Book Review: The Path by Rick Joyner – Worth reading!
The Path: Fire on the Mountain, Book One by Rick Joyner
Wow! I LOVED this book. It was so incredibly refreshing to me. So many books I read are just the same stuff, in a slightly different format or from a different author’s perspective.
THIS IS FRESH!
When I was in college, I used to take notes if a book was good. I haven’t done that in many, many years. I took 12 pages of notes on this little book of 200 pages. That should tell you something.
Normally, I like to highlight in a book when something “speaks” to me. This was different. I wanted to write down the statements or concepts that really jumped out at me. I wanted to be able to meditate on them later and share them with others. That’s why I ended up with 12 pages of notes. Then I typed them into my computer for safekeeping because who keeps handwritten notes anymore? And how will I find them when I am looking for them next year? 🙂
Anyway, I’ll give you a synopsis of the book and then some special highlights that I liked. The story is written like an allegory or a parable. There’s no introduction explaining whether this is fiction or whether Rick Joyner experienced this story as a vision. In the Final Quest series (which this book mimics), he said in the intro that those books came as a series of visions he received from the Lord. But this book is silent as to the source. Was it a vision or did Rick write it in story form to illustrate the truths he wanted to convey? No idea. But either way, it’s pretty well written as a story.
It starts with the main character trudging through a dreary wilderness thinking that every step will be his last. He comes across of pool of living water. He drinks some water and suddenly his senses are sharp and clear, he feels rejuvenated and “alive” like he hasn’t felt in years. A man comes and speaks to him. His dialog with this man continues throughout the book and he later refers to him as Elijah, as in the prophet Elijah from the Old Testament of the Bible. Later he also meets someone referred to as Enoch, as in “Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24, The Bible).
Elijah tells him to follow him. They walk for a while and arrive on a beach with a large cruise ship in the water nearby. There are a group of people who ask the main character to lead them through the wilderness. He agrees and off they go. The rest of the book is the story of their journey through the wilderness & their interaction with Elijah and Enoch.
The story line is meant to convey not only their journey, but the spiritual truths they need to “stay on the right path” in following the Lord. The story focuses mostly on their conversations along the way. There are a few areas of tension in the story – they run into lions a few times and then later there is possible division brewing in the group and they have to resolve that. Other than that, it’s mainly a lot of dialog meant to convey spiritual truths.
What I loved about it was that many of the truths presented are not your typical “Sunday school curriculum”. They are MUCH DEEPER than that. They are things I have discovered in my own walk with God, but have rarely if ever heard anyone talk about. I appreciated that Rick was willing to go out on a limb and deal with some tough issues that most people in the Christian faith ignore or deny. He did it in a respectful manner, but he was direct and firm. I like that. I am hoping that since Rick is well-known in the Christian world his book will be read by many. Perhaps it will inspire others to take the trek into the wilderness of true intimacy with Christ.
Here are some quotes or concepts from the book that impacted me – I hope something here will inspire you as well.
In general, leaders have given themselves to building organizations more than building PEOPLE. Great saints are becoming rare. (p. 9)
Your guidance must come from your heart, your spirit. You must see with the eyes of your heart more clearly than you see with your natural eyes or you will not stay on the right path. (p. 13)
You must drink from the living water as soon as you begin to thirst. Even drink when you are not thirsty. Staying close to it will keep you alive and on the path. When you are on the right path, it will always be close to you, so find it, drink it often and never go far from it. This is the MOST BASIC LESSON! (p. 8 & 13)
People are being led to the things of the Lord, but not to the Lord Himself. Many are lukewarm because they have so many distractions. Others are lukewarm because they are worn out from all the hype. Those who repent will be given the grace to change. (p. 19)
It is not just love or just power, but it is the power of love you must have. (p. 25)
To get the full benefit of the wilderness, you need to experience it with others. The purpose of the wilderness is to forge “koinonia”, a bonding together into a single unit that is inseparable, like a human body is inseparable. We will perish in the wilderness without it. It is forged by experience in the wilderness together. It is formed through love for Jesus that causes us to treat each other as we would treat Him (with respect). We must have koinonia for the life of Christ to flow through His body (like blood flowing through a human body). We need each other. I (the leader) may need you more than you need me. Those who have never tasted of this fellowship cannot understand it. To experience His glory and presence together is the greatest bond of all. (p. 52-55, 61, 69)
On this path, we earn to live in two worlds – spiritual and natural. The two worlds were meant to be connected by man. To live in both worlds is the natural state of man. Man is both spirit and flesh. The more you can do this, the more you will become who you were created to be. (p. 66)
We must not allow fear to control us, guide us or influence our decisions. Every day that we stay on course, resisting fear, we will become stronger in the Lord. There are many paths and almost all are very inviting. There is no formula – we follow a Person, not a formula. The right path seems to look harder and may be harder for a time. It is NOT the most inviting. We must have faith to see it, follow the Lord and not our own reasoning. The wrong path looks easier, tempts you to escape your difficulties. It leads to entanglements that few ever get free of. (p. 67-68)
If you see the Lion who lives in you, you will not be afraid of anything else. (p. 79)
The life of a disciple is to be taught by the Master (Jesus). The Lord has a special delight in teaching His people. God does not hide things from us, He hides them FOR us. I learned to hear the Word Himself through whomever He chose to speak or by whatever means. (p. 85-86)
Self-focus and self-centeredness are the nature of the immature. It is hard to find those who care about the deeper things of the Lord. Of those who DO care, few are able to resist worldly distractions to actually pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord – to be taught by Him. (p. 92)
For a truth to become life, it must be applied to our life. As you live what you learn, your words will have the power of life. You will not just teach the truth, but you will impart a love for the truth when it is your life. (p. 93, 102)
There is a lot of teaching today that keeps people self-centered rather than Christ-centered. This keeps them in immaturity. You must come to know the Teacher’s voice, regardless of how He speaks or who He speaks through. You must also learn to obey Him. To obey Him almost always requires risk and disregard for self-interest. When you seek the interests of Christ, then your own selfish interests will begin to seem as small and petty as they really are. (p. 94)
Seal these three things in your heart – to know His voice, to do His will and to abide in Him. These will keep you and they will lead you to the kingdom. (p. 97)
The result of experiencing the manifest presence of God is an insatiable desire for more of Him and a special fellowship (koinonia) with all who experience it. (p. 107)
Many people gave their lives to Christ but were then taught to follow people, movements or certain doctrines and were never led to Him. This leads to disappointment and a shallow, frustrating life – not the abundant life He promises. (p. 120)
We must get so close to Him that we are following HIM, not just principles. We often miss Him because we are looking for Him as we expect Him to be, rather than as He is. (p. 123, 147)
We cannot think of ourselves as better than others, but as servants of those who may not have had our experiences. Do not become proud of the grace you have been given! (p. 149)
The main purpose of the true church is to BE the temple – so we should look for the presence of the Lord. The way we find the true church is not by looking for a church, but by looking for the Lord. It is one thing to be in a place with good teaching, worship and ministry. It is something else when He is the true focus of attention. (p. 152)
Nothing else on earth can ever satisfy you like being in the manifest presence of the Lord. Because we were created to have fellowship with God, this is the deepest yearning of the human heart and nothing else can ever compare to it. (p. 160)
Thank you, Rick Joyner, for writing this book. It was like water in the desert to this thirsty soul. I am so eager for more people to “get” this – to realize that it’s all about HIM! Our focus is not supposed to be on church attendance, programs, good sermons, etc. There is no formula or principles – it’s about following a Person: JESUS. I wish, oh how I wish, more churches would focus on the manifest presence of the Lord because that is what we need more than anything. Why don’t more leaders realize that? Why is there such a drought of the manifest presence of God in our meetings and why doesn’t anyone say anything? It’s like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes – everyone was afraid to tell the Emperor that he was naked. It’s time for something to change. I hope this new book can start a movement of believers who are not willing to settle for the same old thing in church anymore. We need HIM and only HIM.
Here’s the link to Amazon – you can preview some of the chapters before purchasing the book, if you like.
If you’re interested in the Final Quest series, here is a link to the Final Quest, Book One – free PDF online. Sometimes authors release the first book for free so that you (the reader) can decide whether the series is for you. This one is definitely worth reading. 🙂
You can also purchase the entire Final Quest series on Amazon – Amazon link