Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are You Sure This Is Jesus Calling?

The book, Jesus Calling has been a fairly new devotional book which I've been reading.  I thought I would give you my thoughts on the book.

When I began reading this book, I initially had a problem with the fact that it was in first person but I began to enjoy how it seemed to speak directly to me.  I understand the idea that the devotional interprets biblical "principles" Jesus probably would say in first person and pairs it with scripture references for that day. But upon closer reading of the scriptures listed and looking at the daily messages of "Jesus"  there are subtle misuses of the scriptures over and over again. 

I went back and reread Sarah Young's introduction to Jesus Calling just to see what she said about the intent and purpose of her devotional.  Page 12 (XII) of her introduction was confusing to me.  She writes, "...writing down whatever I believed He was saying.  I felt awkward the first time I tried this, but I received a message.  It was short, biblical, and appropriate."  Lower down on that same page she writes, "This new way of communicating with God became the high point of my day.  I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is..."  Huh?  I thought you said you received a message that was "biblical and appropriate."  But now you say they are not inspired messages? 

On the last page of her introduction (XIV) Sarah Young says, "As I listened to God, Bible verses or fragments of verses often came to mind.  I have interwoven these into my messages."  Your messages?  I just felt uneasy as I finished the introduction.  Something seemed amiss...

I have carefully gone back and outlined numerous inconsistencies in what Sarah Young "paraphrases or restates" as Jesus' first person message and the correlation of scripture given at the bottom of the page.  It is subtle, misleading, and not very biblical at times. Please, please read this devotional book carefully.  Make sure the scripture at the bottom of each page really says what is in the daily message. Here is one example:  January 7 entry says: "Sometimes your adoration is a spontaneous overflow of Joy, in response to radiant beauty or rich blessings. At other times your praise is more disciplined and measured--an act of your will. I dwell equally in both types of praise."

I'm not going to address the possible meaning of  what "disciplined and measured praise" means but, suffice to say,  I can't find that in scripture.  What bothers me is " act of your will."  The scripture to go along with January 7  reading is 1 Thess. 5:18 which says, "...give thanks in all circumstances,  for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  My will is flawed, often wrong, and does not give God the glory.  Why is she saying that Jesus would ever want us to use "our will?"  (Isn't it thy will be done...?)

Here's a challenge...look at the next daily devotional for January 8.  Does it sound a wee bit mystical to you?  (tapping at your consciousness, seeking entrance; the weaker you are the more gently I approach you; hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven).  

Sorry, but not much of Sarah Young's entry for January 8 is scriptural. Actually, a lot of daily entries sound more mystical and new 'age-y" than they do biblical.

There's no place like home...there's no place like home. You've always had the power within you, Dorothy.  

I'm going to go feed Toto and read the Bible.

Forever His,


  1. Wow! I never thought about this Diane. I read this occasionally. Will look at it with more discernment from here on out!


    1. Billye-

      It surprised me too as I read more and more from the devotional--that uneasy feeling never went away when I read from "Jesus Calling."

      Thank you for reading my blog!


  2. Diane,
    I was given this book a couple weeks ago for my birthday by a dear friend. I picked it up a couple of times but really couldn't seem to get with it. I would put it back on my nightstand for a few days and try again. Still it wasn't "gellin". After reading your insights I think maybe it was the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. We do have to be so careful about what we read and listen to. Thank you for posting this and being an example of how we, as Christians, should know Him and His Word so well that we can discern the things that just don't quite line up with His Word. Miss seeing you!