After my hike recently, I came home and found this in my mailbox!
Here’s my review:
Eric Janzen’s recent book with forward by Brad Jersak was a timely read. The current noise of voices claiming to speak or minister on behalf of God has been for sometime been a concern. Many voices may sound good at first, but warning bells have been ringing in my ears. Too often, we see gifted dynamic leaders who sadly lack the character of God. How do you carefully navigate the information and activity around you in supposed Jesus-centred circles?
Eric Janzen succinctly explains how to carefully and biblically evaluate what we and others hear from God. He provides for us a clear framework tool for pondering, evaluating, and wisely engaging with prophecy and prophetic words.
Reading this book was a timely confirmation for me. For many years, Matt 7:21-23 has always been highlighted to me as a warning and in this book Eric addresses it. No matter if people perform miracles, share words of prophecy or operate in deliverance in the name of Jesus, there will come a day in which some people will be denied access to God because they never actually knew Him even while they ministered in His name.
“Jesus warns that spiritual gifts and power are not the signs of a faithful disciple. A prominent name and ministry filled with signs and wonders may be impressive but the true measure of one who follows Jesus and his Way is something far deeper.”
Eric wonderfully shows us how Jesus reflected the love of the Father in his earthly adventures. Once such story, of the many Eric refers to, is when Jesus reflected the heart of the Father as he went out of his way to Samaria, considered enemy territory, to meet with a woman rejected by several men in her own community. Jesus not only taught us to love our enemies, he lived it. When Eric began to re-tell in his own words the story of Jesus visiting with the woman at the well, I was surprised by how fresh and new this old, old story felt. He combines the well-known scriptural account of the woman’s encounter along with further details of her life from other historical texts that record her ministry and martyrdom.
Eric shows us how Jesus’ conversation at the well with the woman, who known in history as ‘Photini’, had made a profound impact on her life, and the world she lived in. As a result of the woman’s encounter with Jesus who reflected the love of the Father, her life today is honoured each year in church history on March 20th.
I loved Eric’s quote: “Remember this: a prophetic word or message is always an invitation to a conversation with Jesus. Rarely is a prophecy the beginning and end in and of itself.”
Eric’s voice is refreshingly gentle and humble while at the same time poignant, providing also a helpful framework to illustrate the crucial importance of evaluating the character of a prophet and their message.
Eric shows us there is no reason for us to wonder what God’s love is like. He draws stories from Jesus, John, and Paul who have given us revelation about God’s loving character. This understanding and knowledge form our most powerful tools for pondering, evaluating, and weighing prophetic words and messages.
The goal of a prophetic word is always to connect us to the heart of the Father, through the presence of Jesus, and in the fullness of Holy Spirit.
I loved also his quote: “Remember this: a prophetic word or message is always an invitation to a conversation with Jesus. Rarely is a prophecy the beginning and end in and of itself.”
Eric then shares an inspiring collection of personal stories from various people in hearing God including his own. He shares about asking the Lord how to pray for someone and following the Lord’s lead.
The book also addresses 6 basic questions with the help of a community of voices :
1. Is the gift of prophecy given to some by the Holy Spirit?
2. What is the purpose of prophecy to be?
3. What is the value of the gift of prophecy?
4. What are concerns about the gift of prophecy?
5. What are some positive or negative experience with the gift of prophecy?
6. What else should people know about the gift of prophecy?
If these questions intrigue you, I have good news. At the end of the book there are instructions on how to answer them and send your answers to him too!
I highly recommend this refreshing book, full of wisdom, and will be inviting my own students and clients to benefit from it in their journeys of hearing God.
– Merri Ellen 🙂
Life Coach & Spiritual Director
You can find it on Amazon. Enjoy!
PS. You’ll see some more surprises inside the book 😉