The devotional was given to me some time ago. I’m pretty sure I asked for it for Christmas one year. Hey, all of my friends were reading and gushing over it, I had to have it too.
What a mistake. My unease began with the wording used in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Surely Jesus wouldn’t sound so slick and smarmy. I remember only reading through a couple of weeks before back-tracking to the Introduction to find out more about the author. What I found there solidified my distrust of the message.
When I began to point out the obvious weaknesses to my friends, I was met with an attitude of disdain and sometimes downright anger at my suggestion that their beloved book might not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
I was (and am) worried. Some Christians have become so attached to this book that I wonder if they unconsciously hold it more valuable than the Bible.
It’s my sincere belief that Satan is going to sway the elect with this type of carefully crafted pseudo-Christian rubbish. We can already see it all around us – pastors who water down the Gospel, churches that completely dismiss parts of the Bible, and writers who say they’re Christian but then don’t hold to a biblical standard. Regrettably, there are a lot these days … authors you may have come to trust and suddenly go high-right in their theology, walking away from the Truth.
I’m not going to bore you with everything that’s wrong with the book because there are other excellent writers that detail the issues (I’ve given a small list at the end). But I am going to bring up a couple significant issues that should stand out as red-flag warnings for Christians. When we read things that raise the hackles on our neck or give us pause – even for an instant – our discernment capabilities should raise up like the robot on Lost in Space flailing its arms, “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!”
Let’s review a few of the facts:
- Sarah Young says she is channeling Jesus.
When I’ve spoken to my friends and acquaintances who are readers (and lovers) of Jesus Calling, this is what I hear as push back:
- But some of it is soooo gooooood.
- It’s not all bad.
- Oh, there are some parts that I gloss over but most of it is great.
These types of statements tell me that the reader has already realized there are issues with the book and yet, is unable to stop reading it. Doesn’t that sound like an addiction? “I know it’s not good for me but I still partake.” Who is the one who wants to keep us in chains?
You’re willing to listen to the devil’s lies because “the rest of it is so good?” Are you kidding me?
He is swaying … even the elect.
- Sarah Young says she is channeling Jesus.
Yes, that was my first point but now the biblical side. Don’t we read in Deuteronomy 18:10-12a (emphasis mine):
“No one among you is to make his son or daughter pass through the fire, practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, cast spells, consult a medium or a familiar spirit, or inquire of the dead. Everyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD,”
Why would the LORD, break His own word and come to us through the medium Sarah Young? It’s absurd. You might as well just throw away the Bible because Sarah Young and Jesus just conspired to make the Bible what every atheist and unbeliever says it is – just a pretty good novel.
Let’s also remember Leviticus 20:27-28 (emphasis mine):
“You are to be holy to Me because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be Mine. A man or a woman who is a medium or a spiritist must be put to death. They are to be stoned; their blood is on their own hands.”
Again, why would Yahweh suddenly change His mind and decide mediums were acceptable? I thought He was unchangeable? (See Hebrews 6:17-18)
- Sarah Young states she was inspired by the book God Calling.
Written in mid-1930, God Calling is a book by “Two Listeners” – unknown women who allegedly sat one day with paper and pen in hand and waited for God to speak to them. It’s a classic book in the New-Age arena and I stumbled across it in the early 1990’s. Even though I wasn’t yet born-again, it felt slimy to me and I didn’t read much of it. One listener writes on their website (emphasis mine):
“We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their Churches, books and other sources.
Oh, poor us. Forced to be content with guidance from the Bible. What humiliation!
While I’m not disapproving of devotionals, I’m also not critical of sitting in your quiet time with your journal recording the impressions you receive after bible study or prayer. But you still have to be cognizant of whom the impressions are coming from, because Satan will worm his way into your mind if he can. Put on the full armor daily and take every thought captive to Christ! (Ephesians 6:11 and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
I’ve told this story before but one day while living in Arizona, I came through an intense two-hour session of prayer and picked up my journal, chronicling my thoughts and emerged with a step-by-step plan of my future. Four of the five stages have happened and the last one will conclude soon. This was personal guidance from God. The kind of guidance you receive when you read your Bible and pray to your Creator, your Redeemer, your Lord.
I did not have any doubt that what I’d written in my journal was direction from our Lord. The first three phases were benign enough and I only started to receive pushback from the devil in steps four and five. If I’d had any doubt, it would have been dispelled then. Satan tried very hard (and almost succeeded) to end the fourth step before it ever began and has done his best to wreak havoc on the fifth and final step. To no avail. My God is stronger.
The main issue with Jesus Calling and God Calling is that I’m not quite sure what spirit is being channeled. It doesn’t sound like Jesus in the pages, He wouldn’t use a medium to bring His word to His followers, and if He did decide that this was the way to go now – He has just negated His entire WORD. You can’t just believe part of the Bible and dismiss the parts you don’t like.
Are you willing to continue to take the chance that who you’re reading is really Jesus?
Next week I’ll focus on how to become more discerning; because I believe that only a discerning mind is going to be able to see past the devil’s schemes in these last days.
In the meantime, check out these folks if you’re interested in a better and/or more complete reviews of the issues with this book:
Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith
Tim Challies Blog
Grace to You Blog