My book recommendation for June is Loren Cunningham’s book – Is That Really You, GOD? I have chosen this book because it perfectly fits in with the theme of my recent blog posts about hearing God’s voice. The bi-line for the book is “Hearing the Voice of God”.
This book has several excellent layers to it. Loren loves stories and wanted to record how Youth With A Mission (YWAM) came into being. YWAM is now 60 years old and has had over five million young people take its six-month discipleship training school, let alone be part of a missions outreaches or join staff for a season across most nations.
But Loren doesn’t share stories for just one reason. He loves to add teachable moments too, especially about God, so we can all grow and learn. “Is that really you, God?” is, in essence, a book about Loren and close friends hearing God’s voice in different ways, seeing what happens when they obey and walk out what God said and then God’s response to their actions.
If you’re looking for an easy to read book, with examples of how others have heard God’s voice and everything that comes after that… Then this book is the whole reason it’s my book recommendation today.
I obviously don’t want to tell you everything that goes on in this book since I want you to actually read it for yourself. Perhaps one thing you don’t know about me is that I like to write on my books while reading them. I underline good points, add post-it notes so I can write more comments. But as I wanted to lend my copy of this book to others to enjoy, it’s got tonnes of those little post-it note arrows instead pointing to essential things I want to remember. This may still be somewhat distracting to others, but hey, it’s a book I use for good reason!
Which parts do I love and why?
Loren gives context to his stories. Reading a book these days about young people (kids, teenagers, young adults) going off and doing missions or even being missionaries isn’t a shock or surprise. Most of us see it as a great thing to do. But back in the 1950s, that was so, so not the case. You couldn’t go be a missionary until you had done several years of bible school because you had to be qualified to do such an important spiritual calling. Loren fills in some of his story and background to help us understand the different steps of faith he had to take in order to see YWAM started.
The different ways Loren and his friends hear God’s voice. How Loren and Darleen (his wife) hear God differently and respond to others who come and share what they have heard too. There are a plethora of stories that will help you see how varied God is when he speaks to us and how important it is to take those words and put them into wise action.
The humility and honesty shared from their lives. Not all stories are easy to read (or have lived). But we don’t only learn through successful outcomes. In fact, we learn through mistakes and hard times even more. I appreciate Loren’s transparency when sharing about when things haven’t gone well and how he’s walked them out. We leaders need to remember what Loren’s modelled so we also can respond when we’ve messed up is as Christ-like as we can be.
Stories of taking steps, or sometimes, leaps of faith. It’s easy to look back or hear the story after the fact. We know the outcome and can recognise all the things that made it happen. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. But when you’re in the middle of living it out. When you don’t know how it’s going to work out. Or how others are going to react to what you say. It can be a terrifying and sometimes lonely place. But Loren helps us to understand who our heavenly Father is. How we can rely on His love and character to get us through the stormy times.
12 Points to Remember
Right at the back of the book are a few pages on twelve key things to take into consideration while you’re trying to hear God’s voice and obey what you’ve heard wisely. Please read, copy and remember these points. They are precious.
“I still wondered, though, if this Switzerland idea was really from God. I wanted Him to reassure me that I had, in fact, been hearing from Him.
He did—in a striking way.” [page91]
Who is Janice Rogers?
Janice is actually Loren’s sister. She has helped Loren to write many of his books. I met Janice when she came to teach for two weeks at my Author’s Training school. She is a wonderful, feisty grandmother. Who knows her stuff and will help make your strong be communicated in the best way possible. Thank you Janice for helping many author’s heart voice be heard in an easy to read and understand way. Janice is also in the book and been with YWAM since the beginning.
I hope this has whetted your appetite and not given too much away. And that you’ll see that the answer to the question Is that really you God is—YES.
Why do I write a lot about YWAM? Well, the short answer is that I am a YWAM’er. I am on staff with YWAM in Switzerland and did my own DTS back in 1997. I love the values and heart of what YWAM is all about. But if you want to read more about my story – then check out my Who’s Patience page. But I’m always happy to hear from you and answer questions you have too.