I love to tell others about reading gems that I have stumbled upon. Some years ago, I read Joy Dawson’s book, Forever Ruined for the Ordinary: The Adventure of Hearing and Obeying God’s Voice. It was one of those “keeper” books — the kind you know you will read again, and even if you don’t, you still want to make sure it is on your bookshelf — just in case. I not only kept it; I bought copies for all the special people in my life. I don’t do that every day of the week.
So, why was this book so important to me? It spoke to a deep hunger in my life to better understand hearing the voice of God. I had been hearing God speak to me for years, yet I wanted more, and Joy helped me with that more.
She’s still helping me. I picked up the book again a couple of weeks ago and reread it, and it has been a wonderful experience for me. Joy covers such topics as hearing God is everyone’s privilege, conditions for hearing His voice, ways God speaks to us, reasons guidance is delayed, how to avoid deception, and how obedience relates to clear hearing of God’s voice. She majors on encouraging her readers to ask God to speak before making even small decisions. She also majors on assuring us that God’s character is so trustworthy that He will never let us down.
One of the most helpful sections for me was the one about deception. She asserts that pride is always the trigger to deception. We do not need to fear deception if our hearts are humble and teachable, because God will quickly correct our course if our hearts are right. She explains how people get deceived, how to quickly get out of the trap if we are already there, and how to stay out of deception’s snare in the first place.
Joy emphasizes getting quiet before the Lord in order to hear Him. (I guess this makes her one of the original “soakers” before soaking prayer became popular.) She exhorts her readers to submit themselves to the authority of their church leadership, if they want to hear God properly. She talks a great deal about the fear of the Lord protecting us from operating out of a fear of man. She comments, “[Being] totally submitted to the control of the Holy Spirit in the fear of the Lord … releases us from the fear of other people,” and, about the pressures to perform, “When you’ve chosen to be nothing so that He may become everything, you don’t sweat it.”
Whether you are just now setting out on the journey to hearing God’s voice, or whether you’ve been on the path for a long time already, I highly recommend Forever Ruined for the Ordinary, by Joy Dawson.
Purchase at Amazon: Forever Ruined for the Ordinary