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Book Review: Hippo in the Garden

by Lisa Manning on March 6, 2014

HippoTitle:  Hippo in the Garden

About the Author:  James Ryle

Pastor. President and Founder of TruthWorks.org, a teaching and resourcing ministry helping you experience God’s presence. Founding Board Member of Promise Keepers.

What the Book Is About:  Hearing God’s Voice.

“Ryle challenges Christians to listen more deeply to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, to look for Him in both the ordinary and extraordinary things of life and to discern God’s will in visions, dreams and other special moments of revelation.”

Why Did I Read It:   I have a strong desire to hear God’s voice in everything I do and wanted to know more about how God speaks and how I can listen more effectively.  I heard Kris Vallotton talking about this book on a podcast.

What I Loved:  The book had many stories and examples of each of the types of encounters with God that were described.  Lots of Scripture throughout the entire book.  I especially enjoyed chapter 10, explaining the ministry of prophecy and characteristics necessary to walk in this ministry.  This book gives clear prerequisites and instruction for hearing from God.

5 Quotes that Rocked:

~ The Lord often presents us with an enigma to see how serious we are about seeking His face.  Often He catches our ear with just a whisper to see how desperate we are to hear His voice…In other words, God often “hides” what He wants us to know to test our motives.  He is seeing if we will stir ourselves to pursue Him or merely settle for notion that God’s ways are past finding out.  “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all you heart.” (Jer. 29:13)

~ Again, the three primary means by which you can discern a “word from God” are 1) how it measures up to the testimony of Jesus Christ as Lord; 2) how it measures up to the Scriptures; and 3) how it measures up to the fruit of the Spirit.  Does it stir you with devotion and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ? Does it turn you from sin and selfish ambition? Does it fill you with faith and resolve to strengthen and encourage others?  If so, you have heard the voice of God. (Page 245) 

~ God also hides the treasure from us as a means of fostering His own values in our hearts.  If He were to set before us the full portion of all He would have us know, we would surely take it for granted and eventually set it aside.  One of life’s lessons is that we devalue things that are obtained too easily.  On the other hand, the more complicated the hunt, the more cherished the prize; the fiercer the battle, the sweeter the victory. (Page 222) 

~ The Lord desires for each of us to be hidden in Him, not seeking our own glory or espousing our own opinions.  He wants us to see the true needs of others through His eyes and to witness the power of selfless love in giving them the light of life!  The Lord Jesus invites us to come along as He walks our city streets, passes through our neighborhoods and looks with compassion upon those who sit in darkness.  His tender look, reflected in our eyes, will warm their hearts with hope and fill their lives with faith.” (Page 131) 

~We simply must devote ourselves to the arduous discipline of study in order to know Scripture well enough to employ it as a means of discerning God’s voice.  It is a small price to pay for the treasures we will attain. (Page 230)

Table of Contents:

  1. Encounters with the Living God
  2. God is Speaking Today
  3. Learning to Listen
  4. God Speaks through Scripture
  5. God Speaks through Prophetic Ministry
  6. God Speaks through Dreams and Visions
  7. God Speaks through the Natural Realm
  8. God Speaks through the Supernatural
  9. Discerning the Voice of the Lord
  10. Sharing with Others What God Has Shown You
  11. The Hippo in the Garden 

Things You May Need to Know:  Pastor Ryle strongly believes in supernatural encounters with God.  If you do not believe this way, you may not enjoy this book. 

Where Can You Buy It:       Here




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