Continued from here.
God was at work in my trip to Europe. Our original tour guide had to drop out, and the replacement tour guide turned out to be a strong Christian. It’s no coincidence that our conversation over lunch happened to turn to our love for God, and God’s fingerprints were all over the tour guide lending me Henry Blackaby’s book Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Considering this tour guide’s native tongue is not English, what were the odds of her happening to have an English version of this book with her on this tour?
I read the first 50 or 60 pages on the trip and then ordered my own copy when I returned home. I was blown away by perspectives I had never considered or heard discussed anywhere, despite leading and participating in numerous Bible studies over the years. Blackaby talks about how we err in asking God what His will is for our life (which I have done many times). Instead, he says that the correct question is, “What is Your will?”
He pointed out that God was already working toward Israel being freed from slavery in Egypt, and then God invited Moses to join what He was already doing. It wasn’t “God’s will for Moses’ life” to become the leader to free the slaves so much as an invitation to Moses to join God in what He was already doing. Blackaby encourages us to ask God to open our eyes to reveal where He is already at work and then join God there.
Another eye opener was Blackaby’s perspective on spiritual gifts. I have always heard that the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts (such as my gift of teaching) and that we should look for ways to serve the church using our spiritual gifts. Per Blackaby, that’s backward. He pointed out that the pattern in the Bible is the opposite. God calls us to do a particular task that is too big for us. We step out in obedience, and then He equips us with the spiritual gifts to do the task. He says that the Holy Spirit IS the gift and that God will equip us to do the tasks. We should not limit ourselves based upon whatever gifts God has given us in the past. He also points out that people who never step out to do what God calls them to do might not have ever exhibited any spiritual gifts because they have never done anything to require their use.
I’m excited to read the rest of the book because I am intrigued by this perspective.
[Graphic: Cover of Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Revised and Expanded. Courtesy Amazon.]