Discernment: The Essential Guide To Hearing The Voice Of God, by Jane Hamon
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
I don’t know who Jane Hamon is or who ordained her father-in-law to be a bishop, but I found this book to be strangely entertaining. I don’t think that was the aim of the book, but it certainly did achieve that. Given that Pentecostals (and I assume the author is one) care so much about the gifts of the Spirit and spiritual warfare, subjects this book gets into a lot, it is little surprise that discernment should be such an important subject within this book. The author doesn’t really make it clear, though, that she has the sort of discernment that would make her an expert. Not only is there a heavy odor of nepotism in the way that she has a ministry at all given her modest grasp of the Bible but she frequently shows in this book a tendency to enjoy word games and wrangling over definitions that is not necessarily very discerning. This is a book that tries very hard to show itself as an essential guide, but it is far too personal to be essential for all of its author’s edit. That doesn’t make this book not worth reading because it is, but it is not worth reading in precisely the way that the author intends.
This book is almost 250 pages long and it is divided into 14 chapters. The book begins with a foreword by Dr. Chuck Pierce as well as an introduction by the author. After that the author discusses what it means to hear the voice of God (1) and how to discern the times (2), which leads her into an entire chapter on something the author refers to as the Isaachar anointing (3). After this the author discusses the importance of having a discerning heart (4) and having the discernment to lead (5) and build (6) in religious and spiritual matters. After that the author discusses discerning the Spirit of God (7) as opposed to demons, discerning angels (8), and also discerning demons (9), whom the author shows a marked tendency to name personally, something the Bible refrains from. The author discusses the importance of discerning the human heart (10) as well as the relationship between discernment and that favorite Pentecostal subject of spiritual warfare (11). Finally, the author closes the book with chapters on discernment and intercession to transform territories (12), discerning and identifying strongholds of demonic influence (13), and having eyes to see and ears to hear (14), after which there is an index.
This book is decidedly odd, and it shows the author to have what appears to be a particularly Pentecostal interest in making up concepts that only appear very briefly in the Bible. This is by no means uniquely a Pentecostal habit, it should be noted, but it is something that this book and many others written by fellow Pentecostals shows. In this case the author spends a lot of time talking about a supposed Issachar anointing based on a single scripture about some people in Issachar having the ability to discern the signs of the times and then runs with it to excess. As odd as this is, it is certainly better than the author’s occasional accusations of others as being demonically inspired, that’s for sure. One might have thought that an editor would have read this book and had the author tone down some of the accusations of those who used to attend the same congregations, but no, she goes right out and calls those who have sought to build up their own fellowships and their own congregations as being demonically influenced with a spirit of rebellion. In reading a book like this it is hard not to wonder who it was that gave the author that kind of authority to make those pronouncements in the first place.