I’ve written before that I like to alternate the books I am given to review — and book reviews here are very much down in quantity from a year ago — with older books or even classic Christian titles by authors now deceased.
I’m currently reading Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry Blackaby. The book I’m reading was first published in 1994; the edition now sold is a revised and expanded edition from 2008.
Although I’ve recommended the book here before, I had never actually sat down and read it page-by-page. The reason is I could recommend it is that the book is a kind of “Snakes on a Plane” title inasmuch as once you’ve seen the chart listing the book’s “Seven Realities,” you’ve grabbed the essence of the whole.
Perhaps that’s not enough to go on. The seven realities are:
1. God is always working around you (Exodus 2:23-25)
2. God pursues a continuing personal love relationship with you that is real and personal (Exodus 3:1)
3. God invites you to be come involved with Him in His work (Exodus 3:8, 10)
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways (Exodus 3:2-8)
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action (Exodus 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10, 13)
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing (Exodus 4:19-20)
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you (Exodus 6:1-8)
Still it’s not enough to just speed-read through those, it’s more helpful to read the book — which doesn’t take long — and also to explore the ongoing parallels to the life of Moses, which is why the scripture references are all from Exodus. (The first time I saw the book, not knowing its basis in the Old Testament, I honestly thought the picture of Moses on what was then the back cover was Henry Blackaby.)
I also mentioned this book yesterday because I believe it to be one of a select handful of foundational titles every new and veteran Christian should read. As I said, I’ve been recommending it for years — because of the chart above which condenses the teaching points — but it’s another thing to actually go through chapter by chapter.
There’s also a large format workbook that can be purchased separately if someone wants to dig deeper. It’s published by LifeWay which doesn’t give bookstores much of a discount on it because it’s considered curriculum, albeit undated. It was one of their first successes with workbooks (now called Member Books) in a time before Beth Moore had achieved her present fame. I haven’t checked one out recently, but it’s packed with details and would make a great personal Bible study for someone not connected to a small group or just preferring to work on their own.
Finally, if you’re at a crisis point of wondering what God has for you, the book subtitle is, after all, about finding and doing God’s will.
Experiencing God is, in my opinion, destined to remain in print for a long time yet. It is truly a modern classic Christian book that should be on everyone’s reading list.