What if you could send your spirit inside other people’s soul to fight for their freedom? James L. Rubart answers this question in Soul’s Gate, the first book in the Well Spring series. Now that the Warriors Riding have learned how to battle for others, new obstacles get in the way of freedom — will their biggest regrets destroy them? Rubart delves deeper into the fictional world to give us a new look at the struggle of freedom in second book of the Well Spring series, Memory’s Door (Thomas Nelson/August 6, 2013/ISBN: 978-1-4016-8607-9/$15.99).
Q: Along with the overarching theme of finding freedom, what are other messages you hope readers take away in Memory’s Door?
The three key themes in Memory’s Door:
• We can get free of regrets. There is a way out. We can live without our past mistakes keeping us from living free in the present and the future.
• There is so much more to living the Christian life than we typically experience. We can hear God’s voice. We can! And we can live in the same power the people in the Bible lived in and find great healing from even our greatest wounds
• There is an enemy Satan has created and infiltrated the church with that is the greatest enemy of our souls. It’s so insidious we often don’t see it, even though it’s all around us. But if we are aware of it, we can have great victory over it.
Q: You said you like to take the fantastic things in the Bible and turn them into modern-day stories — are specific Biblical passages or events evident in book two of the Well Spring series?
I’ve never seen an angel, although I have many friends who have. And the Bible shows us angels are the equivalent of heaven’s Navy Seals. They are powerful magnificent beings. In Soul’s Gate we met a number of demons, and we had a glimpse of angels. In Memory’s Door we get a much greater taste of the angels who might be all around us, who are intervening powerfully in all our lives (II Kings 6:17; Matthew 13:49; II Kings 19:35).
Also, Paul talks about being caught up into the heavenly realms (II Corinthians 12:2). What if that were to happen to someone today? The Warriors get a chance to find out.
Q: From loss of sight and being stalked by a dark presence, to feeling crushed by career pressures and struggling to discern what’s real and what’s an illusion, each character faces a major struggle that could jeopardize his or her future; how do their struggles relate to the hurdles we meet every day?
It feels like the Warriors Riding are at war, doesn’t it? They are. And so are we. When we can finally admit we’re not living this life in the garden, and that instead, we are caught in a world in the midst of an epic battle, our lives will start to make a whole lot more sense. We might not face as epic a battle as the Warriors face, but an evil in this world is out to destroy us, our families and our friends. We have to face that every day. If we realized we have been given the power to fight against that evil well and help others battle well, our lives will change — we will hope, we will believe, we will live in more freedom than we thought possible.
Q: Which character, if any, do you relate to the most?
Even though all of the main characters are reflections of different parts of me, in this novel I’m locked into Marcus more than any of the others. I’ve lived with a number of 500-pound regrets around my neck, and this book was a huge part of me getting free of the heaviest regret I’ve every carried. I’ve said my novels are just my journals in fiction form.
That’s true again with Memory’s Door. I went through a time in my life last summer (while I wrote Memory’s Door) that was one of the most difficult periods of my life and without question one of the most freeing. So I’m Marcus this time, facing my regrets and then finding life-altering freedom because of Jesus.
Q: The Wolf is on the prowl in book two, hoping to hunt and trap the four members of Warriors Riding. How do you see the Wolf at work in real life?
First, I’m often blind to it (and I believe many others are as well), which is why the Wolf is so effective. Second, without giving too much away, the Wolf as I describe it in Memory’s Door is the greatest enemy of the church today. We’re blindsided by the wolf again and again and again, and it destroys the life of believers and pushes non-believers farther away from the church than ever. But there is hope to escape the claws of the Wolf, which is one of the major themes of Memory’s Door.
Q: What are some things that hold us back from opening ourselves to be used by God?
I think it always comes back to fear. We’re afraid to risk, to try, to fail, to succeed. We allow worry to dominate our lives. We have not been given a spirit of fear, so where does of fear come from? Our enemy who does not want us to live free, to live in our destiny, because he’s terrified of that. When a believer starts living out of their glory and gifting and strength, look out, baby! It changes everyone around them.
Q: With the appearance of three enigmatic men, the main characters must decide who is friend and foe. How do we discern what is God’s truth and what are the half-truths Satan hides behind?
We learn to hear God speak. Do I believe we can truly hear Him like the men and women of the Old and New Testament did? Yes. Jesus said his sheep would hear his voice. We ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth as Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would. Then we test the spirits as Paul told us to. We have been given all the tools and all the weapons to know good from evil, but we must learn to use them and not pretend those skills were only needed back in New Testament times.
Q: How can faith become harder with the influence of sight?
We live in a Westernized society where if we see it, we believe it. If we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. Because we are given so much (in contrast to many people in other countries), we don’t have to see with faith. So our faith eyesight has grown dim.
Q: The Warriors Riding are faced with the regrets from their past and must decide how do deal with them. How do we move past regrets into seeing the work God is doing in our lives?
Read Memory’s Door! (Laughs). Seriously, that’s the main question the book answers. But you have hit on an important aspect of regret. If we’re constantly looking back, we won’t be able to see what God is bringing ahead of us, and that’s why I think the theme of this book is critical and will be life-changing for many, many people.
Q: If this series ever became a movie and you could choose anyone, whom would you cast into the roles of the main characters?
Tough question! But let’s go with:
• Reece Roth — Clint Eastwood or Harrison Ford
• Marcus Amber — Ioan Gruffudd (played Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four)
• Brandon Scott — Chris Hemsworth
• Dana Raine — Rachel McAdams