Who Is Calling?
Jesus or Sarah Young?
friend once told me that, if when reading a book the author states something
you know to be wrong, then don't trust that author in the other things
they say. In other words, if someone is wrong in an area you are familiar
with, don't trust them to be right in areas where you have no knowledge.
I imagine you are not an expert in New Age beliefs. Most Christians
have very limited knowledge at all about New Age. That means you can
not evaluate Jesus Always devotions in that area.
I've also found that most Christians have gaps in their Bible knowledge,
and don't take the time to research (test) assertions about scripture
they are not familiar with. They may know the important doctrine, but
outside of that their knowledge is limited.
In the introduction to her first book, Jesus Calling, Sarah
Young references the book God Calling (a book in
which god speaks to the author) and states that she received the devotions
in Jesus Calling as a result of Jesus speaking to her:
I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, 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. - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xii.
My journaling soon changed from monologue to dialog. Soon,
messages began to flow more freely, and I bought a special notebook
to record these words. This new way of communicating with God became
a high point of my day. - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xii.
I want to share some of the messages I have received...
I have written them from the point of view; i.e., the first person
singular (I, Me, Mine) always refers to Christ. - - Jesus
Calling, 2004, page xiii.
Not only does Sarah Young clearly describe receiving messages from
God, she disparages hearing God's voice solely through scripture
as not being adequate. She makes the point that God has more to say
than what is included in scripture:
I knew God communicated with me through the Bible, but I
yearned for more. - Jesus Calling, 2004, page xii.
But then the story changed...
In the 10th Anniversary Edition of Jesus Calling (2014) she
eliminated her praise of the God Calling book as
well as references to receiving messages from God.
This is how I was listening to Himby focusing on Jesus
and His Word while asking Him to guide my thoughts. I was not listening
for an audible voice; I was spending time seeking God's Face (Psalm
27:8 NKJV). - Jesus Calling, 2014, xvii
In the Jesus Always (2016) book, the "About The Author"
section states Sarah Young's devotional writings were all the result
of her hours of bible study and prayer.
Sarah Young's devotional writings are person reflections
from her daily quiet time of Bible reading, praying, and writing in
prayer journals. - Jesus Always, 2016, page 383
So what was originally described in Jesus Calling as writing
down messages she had received from Jesus; in 2014 became Jesus guiding
her thoughts as she read scripture. Then in Jesus Always it is
now her personal reflections, with no mention of Jesus even guiding
We have three distinct stories that range from receiving messages
directly from Jesus and writing those down, to her devotional books
just being her personal reflections.
All of these stories can't be true, and there has been no explanation
of these changes. What happened to cause these changes in the description
of where these devotions come from?
What are the possible explanations you can come up with?
1. She never was really hearing from Jesus. She just made it up.
2. She was hearing from some form of spiritual being (Jesus? Demons?),
but the skepticism was so strong that for marketing reasons it was
no longer a good idea to say this.
3. She just thought she was hearing from Jesus, but over time came
to understand that these were actually just her own thoughts.
4. Her editor is changing the description of how Sarah Young wrote
these books, and she has no option other than to go along, if she
wants to continue having her books published.
5. None of the above. (Can you think of any other options?)
Sarah Young wants us to trust her and the Jesus she has created.
Over and over in Jesus Always her Jesus says that he is training
you. Well, who is this that is training you? Voices Sarah Young has
heard in her head? Thoughts inspired by Jesus? (By the way, I always
thought that it was the Holy Spirit who illuminates scripture for us.)
Or are these devotions coming solely from the mind of Sarah Young? Who
are we being asked to trust?
The way things stand right now, with no explanation of why the
story keeps changing, it appears that one or two of these stories
are not true, and that is serious. If that is the case, are we to
trust someone who made up a story (or allowed her editor to make up
a story) to explain the source of her spiritual knowledge?
Not me. So far the trust-o-meter for both Jesus Calling and
Jesus Always is registering a zero.
I hope we get an answer soon.