Dear Lighthouse Trails:
My searching for the true, living Jesus was fostered at a young age from a devout mother of prayer and service to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, not understanding the importance of inductively studying the Bible, and not encouraged by the churches we were attending to do so, I drifted away as I had no firm roots or foundation in His Word. Therefore, I was very ripe for New Age, “experiences,” false doctrines, false prophets. Eventually, I became a “prodigal.” After so many years of searching, the Lord, in His kindness and mercy, led me out of that, step-by-step, and years later, I thought I was finally on solid ground!
I was involved in church and very receptive to hear what others thought about the Lord (e.g., their experiences, encounters, ideas, what they thought the Scriptures said), and I amassed many, many books, Bible commentaries, and devotionals from what I would learn later that many were false doctrines from false teachers. My dear friend, strong in the Lord, would watch my spiritual journey and gently lead me to revisit what I thought was the truth. She provided me avenues of opportunity from home groups to in-person conversations with men and women in the Body of Christ who were following the true Jesus Christ, fully grounded in His Word. A dear pastor would always encourage me to be in God’s Word, but I was still very much drawn to experiences, although I would try to read God’s Word. During this time, I was enthralled in a book I bought in a Christian bookstore—Jesus Calling, and I carried it wherever I went, in/out of church, with no rebuke from anyone as many were reading it and quoting from it as well. I did not know the Jesus of Jesus Calling was not the true living Jesus, as I did not know God’s Word or Scripture well enough to see the error. The book was leading me to an almost “romanticized” lord!
One can be sincere and be sincerely wrong and deceived, and I was. Little did I know, my life and faith would forever change in one night. My friend invited me to attend a home group. At the end of the evening, a well respected, grounded, man of God announced he had a variety of Lighthouse Trails booklets he was making available for any who would like them. I was intrigued, as I had heard of LHT from my dear friend, When I looked through them, I was stopped in my tracks by a LHT booklet warning about Jesus Calling, along with one on Yoga and another on Spiritual Formation. I was fearful to read the booklet about Jesus Calling and at the same time intrigued. In coming home and reading it through several times, I was devastated, floored, convicted. Plain and simple, I was still in error, deceived! I brought the booklet to another, and after it was read, it was rebuked, and the inference was that LHT was judgmental, and we are not to judge. I then bought the book “Another Jesus” Calling by Warren Smith, and it further solidified the error.
That is when, I believe, I was being led by the true living Christ to renounce anything that implicitly does not lift up God’s Word exclusively. So, from that night on, books were purged, spiritual support sought, and after years of listening to people’s ideas and thoughts over what they thought the Bible said, I was led by another to begin a solid inductive Bible Study.
So, I thank LHT, the Lord, and that man that night that changed the trajectory of my life, and the patience and kindness of my dear friend who always pointed to Jesus and His Word—not man. During that evening someone shared words, to the effect, that they used to ask the Lord if they were being deceived and in some way for the Lord to show them. After awhile, the person was led to change that prayer to: Lord show me daily how I am being deceived. So, the battle of His Truth is always before us.
God Bless you all.
LTRP Note: If you are reading, or know someone who is reading, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, we would be happy to send you a complimentary booklet 10 Scriptural Reasons Why Jesus Calling Is a Dangerous Book (by Warren Smith). Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your mailing address (it will remain confidential). If you prefer, you may read the booklet free online and print copies for your personal use and to share with family and friends.
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)