|What accountability does it bring to your life to realize that one day, before God, He may let us see what could have been if when He called we obeyed?|
Blackaby: Well, when I see that in Scripture, it gives me a deep sensitivity to how carefully I'm obedient in the least of what He asks one day at a time. I guard my heart because out of my heart comes the rest of my life, and if my heart is not right I'll not be careful about what God is saying to me. But one day he may say, "Henry, let me show you what could have been if you had obeyed right there, but you were distracted." Well, knowing that, I am very careful about how I live my life. But even, in addition to that, I am modeling before my family and others the significance of care and obedience, and I think it affects others as well.
You never have to ask God to bless you. It is part of His covenant with you. How is God blessing you and your family and friends?
Blackaby: Well, as I mentioned, to me, the most sensitive, to me, is what He's doing in my children, because each of them not only are in full-time ministry – four boys feel called to pastor, three of them have a Ph.D and the other one is completing a doctorate in ministries. They are really, really giving their best to God. The one thing I try to do with my kids is say, "I don't know what God's best for you is, but God does. Don't ever give God second-best." And that has brought great blessing to my children. But then, many, many, many people tell me, "Henry, I just want you to know, your life has been an incredible blessing." And I'm grateful. Many men are still in the ministry because of my life and many are on the mission field because of my life, and so God has indeed blessed others through my life.
Do you clearly, unmistakably know the voice of God and when He is speaking to you?
Blackaby: I do, but it's come after 56 years of walking with Him. I have walked with God since I was nine. And I have learned, uniquely. I knew, in the Scripture, that God speaks uniquely to people. Now, that was the first thing I had to learn. There was only one burning bush and there was only one blinding light that Paul had. And as I go through the Scripture, I knew it was unique, so I couldn't pattern it after how someone else learned. Then I said, "Lord, would you teach me your ways and help me to know your voice and to know it's you." So over a period of time, what I've received to be the voice of God, I obeyed immediately. And found that it was indeed the voice of God. So over a period of time, watching to see how uniquely God chose to speak to me, and obeying, I have learned what it is to know the voice of God. Because every time I follow what I know to be the voice of God, uniquely to me, He has done what He said.