Sermon Titled “Experiencing God” – by guest speaker Dr. Tom Blackaby – Sunday 11th January, 2015
Starting Monday 12th January, Koza Baptist Church began a combined study, working from the book Experiencing God, authored by Henry and Richard Blackaby, and Claude King. A couple of weekends ago, Dr. Tom Blackaby, from Blackaby Ministries, honored our church by visiting us personally and delivering a sermon that introduced the purpose of the Experiencing God study. The reason the book was written, he said, was to push readers and study participants into God’s presence, through the application of seven realities:
- Understanding that God is always at work around us.
- Recognizing that God wants to pursue a continuing love relationship with us that is real and personal.
- Accepting God’s invitation to become involved with Him in His work.
- Learning to discern God’s voice as He speaks to us by His Spirit through the bible, prayer, circumstances, and through the church – to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
- Accepting that God’s invitation for us to work with Him always leads us to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
- Acknowledging that we must make major adjustments in our lives if we choose to join God in what He is doing.
- Coming to know God by experience as we obey Him, and as He accomplishes His work through us.
As Christians, many of us feel the need to come up with plans that are productive and helpful, and hopefully, pleasing to God. As we keep ourselves busy, doing what we think is God’s work, we often fail to perceive the small and subtle cues that God sends us – cues that, if spiritually discerned, would lead us specifically where God wants us to go. Instead, we continue to go about our business, accomplishing only what we are capable of accomplishing, and convincing ourselves and others that God will bless what we’re doing because we are doing it all for Him.
Besides being too busy to hear God’s voice, many Christians are also afraid to hear His voice. They’re afraid because they understand that following God requires a denial of self, and self-denial, in favor of being led by God, almost always involves some level of discomfort. It’s easier to pretend that we cannot hear, or to give excuses that attempt to justify why it’s simply not a “good time” to follow God’s call on our lives.
But, we should ask ourselves – do we want to be like the Pharisees, who were so spiritually blind that they neglected to see Jesus right before their eyes, or do we want to be like Abraham, and Moses, and Noah, who because of their faith, heard directly from the Lord and found the courage to follow Him? The latter three chose to put God first, and in doing so God worked through them to accomplish miraculous works that He had already predestined for them to do.
Without a heart and mind fully devoted to God, we can try hard to please God by performing all manner of “good” deeds, but the reality is that a) we’ll do so by trying to accomplish God-size tasks with human ingenuity, and b) we’ll end up being busy doing things for God that He never intended for us to do.
If you truly desire to follow God, then this is a bible study you do not want to miss. You can participate by joining a community group, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, use Psalm 25:4-5 to guide you in prayer as you ask God to give you the courage and boldness to follow Him:
- Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”