Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Revised and ExpandedExperiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Revised and Expanded
Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, Claude King
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The modern classic that has helped millions worldwide experience the height, depth, and breadth of God's love is now even better! With over 70 percent revised material, this expanded edition features a new personal introduction by Henry, updated stories and examples, a clearly outlined plan of salvation, and seven new chapters. 341 pages, softcover from B&H.
     

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How should you live if you really believe God chose you before the foundation of the world?

Blackaby: First of all, very carefully. And not carelessly. Too many live carelessly and thoughtlessly and not carefully. But He is God, and Ephesians 1: 3 & 4 says He chose us before the foundation of the world. So it would mean I would seek first in my life His rule on my life. And His purpose for my life. But I would not live it carelessly. Very, very carefully.

How is God directing you toward the completion of what you began?

Blackaby: Basically, one day at a time. As Paul says in Romans, from faith to faith, from one moment of obedience to another. Stewardship. And the principle if you're faithful in the little He'll give you more. I have really found that is to be true. He never gives me more than I'm capable of handling. But He never gives me less than His purpose for my life, so I'm content to live it one day at a time, and know that if I live one day at a time, He will complete what He began.

What about God's fullness of time in your life? How would you share with family and friends that God's fullness of time has come to you?

Blackaby: Primarily, by sharing what I see God doing in and around my life. His fullness of time biblically came by what He did. We knew it was His fullness of time for Christ because He was born, and in God's fullness of time is what He's doing, so I would try and share carefully what I believe God is doing in and around my life and what He is building over a lifetime and say, "All this has come for such a time as this."

How has your obedience to God affected the people around you?

Blackaby: Well, the greatest impact seems to be upon my children and my wife. All five of our children, our four boys and a girl, are all in Christian ministry. And I think primarily that is because of our obedience to what they saw God doing - or confronting us, and when we were obedient, the fruit of that in our life has been enormous. And so they have wanted to be obedient as well. We never tried to give God second-best. And they have then responded. I've also seen my associates and my church family and denominational leaders being greatly affected by my obedience and quite often they'll say, "I'm so grateful that you were obedient because it's affected my life."

Do you sense clearly that you are on mission with God in your world, and what mission has God assigned to you?

Blackaby: I would sense that I really am, and at present in the area of prayer and revival and awakening. That has come to my life, extensively, not only in our own denominational leadership but also cross-denominations and around the world. That would be a primary assignment that I sense. The second would be my involvement in my world. I've been in about close to 80 countries and while I've been there working with people I see clearly that God has given us an assignment with Him, and the other major mission is with native Indian people. And I have kept that as a faithful assignment from God to walk with them. Then in the lesser way, in the sports world, police departments and CEOs and college students I can see that.

Delayed promises can diminish a strengthened faith. How do you respond to delayed promises?

Blackaby: Well, because I have studied the Scripture and I believe God's helped me to understand how significant delayed promises are. Then I, first of all, have deep gratitude to God that He didn't give me what I asked, when I asked, because He knows me better than I know myself. And I'm grateful that He withholds from me when He knows I couldn't handle it. So He protects me, and so with deep gratitude I'm grateful that He delays promises. And second, it creates a tremendous alertness and concentration in my life that if He delays something it means I need to have a greater concentration and alertness in my life. And third, delayed promises, to me , if I understand why He delayed His coming to Mary and Martha at the death of Lazarus was because He wanted them to know more of Him than He had ever known. So, I have great anticipation when there's a delayed promise that He has something greater than what I had thought He meant. And so, delayed promises are never a disappointment to me.

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.

Can God call you His friend?

Blackaby: That's one that I'd have to answer much more carefully knowing that He called only one man in the Bible His friend. And that was Abraham. However, the Lord Jesus said in John 15, "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." And then He goes on to talk about how that if you obey Him then you'll remain in His love. And, presently, I am overwhelmed by what God is choosing to do through my life - what he entrusts me with and the stewardship of what He has put in my hand and the enlarged opportunities. And if the principle is true, or the truth is true, if you're faithful in the little I'll give you more and I'll do it because I can trust you as my friend, then I would say at least I'm a long ways along in that pattern.

Additional Comments from Dr. Henry T. Blackaby

Blackaby: I've had some amazing responses from Created to be God's Friend . I had a call last night from Virginia, the guy I know well, he is one of the leading communication experts for the federal government globally. And he said that Created to be God's Friend is probably having a greater influence on his life than Experiencing God did. That is saying something. I'm encouraged, and I've heard that from a number of people. I guess it is the atmosphere of where God's people are, really wanting their life to count but not quite knowing how to go about it. And this sort of positions what to look for as God shapes your life to be significant. And they can identify clearly this being very helpful to them.