Book Review: Experiencing God
by, Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King
I really enjoyed this book and some day hope to do the bible study. In fact the ideas in this book are what opened my eyes to see that God was asking me to host a women’s bible study in my home for a season of my life. I was not wanting to host and plan but it was clear that God was trying to get my attention to His will and not my own hopes and desires, which was to join a bible study that was already in progress that was on the perfect morning and with childcare… and didn’t exist!
This is a book I had heard a lot of and found awhile back at a thrift store for pretty cheap. It’s always interesting to me when I find books that have inscriptions at the front from being given to someone and they’ve chosen to give it away. This book happened to be given to a Joshua from his grandparents. I feel like I’m invading their privacy a little bit but I also appreciate whoever gave the book away that they gave it away instead of just throwing it away. So here I am, invading privacy but thankful for finding a good book at discount : )
“… we do not find God’s will – it is revealed. God always takes the initiative.” p. x
“I dreamed great dreams of what I was going to do for God… this time I would not try to work my own plans. I refused to dream my own dreams of what I would do for God… then we watched to see where God was at work so we could join Him.” p. xi
“The Scripture says that God’s very nature is love. God can never function contrary to His own nature… Because His nature is love, I am always confident that however He expresses Himself to me is always best.” p. 17
“Your relationship with God right now reveals what you believe about Him. It is spiritually impossible for you to believe one way and practice another.” p. 19
“No matter how big the assignment He gives you, He is able to accomplish His purposes through you.” p. 24
” ‘What is God’s will for my life?’ is not the best question to ask. I think the right question is simply, ‘What is God’s will?’ Once I know God’s will, then I can adjust my life to Him and His purposes… the plan He has for your life is based on what He is doing in His world… His desire is for you to become involved in what He is doing.” p. 29
“Sometimes individuals are so busy doing things they think will help God accomplish His purpose that He can’t get their attention long enough to use them as servants to accomplish what He wants. We often wear ourselves out and accomplish very little of value to the kingdom.” p. 30
“If you are experiencing a time of fruitlessness right now, you may be trying to do things on your own that God has not initiated.” p. 30
“Don’t, however, focus on your talents, abilities, and interests in determining God’s will. I have heard so many people say, ‘I would really like to do that; therefore, it must be God’s will.’ That kind of response is self-centered. We need to become God-centered instead. When He is Lord, your response should be something like this: ‘Lord, I will do anything that Your kingdom requires of me…” p. 32 (this reminds me of so many Biblical characters… Moses and Mary are the first two to come to mind).
“He is more likely to call you to follow one day at a time than He is to spell out all the details before you begin to obey Him.” p. 35
7 REALITIES OF EXPERIENCING GOD:
- God is always at work around you.
- God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
- God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
- God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
- God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
- You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
- You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
“He does not ask us to dream our dreams for Him and then ask Him to bless our plans. He is already at work when He comes to us. His desire is to get us from where we are to where He is working.” p. 55
“When the love relationship is right, God will be free to begin giving you assignments at His initiative. Whenever you do not seem to be receiving assignments from God, focus on the love relationship and stay there until the assignment comes.” p. 72
“The common approach to spiritual gifts also can become very self-centered, rather than God-centered, if you take the initiative to decide on an assignment that you think fits you.” p. 73
“Moses’ success was not dependent on Moses’ skills, abilities, likes, preferences, or past successes. God first gave Moses an assignment, and then God equipped him with His Holy Spirit to administrate and lead… God was at work through Moses doing things Moses could not do on his own.” p. 74
“… thinking that God gives them some thing – like an ingredient called administration. No, He doesn’t give some thing; He gives Himself. The Gift is a Person. The Holy Spirit equips you with His administrative ability.” p. 76 (or whatever spiritual gift you need for the task He’s calling you to)
“The smaller assignments of God are always used of God to develop character. God always develops character to match His assignment. If God has a great assignment for you, He has to develop a great character to match that assignment before He can give you the assignment.” p. 148
“If I have been working and praying in one direction and I see God working in a different direction, I adjust my life to what God is doing… decide whether you are going to do what you want and ask God to bless it, or go to work where He is working.” p. 180
… we pray and then never relate anything that happens to our praying. After you pray, the greatest single thing you need to do is turn on your spiritual concentration. When you pray in a direction, immediately anticipate the activity of God in answer to your prayer.” p. 180
“Sometimes God is silent as He prepares to bring you into a deeper understanding of Himself. Whenever a silence comes, continue doing the last thing God told you and watch and wait for a fresh encounter with Him.” p. 183
“If you put yourself in the middle of the circumstances and try to look at God, you will always have a distorted understanding of God.” p. 189
“You may face a situation like Job experienced where God does not tell you what He is doing. In those instances acknowledge God’s love and sovereignty and depend on His sustaining grace to see you through the situation.” p. 192
“… if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it probably is not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They are always beyond what people can do because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and to a watching world.” p. 220
“You cannot obey Him unless you believe and trust Him. You cannot believe and trust Him unless you love Him. You cannot love Him unless you know Him.” p. 250
“Although obedience is costly, it is always worth the cost. In fact whenever you are tempted to consider the cost too high, you need to consider what it will cost you not to do the will of God. That cost is even greater.” p. 261