Sometimes what we think we know we do not. Sometimes things are presented to you in a way in which you are lured in, believing everything to be true and light, when really your eyes have simply adjusted to the darkness.


It’s like walking into a dark theater, where it’s impossible to see the seating. You stand frozen inside the doorway, waiting, and then eventually the room comes into view. At first you can see the shadows of the seat backs, then, after another moment, you are able to walk and easily traverse the aisles. You find your way, because your eyes have adjusted to the darkness. Life is that way too. We are light, and when we’re exposed to darkness our souls are on alert. Red flag! Beware! But if you press forward, ignoring that internal warning, you soon find yourself enveloped in it. Maybe even you like the darkness a little bit. Maybe you’re confident that you can step back into the light.

That’s how a mirage in the desert must be. In my new book The Compass, (amazon.com for pre-order) the main character has stepped out into the Nevada desert after a tragedy that thrust him into the darkness. I’ve never loved the desert so I don’t know why he begins his journey there, except that it’s how I envisioned Jesus, the most famous explorer in the world, on the same path. Aren’t we all in the desert sometimes? We are at times on the highest mountain top, with the blaring glow of a sunset behind us, and at others in the dry sand, parched and thirsting. In the book Jonathan’s life has become a mirage. An image of things he once knew. Has your life become that way? Is it time to step back and try to decipher what’s real, and what’s not? Is it time to let go of the darkness, of any potential thing that could hold you back (maybe it’s as simple as a limiting belief you picked up in childhood, or perhaps it’s an aura of judgment, or pride) before it infects your soul in some small way?

My father killed himself.

Yikes, that’s hard to say, but it’s so much a part of my internal life that I might as well make it external. Everything I write about stems back to this. To save men, to help men, to help them understand that there’s much more to life than what resides inside your soul. God has a plan, and is in control. But when life feels out of control, or we discover that the life we are living is really a mirage, shock and awe settles in and we don’t understand how to deal with it. In a highly scheduled, activity driven world, where people thrive on creating order and every moment is controlled, it’s hard to just let go, and let someone else be in control. It’s hard to understand that even your deepest valley has a purpose, and that it will all work out in the end.

This morning I logged in to find an email about a girl who was contemplating suicide this week, until she viewed the Compass. This is a movie that will receive a lot of criticism from the Christians who don’t see the true big picture, and my pastor friends and advisers have shared thoughts about how I should manage that. Ignore it, they say, because you know the work you are doing is anointed and Truth is all that matters. In Rick Joyner’s book The Final Quest he talks about how deceived believers are on the front lines of the enemy, without even knowing they are deceived, spewing judgment and bitterness instead of love. To the girl who did not take her life, I want to send a message. Thank you, for the best valentines day gift I ever could have received. Thank you, to the One who made this project possible and is confirming it every day.

New York Times Best Selling Author