When I first heard of It’s NOT Meant to Be a Secret, I admit I was skeptical. Who was this person who thinks God is speaking to him? Is he crazy? And if God is speaking to him, why isn’t he speaking to me or to the rest of us?
But when I read the book, I straightaway had my questions answered in the introduction by the author, or should I say God’s co-author, Nathan French. Nathan addresses doubters upfront by saying:
“Many people mock others who claim to hear God, and for just cause. They might have seen people walking down the street, talking to themselves as if they had lost their grip on reality. Many children are taught to avoid people who hear voices because those people are probably a bit ‘crazy in the head.’ The Bible, however, tells us that we are meant to hear God, and if that is so and God does speak today, we could argue that we might be ‘crazy’ not to want to hear him. Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear my voice and a stranger’s voice they will not follow” (John 10:4-5). If he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), that means he does not change, and if he does not change, it is time every one of us begins to learn how to hear him.’”
Nathan goes on to explain how he began to hear God’s voice through journaling, simply by being quiet and listening for it. I don’t think there’s anything extraordinary in that (and perhaps, as Nathan says at the end of the book, it is natural to have a supernatural experience; after all, the great Victorian author Thomas Carlyle fervently believed in Natural Supernaturalism and I have long admired and adhered to his viewpoint). Yes, I think hearing God’s voice by listening to it is realistic and can be part of our everyday reality. I have not actually heard God’s voice out loud, but I have heard it in my heart, guiding me during times of greatest trial, telling me all is well and to stay on course. Perhaps, it’s my imagination and my experiences are not at all as in-depth as Nathan’s, but I am open to the possibilities he describes, and if anything, this book has encouraged me to want to spend more quiet time with God.
My initial mixed reaction and then resolution to this book is not unlike that of people who meet Nathan in person. In the book, Nathan presents the testimonies of a few others, including that of Ken Porter, who describes Nathan when they were on a mission to Mexico to build houses:
“I had never met Nathan before this Tecate trip. At first, I didn’t know what to make of him, but the more time I spent around him—especially after I heard his testimony, the more I realized he was a great man of God.”
Readers may come away not fully believing everything in It’s NOT Meant to Be a Secret, but I hope they will be open to what it has to say. The words of God as presented in this book often do sound familiar and reminiscent of something in Isaiah or Jeremiah. The miracles that Nathan attributes as having happened through God asking him to seek out and pray with people may be hard to believe, but who is to say they are not possible? After all, why would there be miracles in biblical times and not today?
While some of the book’s messages from God are directed specifically to Nathan, most are applicable to everyone, and several passages deeply resonated with me. Here are just four of those passages, as a sample of what readers may expect:
“Remember not the wrongs you have done or those done against you; no monument to past sins will be erected inside my garden.”
- “Do not give in to the Spirit of Fear, for it moves hell, but faith is what moves heaven on earth.”
- “I am the Lord your God; I can see what you cannot. I am disgusted by rote religious practices that are empty and fleeting. There is not a pat answer for the things of my spirit; my answers vary depending on the details of each unique situation.”
- “Leave the burden of prayer with me and I will carry it. Think of it as dropping your letter of prayer in the Post Office box slot. You don’t need to think a lot about whether your post will arrive to the designated person, for that is not now your responsibility—it is out of your hands. I must tell you that I am much more reliable than the Post Office, even though you may be tempted to think I have not heard you.”
If anything, I hope this book encourages people to spend more quiet time with God. I think that is what God and Nathan want, and I agree with the title that It’s NOT Meant to Be a Secret. A deep relationship with God is available to all of us. We just have to take the time to listen for His voice. Reading this book may be a good way for people to start. The book is broken into very short passages, so just a few could be read each day along with journaling to begin to listen. There are few more important things you could do with your time.