I have actually resisted writing this post. I resisted because I know many people who feel blessed by the devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Like me, when something is really inspiring, I sometimes share on Facebook, and a few years ago, I came across one of the devotionals for the day, and I wanted to know more!
To Target I went to purchase my own copy. I believe that I purchased one for my daughter also. I started my own daily journey with Jesus Calling. At some point, I don’t remember how long it took, but the writings gave me pause. I stopped reading it as a part of my devotional time.
So what gave me pause? Who was speaking? There were words that were comforting, yet these words were not scripture but they were spoken as if it was Jesus speaking to me. That is what gave me pause. Today, I grabbed my copy and dusted it off, and opened it to where my bookmark was. It’s sort of strange that the page I stopped on speaks of our need to ask the Spirit for discernment. I AGREE! Her March 3rd devotional is provided below. Two reference scriptures, Ephesians 4:1-6 and John 10:4 were included at the bottom of the devotional.
“I LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE, not for what you do. Many voices vie for control of your mind, especially when you sit in silence. You must learn to discern what is My voice and what is not. Ask My Spirit to give you this discernment. Many of my children run around in circles, trying to obey the various voices directing their lives. This results in fragmented, frustrating patterns of living. Do not fall into this trap. Walk closely with Me each moment, listening for My directives and enjoying My companionship. Refuse to let other voices tie you up in knots. My sheep know My voice and follow Me wherever I lead.”
Ms. Young’s writings appeal to our longings, our need for closeness, intimacy, but she speaks to those longings as if she is Jesus. She openly states this in her Introduction:
“In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The messages that follow address that felt need. The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard. I have written them from Jesus’ point of view; that is, the first person singular (“I,” “Me,” “Mine”) always refers to Christ. “You” refers to you, the reader, so the perspective is that of Jesus speaking to you.”
I believe this is so dangerous. She is absolutely right, we need discernment. His sheep really do hear his voice, and his voice is his word, the Bible! And yes, the Spirit will lead us and illumine the word for us. Our longing is met in Christ. He speaks and calms and guides us through his word. All we have to do is look at his word.
“…It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I may not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11
“For the word of God is |living|, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
I wrote sometime ago that God’s Word Really is Sufficient because I was burdened by so many believing that God gives them personal messages that are not scripture. I also wrote Who Are You Listening To? to encourage us to be more discerning. The Holy Spirit gives us this freely as we saturate ourselves in the word.
This post is not meant to discourage us but to encourage us to look to and rely on the word of God. There are excellent resources available also, even great devotionals, but in selecting we must exercise due diligence in research, which is much easier today with technology. The Lord will definitely guide us through his Spirit.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath know the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” I Corinthians 2:14-16