The concept is so simple, yet we miss it so often: “Watch to see where God is working, and join Him in His work.”
That’s the famous quote by retired pastor and Bible teacher Henry Blackaby, co-author of “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.”
First published in 1990 by Lifeway Christian Resources, the study was recently revised and updated in honor of its 30th anniversary, a bit delayed because of the pandemic but nonetheless out and experiencing a revival of sorts.
Alabama Baptists know the teachings of Blackaby and his son, Richard, well. They’ve preached and taught in various settings through the years.
Richard, who will be back in Alabama in October, joined his father and co-author Claude King in the revision of the study. Blackaby’s grandsons, Mike and Daniel, also participate in the latest video sessions accompanying the workbook.
King, who recently spoke to Alabama Baptist leaders attending the Pinnacle workshop at Shocco Springs Conference Center, was a Lifeway editor in 1990. He constructed the workbook based on Blackaby’s Bible study presentations.
In a 2005 article at news.lifeway.com, King shared how it all came to be.
“We videotaped Henry as he spoke to groups at Glorieta, then transcribed the tapes and compiled it all as a first-person narrative and added the learning activities,” King said in the article written by Polly House, longtime writer and communications specialist for Lifeway.
House shared King’s description of “Experiencing God” being “different from what Southern Baptists were accustomed to studying. It was not a program, but an experience.”
“As people began responding to the message in the workbook, we saw lives changed,” King said in the article.
‘Spirit-filled, gracious man’
In the preface of the newly revised “Experiencing God,” Henry Blackaby describes King as a “spirit-filled, gracious man.”
“We spent many hours discussing how God walks with people and reveals His will,” Blackaby said of his time with King.
When Lifeway originally wanted to call the study “Knowing God,” Blackaby pushed back.
“My concern was that God’s people were already immersed in Bible studies and Christian books that gave them an enormous amount of information about God. As a result, sincere Christians were coming to church every week and learning more and more about God, but they were not experiencing Him. To many, He was simply a faraway God to be believed in, a doctrine to affirm, an invisible deity to whom they recited their prayers,” Blackaby explained.
“They needed to know He is a Person with whom Christians can enjoy an intimate, growing, loving fellowship.”
We’d love to know how the “Experiencing God” study has helped you in your walk with the Lord. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Message of ‘Experiencing God’ built on what author Henry Blackaby calls “Seven Realities”
- God is always at work around you.
- God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
- God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
- God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes and His ways.
- God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
- You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
- You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
(Source: “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God”)