Friday, January 13, 2017

How Sarah Young was “Graciously Guided” to write, “Jesus Calling.”

Soon after posting a Blog entitled, “We Are  Now, and We  Always Have Been,  Graciously Guided,” (1/7/2017)I was guided to read Sarah Young’s Introduction to her book, “Jesus Calling.”  I was fascinated by how she was “graciously guided” all along the way to writing her book.

These are the “signposts” that led her along the way, step by step.  I have simply excerpted these passages that pointed the way for her.

I firsts experienced the peace of God in a setting of exquisite beauty.  I was living and studying at a Christian community in a tiny Alpine village in France.

A few months earlier my brother had asked me to read Francis Schaeffer’s, “Escape from Reason.”  Schaeffer’s teaching drew me to this pristine place.

One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains.  Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me.  I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.”

The following year, back in the United States, I had another encounter with the Presence of Jesus.  Alone in my room, I felt waves of desolation wash over me.  So I began walking the streets of Atlanta aimlessly.  I glanced at some books in an outdoor stall and was drawn to “Beyond Ourselves” by Catherine Marshall.  That night as I read the book, I no longer felt alone.  That night as I read the book, I felt an overwhelming Presence of peace and love come over me.  I knew that Jesus was with me.

During the next sixteen years I lived what many people might consider an exemplary Christian life. 
I was ready to begin a new spiritual quest.  It started with delving into a devotional book, “The Secret of the Abiding Presence” by Andrew Murray.

My days started alone with God, equipped with Bible, devotional book, prayer journal, pen, and coffee.  As I waited in His Presence, God began to reveal Himself to me. 
During that same year, I began reading “God Calling,” a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.”  These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him.

The following year I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God.  I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.  Soon, messages began to flow more freely, and I bought a special notebook to record these words. 

I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him.  The more difficult my life circumstances, the more I need these encouraging directives from my Creator.  During the years that I have been listening to God with pen in hand, I have found themes of His Peace becoming more prominent in my writing.  

I have included Scripture references after each daily reading.  As I listened to God, Bible verses or fragments of verses often come to mind. I have interwoven these into my messages.  

These messages are meant to be read slowly, preferably in a quiet place.  Remember that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.  May He bless you with His Presence and Peace in ever-increasing measure.