is on par with God’s then you have been deceived. Again, if you are “opening” your heart to other voices or other paths of wisdom outside of that found in God’s only source of revelation to Man–God’s Word–then you are listening to the voice of the enemy not God’s.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  • DG

    You are not being “attacked”. What is being stated is that what is in the book does not line up with scripture. That is not an attack on your persona.

    As far as knowing who I am: I realized my sinfulness and my depravity before a just God, and came to repentant faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savio who shed His own blood for my sins, died and rose again on the 3rd day and is coming again soon. Mark 1:15

    God does not speak audibly today. His Word is sufficient for our everyneed.
    ” And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” 1 Cor. 2:13

    “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ” Heb. 4:12

    “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17

    Scripture is the power of God:
    “Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” Mark 12:24

    Creation bears witness of God but it does not speak. Romans 1:20

    Scripture has always been sufficient. There needs no twisting of it/perverting it by man. It has, is, and will always be perfect.
    “Blessed is the one who hears the Word of God and keeps it, or obeys it” – Luke 11:28

    “See to it that no one takes you captive by *philosophy* and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Col. 2:8

    It is fine should you decide condemn me here, but scripture bears the truth- in Christ Jesus alone and through the reading of His Word.

  • Reggie

    Nice post Idelette. ( I like your blog, as well)

    I agree that we need deeper engagement (?) with each other, even when we don’t agree on every letter or interpretation. The meaning and interpretation of Scripture really depends on so many factors.

    Just one reminder though, from the Bible (actually from Jesus himself) to us all: ‘But this shall all know that you are my disciples, If you have love for one another…’ -not by our knowledge, but by our love..

  • Reggie

    by this shall… (not But). *blush*

  • Stephanie

    Hi Idelette,

    After reading all the posts and some thoughtful reflection, I felt the need to walk in the middle ground of the two sides of this debate. I will share part of my testimony and show that the extremes found on both sides can be misleading about the nature of God, and divide rather than unite the body of Christ (which is in direct rebellion against the purposes of the work accomplished on the Cross).

    If we are to rigidly adhere to the idea that God cannot speak to the human heart outside the written word then it wasn’t God who spoke to me when I was a teenager through creation to tell me that there is a God despite all the atheistic cliques and teaching I was raised in.

    If we are to rigidly adhere to the idea that God speaks through all sorts of circumstances, dreams, visions, creation, art etc… without testing what is revealed by his word then yes, we can be led astray by mans understanding and wisdom.

    One of the most insightful areas of scripture that speaks about God revealing his nature to his children on both sides of this debate is found in the book of Luke from chapter 12-15 – Jesus is addressing the Pharisees and he is revealing that God works outside their rigid religious parameters and will do what they believe is not allowed according to their understanding of God and his nature…Jesus is revealing to all of us that he will pursue humanity constantly to get our attention, once he has our attention then yes, he gives us a hunger for his word – which is both the written word and the word Jesus himself who dwells in us by His Holy Spirit – who does speak to our hearts – we are responsible to make sure that what is revealed and spoken lines up with the written word.

    I don’t demand that christian authors present 100% theologically sound material…actually aren’t we all in the process of growing in our understanding – which is being revealed through a darkened lens and we won’t see clearly until Christ is before us face to face?

  • evert

    goeie genade.
    heirdie mense maak my kop (& hart) seer.

    :)

  • Reggie

    I don’t think the issue here (from the post) is to seek ‘another path’ or ‘another voice’. I didn’t read it anywhere. (I stand to be corrected) The issue is to delve deeper into the depths of God’s grace and love towards the world, a love expressed through Jesus, the incarnate Word. I cannot recall that Idelette refered to an ‘audible’ voice, anywhere. What I read is being able to hear (in) the Spirit. I also didn’t hear that reading Scriptures was excluded. So, my challenge is to read what is written and not to what is assumed to be said.

    Also, I am surprised. Contemplative spiritual practices like journaling, reflection, quietness, discerning the Spirit, etc is well known in churchhistory and part of (all of our) traditions. It never excluded study of Scripture, but invited a deeper listening and respectifull dialogue.

    Lastly Mike, if Henry Nouwen’s readings of Scripture and his reflections is ‘worldly wisdom’, then what makes yours or mine divine? Who made you or me the judge? No brother, as difficult it might be for you to hear this: only God can draw this line. Not you, me or a mysterious ‘DG’. So, in the meantime lets journey, in love with each other as we read the Bible, and as we seek how to live the truth.

  • DG

    I’ll post this response :

    So just who was Henri Nouwen…and why are evangelicals listening to him? From the website Henri Nouwen.org, the official website of the Henry Nouwen Society we are told: “Henri Nouwen spent his life helping people respond to the universal ‘yearning for love, unity, and communion that doesn’t go away’.” In Ray Yungen’s excellent book A Time for Departing, and if you haven’t read the Second Edition you really should because the book has nearly doubled in size with important new information added, Yungen further informs us that:

    An individual who has gained popularity and respect in Christian circles, akin to that of Thomas Merton, is the now deceased [Roman] Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen… Many pastors and professors are greatly attracted to his deep thinking. In fact, one of his biographers revealed that in a 1994 survey of 3,400 U.S. Protestant church leaders, Nouwen ranked second only to Billy Graham… (61)

    Unfortunately, this widely read and often-quoted author, at the end of his life, stated in clear terms that he approached God from a universalistic view. He proclaimed: “Today I personally believe that Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her way to God.” (Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey, 51)

    Nouwen’s endorsement of a book by Hindu spiritual teacher Elnath Easwaran, teaching mantra meditation, further illustrates his universalistic sympathies. On the back cover, Nouwen stated, “This book has helped me a great deal.” (62)

    And it’s really little wonder that a book touching on Hindu mantra meditation techniques would be of “help” to Nouwen because he also taught the alleged “inward journey” of meditation inherent within this spurious CSM. In the book Henri Nouwen: A Spirituality of Imperfection biographer Wil Hernandez, who “teaches a course on the spirituality of Henri Nouwen at Fuller Theological Seminary” tells us:

    This deep experience of ourselves captures the nature of our inward journey. Henri Nouwen himself embarked on what journalist Philip Yancey calls a form of “inward mobility” wherein “[h]e withdrew in order to look inward, to learn how to love God and be loved by God.” Such movement is best realized in the context of solitude. In solitude, we can pay closer attention to our inner self and consequently become present to our own experience…

    Our inward ability to relate to and be at home with our own self is what enables us to live from the center of our existence and thereby relate with others in terms of who we are and not so much by what we do… Reaching into our inmost being connects us to the reality of our own soul—that mystical reality that Henri Nouwen simply calls the heart. (22)

    “Christian” Meditation Is The Broad Pathway To Apostasy

    Men and women, here again is yet another example of a leading practitioner of so-called “Christian” mysticism who also ended up teaching that man can be saved apart from Jesus Christ. Not only that but Nouwen, like fellow Roman Catholic priest Thomas Merton, would also end up essentially becoming a Buddhist. How many more pathetic examples like this one by Henri Nouwen do discernment ministries have to present before evangelical leaders awaken from their love affair with deceiving spirits with their things taught by demons? Nouwen went on to negate the need for being born again when he teaches that God already dwells in all of mankind:

    Still, when we remain faith to our discipline [of Contemplative/Centering Prayer], even if it is only ten minutes a day, we gradually come to see — by the candlelight of our prayers — that there is a space within us where God dwells and where we are invited to dwell with God…

    One of the discoveries we make in [meditative] prayer is that the closer we come to God, the closer we come to all our brothers and sisters in the human family. God is not a private God. The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being. (Here and Now, 25, emphasis mine)

    In closing, let’s consider the following by Nouwen from the aforementioned WoTH. He’s describing what he called “short prayers,” but it is actually the repetitive mantra that one finds in transcendental meditation as practiced in Hinduism and that of Zen Buddhism. Citing John Climacus while he instructs us Nouwen inadvertently reveals just how influenced by Eastern religions those apostate “Desert Fathers” actually were, “ ‘Wordiness in prayer often subjects the mind to fantasy to and dissipation; single words of their very nature tend to concentrate [shut down] the mind. When you find satisfaction or compunction in a certain word of your prayer, stop at that point.’ ” (81, emphasis mine) And this is what evangelical leaders like Chuck Swindoll and David Jeremiah open their readers up to by their quoting this fool in an approving manner.

    And if there’s still any doubt that Nouwen is talking about a repetitive mantra derived from the Eastern religions, which fatally warped the theology of these heretical hermits he then says, “The quiet repetition of a single word can help us descend with the mind into the heart” (ibid., emphasis added). Now we ask: Who would have the most to gain if he could convince people, and especially born again Christians, to shut down critical reasoning skills and “find satisfaction…in a certain word…[and] stop at that point”? For those who can still reason in the Lord the answer to this apparent mystery is obviously Satan himself. But nowhere in Scripture are we taught to pray in such a fashion.

    The Power Behind Effectual Fervent Prayer

    You see our Lord left no such foolhardy instructions about prayer, instead He said — “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do” (Matthew 6:7). The Devil knows that the prayers of the saints have a power about which he can do nothing and the enemy of men’s souls trembles before the child of God who is faithful in prayer. And while there is no power whatsoever in the act of prayer itself, there is infinite power available to the regenerated believers in Christ through our LORD God Almighty Who is the One Who answers our prayers. No wonder these seducing spirits with their Contemplative/Centering Prayer want to get us to stop praying and simply sit around in altered states of consciousness in mind-numbing silence.

    If you are a Christian who has bought into this lie of CSM, which has become the latest fad in evangelicalism under the cover of Spiritual Formation, then I encourage you to utter some actual words of repentance and ask God to forgive you. And further I exhort you to then join the rest of us who are anxious to live out the Truth of James 5:16 — The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Beloved of God, may we be silent no more! Let’s continue to cry out to our Lord until He sends revival into His Church, and then together we can begin to push these enemy forces who speak through apostates like Henri Nouwen right back out of His precious Church. C’mon, child of God let us together ride to the sound of the guns!
    http://apprising.org/2008/08/12/who-is-henri-nouwen-2/

    (what is the “mystery” in using initials?!)

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    DG: I think it’s time you get your own blog.

  • shannon

    Ah, “discernment ministries.” Bold to claim that about oneself, but whatever.

    God has used both Merton and Nouwen in deepening my walk with Christ. He hasn’t used Yungen, but maybe I’m just critical of those who would arbitrate others’ prayer lives. (I guess he has no use for Teresa of Avila, or the patristics for that matter.)

    I’m sure you’re certain you are right, DG. Might I remind you that the opposite of faith is not doubt; the opposite of faith is certainty. (via Anne Lamott, who is paraphrasing Paul Tillich)

  • Marcie Porterfield

    Idelette-

    Thank you for your post. I too love this devotional along with Chambers and Nouwen. HM, DG, and the other initial crew (who all seem to be in fact the same poster) are so passionate about only using God’s word yet oddly, not modeling much of it. If they in fact have read this devotional and are opposed to it, which seems odd because she quotes God’s word very frequently and all of her devotionals stay close to the Scripture used, they should remember the many verses that talk about truth and love going hand in hand. Sadly, today so many who claim to ONLY go by Scripture forget so much of what His word says in the name of boldness. Thank you for your review and your gracious responses to them.

  • http://lethbridge4life.wordpress.com lethbridge4life

    the evil i see here is God’s people attacking each other, most of you are not acting in love. I hear people arguing with each other and acting as though they are greater than the other. if you believe Jesus is the son of God and you are saved, then you are brothers and sisters in HIM. Jesus said that the world will know us by our love and I see no love in this argument.

    Please people, I have seen my church torn apart by this debate, yes it is important to follow the word and to know the truth, but it is equally important to hear the spirit and to follow His guidance, and more important than all is Love. Love God with all your heart and love others. where is the love?

    I am broken by the anger and hatred in the church, by the legalistic beliefs and by those who rely on feelings… but i am more than anything broken by the family of God fighting amongst each other while the enemy laughs and the world goes to hell.

    what is our call? to go out and share the gospel… to share Jesus with a dying world…. there are people really suffering in this world, lets, as a family focus on what we are called to do and leave the hatred of our body and allow God to teach us to love.

    if we cannot love each other, i wonder how much we love the God that we are fighting about.

  • kurt

    Thanks for your post Idelette.

    I have been enjoying “Jesus Calling” for over a year now. For those who have not read it; the devotional includes the scripture verses on each page that support the devotion of that day.

    Sarah Young has, through the grace of God, provided us with another spiritual tool to fight the battle against the fleshless foes that war with us. There are days that the concise form of a devotional is just what I need to keep me on the path. I highly recommend this book.

    Peace be with you all.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    Thank you everyone for your comments. Re-reading my own post, I realize I cannot assume that everyone knows me, knows my heart, or knows my walk with God. It is good to be clear about these things.

    So for the sake of clarity: I love the Word of God. I actually carry a little blue Bible with me everywhere I go. I live by the Word of God. It is my bread, my air, my life. Jesus is my Hero, the Holy Spirit an intimate friend, and God, my Father, my Creator … and so much more.

    The irony, for me, is that the message of my life has to do with Unity, as opposed to division. I was raised in Apartheid. I know very vividly what division looks like. The last thing I want on this earth is for people to be divided, especially followers of Jesus. That is not what Love looks like.

    Peace.

  • ezekielcountdown

    Idellete,

    Hi. A doulos of Christ has the indescribable privilege of also being His ambassador assigned to shine Light upon the darkness of this world (Mt 5:14)! Each of us have opinions, but the only absolute truth is the Word; and, sadly, many of our generation are looking to “other voices”.

    As our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, forewarned that these last days would be wrought with deception (Mat 7:15, 24:11, 24:24; Mk 13:22; Luk 6:26; 2 Pe 2:1 and 1 Jo 4:1), and He also told His Bride that she should be prepared to see heresy arise from within the professing church (1 Jo 2:19).

    We need to be very cautious of those who speak with forked tongue. Since you grew up in Apartheid, you, more than anyone, can understand what it is like to watch black people be deemed beneath yourself merely because the Carpenter’s palette utilized less melatonin! Likewise, there is a spiritual snobbery among the Emergent/Contemplative crowd which is fanning the indignation, scoffing and disdain the unbelieving world holds toward Sola Scriptura saints. “Journaling” can be akin to channeling if one writes down what they hear “jesus” speaking (James 3). Why? Jesus does not audibly speak any longer for we are in a new dipensation/covenant wherein Holy Writ is the means of ‘hearing from God’.

    There is an overtone of spiritual snobbery, if you will, among many contemporary authors, a “I’m holier than thou due to my ‘unique’ religious experiences”, a direct violation of Gal. 3:28.

    Of particular concern:

    – “You are on the right path. Listen more to Me, and less to your doubts. I am leading you along the way designed just for you.” Designed just for you? Frankly, I hear Satan in that, or, minimally spiritual pride. Idellete, you, HM, DG, Mike, myself and every other soul reborn in Christ has precisely the same common salvation (Jud 3) and are to obey the commands, walk in humility and die to self living unto Christ. We all have doubts during this sojourn, but the blessed mountains always follow the valleys, praise Him! And,

    – “You must discipline yourself to live within the boundaries of today. It is in the present moment that I walk close to you, helping you carry your burdens. Keep your focus on My Presence in the present.”

    Jesus is always with His sheep Mt 28:20, which demonstrates His Omnipresence. Moreover, Mt 11:30 assures those who have taken up their cross have no yoke and any burden is easily shrugged by lying it at Christ’s feet. Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, John Shelby Spong, et. al., offer the same lies to any who will lap them up. Spong’s worn out ideas have been repackaged to deceive a new generation and the one most adept at this is Bell, in my opinion.

    Reggie, “Lastly Mike, if Henry Nouwen’s readings of Scripture and his reflections is ‘worldly wisdom’, then what makes yours or mine divine?” Only the Scripture, Gen-Rev, is Rauch Ha’Kodesh-breathed (2 Tim 3:16), which is why it is the Living Word (Jn 1:1). Sharper than any two-edged Sword (Heb 4:12), the Word never returns void (Is 55:11) … mankind, finite and fallible merely pen prose not soul birthing Truth (Rom 10:17)

    Lastly, Idelette, “mother” Teresa, died a broken woman whose memoirs clearly describe one who – despite all the “doing” vs. faithing in the “Finished!” of Christ – was empty, searching and filled with doubt. The pope merely told her to look to mary, which, as you know, avails the soul nothing.

    Divisiveness is of Satan, and a checkmate in this spiritual warfare, in recent years, has been the misconception that whenever a brother or sister in Christ seeks to utilize Scripture as a means of warning against error that saint is painted as “judging”. Yep. In obedience to Jude contending like Paul is the only viable option.

    God bless all here. What an interesting dialogue.

  • http://www.idelette.com idelette

    God bless.

  • Reggie

    @’ezechielcountmedown’, I’m back.
    Let’s be honest here, even if your use Greek or Hebrew translations of slave and Spirit, etc it does not make a difference to the fact that:
    1) you use one English translation as the ‘living word’. It still need to be interpreted, by you and me and the community of believers-that’s the point of conversation ( a beautiful emergent term) – and of discernment.
    2) your texts, strung together, in what ever way, is still simply one interpretation, of those texts. Even you are not God and appropriate texts ( sometimes totally out of their contexts) to suit your argument.

    Do you really think that we can fully fathom God, in these English translations or even the Greek or Hebrew ones? These are human made constructions, images, symbols, stories, parables to humbly try to capture much more.. And this is the wonder and beauty that we may humbly dialogue (here I go again) with each other on our interpretations and affirm each other in our journeys with the Truth. Is that so difficult to open up space for fellow pilgrims and love them, as well ?

  • http://www.amandajsalmon.blogspot.com Amanda Salmon

    Just another response:
    Both sides and middle of this discussion are guilty of judging…but judging is not against what God would have us do. Believers are to be held to a certain standard, so to see a fault in a brother/sister and lovingly point it out is encouraged in scripture, but pretty unacceptable by our “tolerant” society.
    the fault is, as someone mentioned, the lack of love.

    i would also like to offer that there is a spiritual gift of admonishment and even some aspects of a prophet are those who are trying to help other believers achieve Christlikeness and warning against false teachings. its not about making people feel warm & fuzzy all the time, but challenging them to look at their own motives and perspectives.

    i hope that we would all be willing to pray and consider the other side of this argument and to leave it in God’s capable hands. We are the church, one body, a body with many parts, and Christ the Head of it all. we are all blessed with the gift of being used by God to accomplish His purposes and not only “make disciples” but also “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt 28.20

    Blessings on all of you!

  • Mary Ann

    I believe that whenever words are “put into God’s mouth” so to speak , we are walking on dangerous ground. His Word is sufficient for all of us and will not lead us astray.
    Scripture is very emphatic in that we are to be aware that false teachers will arise and it is extremely important to be cautious and warn one another.
    Jesus is our Good Shepherd! He loves us with an everlasting love and knows that we can easily follow after that which is destructive. Shepherds protect and lead the sheep, not invite them to try things out to see if they work for us.