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Book review : Forever Ruined for the Ordinary

June 26, 2007


Joy Dawson has a large speaking ministry with Youth With A Mission. She has written, Forever Ruined for the Ordinary : the adventure of hearing and obeying God’s voice (Strand, 2006) largely from her own experiences of hearing from God. I don’t doubt any of her experiences but would have to say that her way of hearing from God is different to mine. The impression Joy creates is that she is constantly waiting before the Lord for very specific directions, often about which speaking invitations to accept and what message God wants her to bring. Perhaps if I had this type of ministry I would find it necessary to do this too. Yet I don’t see the apostle Paul receiving his guidance in this way. In Hebrews 13:23 there is no sense that Paul is being guided with every single detail of his itinerary.

Towards the end I felt the book got a little bogged down in the area of obedience. Overall though I did enjoy reading about Joy’s experiences, it is always interesting and encouraging to see how God works in another’s life.

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by Susan Barnes
14

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

14 thoughts on “Book review : Forever Ruined for the Ordinary”

  1. jON

    interesting book to report on given the question i’m asking over on something else…

    “I don’t doubt any of her experiences but would have to say that her way of hearing from God is different to mine.”

    if you don’t mind, what are some specific examples of how she “hears” god? and again, if you don’t mind, how do they differ from your own experiences?

    just something i’m very curious about right now.

    smenita

  2. jON

    interesting book to report on given the question i’m asking over on something else…

    “I don’t doubt any of her experiences but would have to say that her way of hearing from God is different to mine.”

    if you don’t mind, what are some specific examples of how she “hears” god? and again, if you don’t mind, how do they differ from your own experiences?

    just something i’m very curious about right now.

    smenita

  3. I don’t mind at all but I haven’t got time at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow, I’ll get back here.

  4. I don’t mind at all but I haven’t got time at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow, I’ll get back here.

  5. Before I can say how her experience differs from mine I think I need to describe my own experience. The verses that I tend to rely on in the area of guidance are these:
    In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6
    The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
    It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us … Acts 15:28 I wrote about this verse here.

    So because I have committed my life to the Lord I believe he will guide me. By faith I accepted God is going to bring thoughts, ideas, and opportunities across my path. When talking about guidance I use phrases like, “I have this sense …”; “I have a feeling …” “I feel a peace about …” (I don’t like saying, The Lord told me …”). When I use these phrases I’m referring to feelings or ideas that have persisted over time. I also believe if God needs to get my attention he will – like he did when he wanted Paul to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10).

    At the moment I have a strong sense God wants me to write and the other day I was asked to be involved in a Bible study group that meets in the morning. Since I write best in the morning and that is my priority at the moment, I declined the invitation without feeling guilty (a few years ago I probably would have felt guilty).

    Joy Dawson in her book talks about receiving very specific guidance. Her feeling is if we eliminate the only two other sources that can bring impressions to our minds we will hear from God. The other two sources being our own thoughts and satanic influences. To combat these sources we need to die to what we think and want; and secondly we need to resist the devil (she explains this in the book).

    I found the actual teaching in the book very good but I struggled with some of her examples, maybe because I don’t do much speaking and she does a lot. One of the examples she gives is about an invitation she received to speak which she had prayed about but had received no answer. The organizers needed an answer in order to publish the brochure so that day she cancelled her plans and “waited before the Lord” for five hours until she felt the Lord say “yes”. Other examples related to waiting for the Lord to tell her what message to bring to a meeting and she waits until she hears specifically. She doesn’t hear an audible voice but “words” come to her mind. I have had this happen, though not often and usually more about general things then specific things but perhaps I don’t wait long enough.

    Hope this is what you wanted to know.

  6. Before I can say how her experience differs from mine I think I need to describe my own experience. The verses that I tend to rely on in the area of guidance are these:
    In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6
    The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his hand. Psalm 37:23-24
    It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us … Acts 15:28 I wrote about this verse here.

    So because I have committed my life to the Lord I believe he will guide me. By faith I accepted God is going to bring thoughts, ideas, and opportunities across my path. When talking about guidance I use phrases like, “I have this sense …”; “I have a feeling …” “I feel a peace about …” (I don’t like saying, The Lord told me …”). When I use these phrases I’m referring to feelings or ideas that have persisted over time. I also believe if God needs to get my attention he will – like he did when he wanted Paul to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10).

    At the moment I have a strong sense God wants me to write and the other day I was asked to be involved in a Bible study group that meets in the morning. Since I write best in the morning and that is my priority at the moment, I declined the invitation without feeling guilty (a few years ago I probably would have felt guilty).

    Joy Dawson in her book talks about receiving very specific guidance. Her feeling is if we eliminate the only two other sources that can bring impressions to our minds we will hear from God. The other two sources being our own thoughts and satanic influences. To combat these sources we need to die to what we think and want; and secondly we need to resist the devil (she explains this in the book).

    I found the actual teaching in the book very good but I struggled with some of her examples, maybe because I don’t do much speaking and she does a lot. One of the examples she gives is about an invitation she received to speak which she had prayed about but had received no answer. The organizers needed an answer in order to publish the brochure so that day she cancelled her plans and “waited before the Lord” for five hours until she felt the Lord say “yes”. Other examples related to waiting for the Lord to tell her what message to bring to a meeting and she waits until she hears specifically. She doesn’t hear an audible voice but “words” come to her mind. I have had this happen, though not often and usually more about general things then specific things but perhaps I don’t wait long enough.

    Hope this is what you wanted to know.

  7. Another verse which speaks to me about guidance:

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” Psalm 32:8-9

    I wrote a little about it here.

  8. Another verse which speaks to me about guidance:

    “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” Psalm 32:8-9

    I wrote a little about it here.

  9. jON

    yes, it was. thanks. a little OCD, perhaps. but really, i understand that need for all encompassing acceptance. i have had it before in my life. the paralyzing fear that any step you make is going to be a misstep and could possibly arouse the anger of the lord. wanting to please him so much, but seeing how angry he can get someitmes… and not fully believing that the cross really paid for it all. it can leave a person kind of paralyzed inside their mind.

    at least that was my experience. not that i’m saying joy is experienceing that. and if she is, chances are she doesn’t even know it. it just smacks of the behavior i was exhibiting when being caught there, that’s all.

    like rees howell. if you know who he is.

    gvlia

  10. jON

    yes, it was. thanks. a little OCD, perhaps. but really, i understand that need for all encompassing acceptance. i have had it before in my life. the paralyzing fear that any step you make is going to be a misstep and could possibly arouse the anger of the lord. wanting to please him so much, but seeing how angry he can get someitmes… and not fully believing that the cross really paid for it all. it can leave a person kind of paralyzed inside their mind.

    at least that was my experience. not that i’m saying joy is experienceing that. and if she is, chances are she doesn’t even know it. it just smacks of the behavior i was exhibiting when being caught there, that’s all.

    like rees howell. if you know who he is.

    gvlia

  11. Yes, the book is a bit OCD. I made the comment that I felt the book got bogged down in the area of obedience because I was beginning to feel like I could never “measure up,” which is, of course, not true.

    The actual reason Joy gives for wanting such specific guidance is a lack of knowing what’s the best thing to do. While that is partially true (God obviously knows more than we do) Psalm 32 tells us that God doesn’t want to lead us around like a horse with a bit and bridle.

    I have heard of Rees Howell. About 20 years ago I got 3/4 of the way through The Intercessor, but had to give it away.

  12. Yes, the book is a bit OCD. I made the comment that I felt the book got bogged down in the area of obedience because I was beginning to feel like I could never “measure up,” which is, of course, not true.

    The actual reason Joy gives for wanting such specific guidance is a lack of knowing what’s the best thing to do. While that is partially true (God obviously knows more than we do) Psalm 32 tells us that God doesn’t want to lead us around like a horse with a bit and bridle.

    I have heard of Rees Howell. About 20 years ago I got 3/4 of the way through The Intercessor, but had to give it away.

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