Hearing God: Eyes & Ears
In 1994 a workbook called “Experiencing God” was published and very quickly became quite a success, with many study groups forming to go through the book together. The book was subtitled “Knowing & Doing the Will of God”. Henry T. Blackaby was the author. He states that the central thesis of his book is…
“Knowing God does not come through a program, a study, or a method. Knowing God comes through a relationship with a Person. This is an intimate love relationship with God. Through this relationship, God reveals Himself, His purposes, and His ways; and He invites you to join Him where He is already at work”.
John 5:19 is a cornerstone scripture in his study which says…
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. (NASB)
The premise is that God the Father is at work in the world around us. Jesus says he does what he sees the Father doing. This idea of cooperation and partnership, Blackaby says is found throughout the Bible. He uses Moses as another example of this premise. Blackaby contends that God invites us into what he is doing. He invites us into the adventure of knowing and doing his will.
This is a very exciting concept and biblical truth. Not only are we to hear for God as is our birthright but we are invited to participate in his great work on the earth. Blackaby breaks down the path we take from knowing God is at work all the way to doing God’s will. Below is the 7 step path to “Experiencing God.”
Step 1 we’ve already discussed. God is at work. We can actually tune on this and notice such things as people around us becoming spiritually curious, or experiencing some tragedy open to encouragement and prayer, some who had religious background begin to talk about them in nostalgic fashion. Sometimes God is at work and we do not see the signs until he speaks to us.
Step 2 speaks of having a loving relationship with God as the foundation, with our communication with him be grounded in fellowship and not initially with doing anything.
In Step 3 out of that relationship we are invited to participate leading us to Step 4 at which point we hear God speak. God shows what he is doing and asks us to join him in a particular way usually asking us to step out beyond our comfort zone.
In Step 5 we are challenged to step out in faith. At this point God is wanting to stretch our faith, asking as it were for us to step out of the boat with a chance to walk on water. We have a decision to make. Will we or won’t we follow? Not every communication from God or revelation of his will produces this kind of crisis of belief. Just the ones where God is work supernaturally and he wants to use us uniquely.
Step 6 finds us surrendering to God, casting our cares on him, leaning not on our own understanding as we repent of our small mindedness or our fear or our selfishness… stepping out of our comfort zone.
In Step 7 we are walking in obedience and Blackaby encourages us saying at this point we are experiencing something new and exciting, we are experiencing God new and afresh and it is exhilarating and amazing. We see great fruit. We experience God’s provision. We see miracles and blessings. We see his kingdom come, his will be done and we are ready for more of him and more of this adventure.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
The verse above tells us that the mantle of cooperation with the Father, the work of God passes to us from none other than Jesus.
I loved doing the Experiencing God Study. it is filled with scripture and it never fails to draw me closer to the Lord. The only down side was that the description of this working with the Father seemed to encompass a much bigger arena than my normal day-to-day life. So it was harder for me to follow the steps in a regular fashion. It could also be that I heard from God only to slide back into unbelief or rationalizing away potentially challenging situations.
Ultimately the truth these verses in John and the encouragement of the author to believe God for greater things keep me coming back to place myself in the Father’s hands again. My heart calls out… “Here I am, use me Lord!”
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (NASB)