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"Pathways": Book Review and Lessons Learned

Over the past month, our ministry book club has delved into the pages of Pathways: From Providence to Purpose by Dr. Tony Evans. As we have found ourselves at the end of this wonderful study, I wanted to take just a little time to share my personal thoughts on Dr. Evan's book and what I was able to learn from it.

Pathways: From Providence to Purpose sells itself as a study of the book of Esther and the providential hand of God that can be witnessed throughout the pages of this young queen's story; but, in truth this book is so much more than that. Pathways is an in-depth look at the ways in which God moves us to His intended life's purpose for us and the ways in which we can see His providential hand even in the most tumultuous times of our lives. Dr. Evans lays forth a superb teaching that helps one to understand the delicate balance between God's providence and our own free will. Tony's masterful prologue sets the stage in a way that I, being a daughter of a lifelong football coach, found enjoyable, relatable, and at times a tiny bit heartbreaking; as life so often is. The ways in which Dr. Evans weaves together Esther's narrative while bringing the trials we in the current age so often face, with his own stories of redemption and providence, were one of the many reasons this book captivates and enriches the journey of the mature, and novice believer alike. Pathways is a must read for those seeking to connect with their creator and achieve all that God has set forth for them so long ago.

Lessons I Learned from Pathways: From Providence to Purpose

There are so many incredible lessons to be learned in this book and I truly believe everyone has the opportunity to get their own understanding from it. Here are a few things that stood out to me as I read through the pages of Dr.. Evan's study of Esther:

  • God's providence will NOT negate our human freedom and choices.

  • Getting into God's Kingdom is through conversion; but getting God's Kingdom into the manifestations of your life comes through commitment and discipleship.

  • Nothing you have received was not either created by God or the through the things God created.

  • God could not let go of control of a single moment of time, without the universe falling apart at the seams.

  • God controls every bit of our universe down to a single atom, simultaneously and masterfully.

  • Concepts of chance and luck are in direct conflict with God's providence. The understanding of this can help us to see that they pathway we are on is leading somewhere with a purpose.

  • We do not know where we should go and, without God's hand on our lives, this could take us to places we should have never been in the first place.

  • Our season comes when our usefulness for the Kingdom matches our calling.

  • There will always be spiritual preparation AND warfare when we are coming to our season.

  • Your life is not about YOU.

  • God wants to make sure that your spiritual maturity and strength matches what we are about to face.

  • God ALWAYS blesses you to be a blessing and a blessing is only a blessing when it can flow through you and not just to you.

  • Your usefulness to God determines the pathway He sets you on.

  • God will never force you to fulfill your destiny; but, He can certainly use someone else to do so if you are unwilling.

  • Even when we cannot find God, we can see Him moving through things that we might think are "coincidences."

  • God's timing is more important than our timing. His timing can seem long, or sudden, but it is always perfect.

  • God knows the play, the script, and the timing. To bring us to our purpose, we must put our faith in the understanding that He has got it all under control.

This was a fantastic read for our monthly book club and I hope that, if you were unable to read along with us, you will be able to discover Dr. Evan's study on your own. I believe you will enjoy it, too! Our book club reading for March 2021 is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. We will be discussing this book via Zoom on the last Monday in March at 10am PST. Information on time and Zoom login can be found at the "Events" page of our website. I hope you join us!

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