A God Who Speaks, A Workbook On Conversational Prayer
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There are also many helpful notes regarding the goals for each session, how to keep the sessions on target, and how to deal with common issues that present themselves. The Forming Student Workbook contains all of the session introductions, presentations notes, and exercises needed to help the participant fully experience what Forming has to offer.
It also has many relevant articles on spiritual development as well as personal articles from the author about the material. Sep 24, Breezy rated it really liked it. Sep 01, Gillian Nichols rated it really liked it. The book definitely gave concrete information that was Scripture based. I found it to be a brain workout, which is always a good thing.
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Took my mom-tired brain a few months to get through! Oct 05, cati rated it it was amazing. Learn so much from this and as always a great step on the path of growing into a better person. Jun 12, Jack Kardiac rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is one of the best books on prayer. Not only does it address many of the misconceptions we have when it comes to prayer and seeking God, but also has sound, biblical instruction on how to approach Him. I've read it again and again, especially when I need to remind myself of the basic principles once more.
Mar 24, Ella Herring rated it it was amazing.
Life Model: David Takle
Nov 08, Kim rated it really liked it Shelves: She doesn't always express herself so as to prevent misreading and she takes a few things a bit far, but overall I found a lot of good perspective and interesting challenges here. Some solid points and great boldness. I would recommend it, though I'd probably remind people to reason check, doctrine check, and character check anything before taking it to the bank.
Jan 27, Barbi rated it it was amazing. This was a wonderful Bible study! I did this study with my local PWOC group. I learned a lot from this study. The examples and illustrations were wonderful. She really took you through the whole process and it was never overwhelming but it definitely made you think. One thing I learned from this is that there is no way to pray wrong as long as you are praying and to realize that was very reassuring!
Dec 03, Jake Fraser rated it liked it Shelves: Really enjoyed her video and listening to her. Her workbook was easy enough to get through. Not my favorite study and not the most in-depth. If you're wanting something super deep - this isn't it The life and teaching of Jesus do not support Blackaby's ideas. What about the life of the early church? In Acts we have a focused look at a relatively short period 30 years of Bible history in which there are radical manifestations of supernatural activity.
Acts offers a best-case scenario for providing an inductive argument for the view that Christians ought to be receiving assignments from God, private, subjective revelations of God "speaking" to them. What do we find? I went through Acts verse by verse looking for concrete examples of the kind of assignments Blackaby describes in Experiencing God. I have listed below every time God gave a special directive of any sort. An angel rescues the apostles from prison and tells them to preach the Gospel 5: Philip is sent to the Gaza road by an angel 8: Philip is directed to the Ethiopian eunuch by the Spirit 8: While traveling on the Damascus road, Saul hears the audible voice of Jesus directing him to Damascus 9: Ananias has a vision in which the Lord instructs him to visit Saul 9: Cornelius is instructed by an angel in a vision to send for Peter Peter is instructed by the Spirit to visit Cornelius Peter is ordered by an angel to follow him out of prison Paul and Barnabas are sent out by the Holy Spirit on their first missionary journey The Holy Spirit forbids Paul to speak the word in Asia Paul is directed through a vision to Macedonia Jesus appears to Paul in a vision and tells him to preach the Gospel in Corinth Paul is told through prophecy not to enter Jerusalem Jesus tells Paul in a vision to leave Jerusalem What are the means of these revelations?
How does God communicate these assignments? The majority five are communicated through visions.
Three times an angel is the messenger. Four times the Spirit speaks. One is a prophecy. One other is the voice of Jesus. There are five other examples of supernatural revelations that are predictive in nature, but do not dictate any direction, they give no assignments. These examples can be found in Acts At first glance this list seems formidable, but the initial impression is misleading.
The events represent a very small amount of activity considering the 30 year time span and the aggressive spiritual activity of Acts. Notice a couple more significant facts. First, there is no mention in the entire Biblical record of the early church when God gave an assignment through some inner "sensing. The rare times God gave special directives, He communicated in clear, supernatural ways. More than half the time He used a vision or an angel. This last is especially odd, given the contemporary references to "hearing the voice of God.
Announce you had a vision, though, and heads would turn. Admit angels were visiting and you may get a visit from the local "deliverance" ministry. Yet there are abundant biblical precedents for the last two and virtually none for the first. Second, there is no evidence that any of these directives are sought. There is no indication of any Christians, including Apostles, "waiting" for God's direction.
A God Who Speaks, A Workbook On Conversational Prayer
In the New Testament we find no pleading with God or laboring in prayer for God to show them His will or give them His assignment. For balance we must also note other important decisions not directed by God. There are many examples in Acts when the disciples make decisions marking significant events in the life of the early church. They are the kind many would think require a word from the Lord.
They entail decisions about the how, when, where, why, and who of ministry. Yet there is no evidence of any directive from God, and no indication the disciples even sought one. They simply weighed their options in light of circumstances and then chose a judicious course of action consistent with the prior general commands of the Lord. Notable examples include Philip's ministry in Samaria 8: Elders are appointed in the new churches The Jerusalem council resolves the problem of the Judaizers and the Galatian heresy Paul embarks on his second and third missionary journeys Paul sets up shop as a tentmaker and starts a ministry in Corinth Paul establishes a discipleship training program for two years at the school of Tyrannus Acts Paul has a healing ministry on the island of Malta for three months Acts According to Blackaby's teaching, each one of these decisions is illicit because none was a special "assignment" from God.
Rather, each was the result of a unilateral decision by the disciples using wisdom to respond to the circumstances confronting them. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Altogether I found 70 such instances in the book of Acts alone, contrasted with the 14 occasions of specialized direction during that same time.
Even more can be found in the epistles. Paul chastises the Corinthians for not working out their own legal differences 1 Cor. He does not counsel them to seek a decision from God. In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul gives the most thorough instruction to be found in the Bible on the issue of marriage. He details pros and cons of single life over married life. He solemnly notes the moral obligations of both. He then leaves the decision in the hands of the believer. There is no hint in this passage that a believer must "hear from the Lord" even on the weighty matter of choosing a spouse.
Peter gives explicit instruction about the use of spiritual gifts in ministry 1 Peter 4: Blackaby is simply mistaken whenever he teaches that the Biblical directive or even the Biblical pattern is to receive such revelations from God. The exact opposite is the case: It is neither taught nor is the pattern modeled.
What, then, does the Scripture mean by being led by the Spirit? The simplest way to answer that question is to look up the verses using the term. The only two references in the Epistles to being led by the Spirit mean something specific. Paul does not use the term the same way Blackaby does. The concept appears in Romans 8: Being led by the Spirit in this passage is not referring to individual guidance, but empowerment to live holy lives. The Holy Spirit works to convict of sin, "leading" a Christian into righteous living.
In Paul's words, "putting to death the deeds of the body. Paul has the same meaning in view in Galatians 5: Regarding the role of the Spirit in our lives, Paul writes, "Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Does the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts? That depends entirely on what one means by the word "speak. The Scripture identifies different ways the Holy Spirit subjectively works in us. We could say God "speaks" when He comforts us, teaches us, convicts us, or leads us out of sin. There is an ineffable sense in which God communicates with us giving solace, wisdom, insight, and understanding see below.
Also, since He imparts spiritual gifts I do not deny the subjective element that is involved in their exercise. Note that none of these involve propositional revelation, which is what we normally mean by the word "speaking. When my wife speaks, there is propositional content. When she hugs, there is comfort. The two are entirely different.
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There is nothing mysterious about this. Revelation for the Christian comes through objective sources like the Bible or prophetic utterance: No information is communicated directly. We would do well, I think, to keep these concepts distinct, as the Scripture does. However, it is clear to me that Christians usually use the phrase "the Spirit speaks to us" in ways the Bible just does not support. I see no evidence that the Bible teaches anything like what some have called a "conversational relationship" with God.
The Bible does not teach we must "hear" God before we can make decisions. It is just not there. When the text says, "Listen to the voice of the Lord," the word "listen" is synonymous with "heed. I am not claiming there is no subjective element in knowing God. The Bible and the normal Christian life are filled with examples of believers having a deep personal communion with God. My principal concern is where we get our information about God. The Scripture teaches that such information comes from Scripture, not from private revelations from God.
Does the Bible teach we should get our private marching orders, our "assignments," directly from God? Instead, we should seek God's "voice" in the place Scripture tells us to: Spiritual maturity is not the ability to hear God's voice. It is the ability to know, understand, and apply Scripture in every circumstance. Does this put God in a box? I am not dictating what God can or cannot do.
He can intervene in any way He chooses.
However, we must base our teaching and conduct on the Scriptures, not on what might be possible for a sovereign God. Blackaby claims his model is Biblical. I am putting that to the test. I am showing what seems to be the pattern of Scripture, especially in the New Testament, which is the most reliable guide for the church today. It is not for us to set limits on Him. But it remains a question as to whether or not we are entitled to expect 'hotline' disclosures on a regular basis. The correct answer is no.