In his book, Experiencing God, Henry and Richard Blackaby highlighted seven fundamentals of experiencing God. These are:
1. The Bible is your guide for faith and practice.
2. Jesus is your Way.
3. To be a servant of God, you must be moldable and remain in the hand of the Master.
4. To know God, you must experience Him.
5. God is love. His will is always best.
6. God is all-knowing. His directions are
7. God is all-powerful. He can enable you to do His will.
As Christians, we will face decisions or circumstances that are matters of life and death. These are times of severe anxiety and stress. What do I do, or where do I go are often the hard questions to be answered, but if we remember who is leading us, we will be able to live by faith. The path of the believer is often paved with tough decisions. The answers are often times not logical; it will require us to do things that will be viewed by others as nonsensical. If God is leading we should not fear. In Proverbs 16:25 Solomon stated, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” God has a plan for our lives and what He desires of us is to trust Him, even when it does not seem logical to us. We often find ourselves complaining about the things and circumstances we find ourselves facing, rather than looking to God to find out where He is leading us, and how He is using us to accomplish His plan. If God does not lead you by the shortest path to your goal do not resist. Follow Him willingly and trust Him to lead you safely around unseen obstacles. The Blackaby’s built their thesis around experiencing God based on Seven Realities of Experiencing God: 
1. God is always at work around you.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you.
Have you ever heard the voice of God through the Holy Spirit speaking to you? Sometimes He speaks through a song, a dream, a sermon, a prayer time, a passage of scripture, one’s intuition, through quiet times, or through someone else. One thing is certain; the Holy Spirit is always speaking. The Spirit is speaking to the unsaved and to the saved. To the unsaved He is convicting them of their sins, and the saved He is calling to a higher level of service and holy (set apart) living as stated in John 16:8, “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.” To the saved He is convicting them of righteousness as stated in John 16. In this passage of scripture the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin and righteousness and the coming judgment as well as guides into all truth.
John 16:4-15 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer. “But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
Both the unsaved and the saved are being convicted of the coming judgment. The Holy Spirit dwells in every Christian from the moment of conversion as stated in Rom. 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Ephesians 1:13). In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” There is nothing we have to do but confess, repent, and accept, then at that moment the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our heart. Now, there is a need to be set apart for service, sanctified. This is where the Holy Spirit gives us power to perform the tasks He has for us by giving us gifts.
When the Holy Spirit speaks, it is important to understand several things. Asking and answering the following questions can discern the message.
- Where is He speaking?
- What is He saying?
- To whom is he speaking?
- What is it I must do?
The Book of Acts has provided a unique view of the leading of the Holy Spirit in missions; it has illustrated in many stories the complete picture of missions. The views in Acts show missions within the context of the Church. It also highlights the prominence of the Holy Spirit within the context of missions. The presentation of the Gospel message is paramount in the effectuating of the mission. The story of Peter’s encounter with Cornelius identifies a new paradigm of “mission(s)”; the Holy Spirit sent Peter and Cornelius on a mission, a mission towards each other. This mission was to move each of them closer to His nature. Peter was directed to see people as God sees people. Cornelius was led to experience salvation as a gift that is not deserved or earned, thereby entering into fellowship with God. The Nature of God with emphasis on the term Missio Dei is missions. The phrase Missio Dei, a Latin word for “the sending of God,” is understood as “being sent”.
As you read the book of Acts, there is a resounding affirmation of the Apostles’ dependency on the leading of the Holy Spirit. They never made a decision no matter how insignificant it might be without hearing from the Holy Spirit. They were not ashamed to say that the Holy Spirit told them to do or say something. Their work was prosperous because of their reliance on the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit. When God speaks through the Holy Spirit to the Church, to the individual, the most important point is what are we going to do? Are we going to be obedient and keep moving forward in unity and prayer? Or are we going to allow our personal feelings to get in the way of the leading of the Holy Spirit? What will we not give up, or change that God wants to change in order for His power to be manifested in our lives? Are we going to allow traditions, personal preferences, personal agendas, and rituals to stand in the way of the leading of the Holy Spirit? We have to be committed to the advancing of the Kingdom of God. We are assisting in God’s missions. Of such, we should not allow our desires to get in the way of fulfilling God’s will for His Kingdom. God is busy building His Kingdom; that is His mission. He is not partial and He uses those who are available and those He chooses.
Steve Ogne & Tim Roehl in their book, TransforMissional, stated that we must be diligent in seeking to discern where God is working, how he wants us to participate in His mission, what are the next steps He wants us to take and whom do we need to join us in this journey of accomplishing God’s mission. I am confident that God does not work in a vacuum, no; He always connects us with others in order to advance His purposes for His Kingdom. Therefore, since our responsibility is to partner with God in advancing His Kingdom. We must be certain that we are hearing from Him. Building this Church is about advancing the Kingdom of God. Do not let anyone distract you from the call of God in your life with regards to building His Kingdom. We have in Acts 8-10 three great conversions. It starts with Peter witnessing to Cornelius, Philip witnessing to the Ethiopian Eunuch, and now Jesus ministering to Paul. In these three conversions all three men received the Holy Spirit; Cornelius by believing, the Ethiopian we were not told how, Saul we were not told how. In these three instances God spoke to the unsaved and they responded, but they needed a human factor to assist them in their new walk. In the case of Peter and Cornelius, the Holy Spirit spoke directly to the Gentile and to the Christian, Peter, as the two men obeyed the Holy Spirit, salvation was brought to the Gentile and his family.
When Philip witnessed to the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip was careful to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and salvation came to Ethiopia. In Acts we see Jesus ministering to Paul, and the Holy Spirit sending Ananias and Barnabas to minister to this new Christian. The men that the Holy Spirit used, in Scriptures, to assist Him in bringing the Gospel had to deal with their individual prejudices or preferences before they could participate in the mission of the Kingdom. The Holy Spirit convinced them that God chose the seeker for this purpose. We will be called to do things that we think are beneath us, or to speak to individuals that we think we are not comfortable being around. Again this is not about us this is about God’s Kingdom. In the story of Peter and Cornelius we see God using an apostle and a renowned preacher to advancing God’s Kingdom. God also used Phillip the evangelist to advance His Kingdom. Here in this passage we now see God using a regular member (one with no ministerial title or notoriety) “mathētēs” God is in the business of building His Kingdom. He has issued the invitation for each of us to join Him. Since this is God’s Kingdom, He has expectations for those who will follow Him. He is Sovereign and can do and say what He will. As servants of this King we serve at His pleasure and good will. We are able to know and do God’s will when we are in a relationship with Him.
Henry Blackaby states that, “Your relationship with God must come first. Out of your walk with God, He accomplishes His plans for our world.” He wants a love relationship and He wants to involve you in His Kingdom. Therefore, He sends others along with you on this journey. It is therefore important to know who our companions are. In Acts 4:13 the Bible states, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Peter and John were able to participate in what God was doing because they had a relationship with God. There are so many examples of men and women in the Bible who have contributed many great things for the Kingdom of God because they had a relationship with God and God used them mightily.
Henry Blackaby says, “When you labor where He is already at work, He accomplishes His purposes through you. If you are worn out or stressed by your duties perhaps you are not properly yoked to your Master. Together we are to worship God. Worship is the Key to knowing God. Among the Prophets that were in the church were Barnabas and Saul (Paul). As you set out to seek the will of God for your life you have to be particular about who is in your inner circle. The people you seek counsel from, and those who you allow to influence you. Seek for people who are Kingdom builders (Kingdomites). Look for people who are more concerned with joining God in His activities rather than pursuing their own. Like Pau, they will place personal evangelism at a high priority. Bill Hybels said, “I believe the highest value in personal evangelism is to be attuned to the movement and prompting of the Holy Spirit and to play only the role you are intended to play in another person’s life. Second to that value (and it’s a close second) is being radically inclusive of where people are when you find them. Not recklessly condoning the sins they confess, but rather accepting them just as they are.” Find people who are hungry for a relationship with God. Find people who are constantly in prayer and fasting. Find people who are always in the Word. When we seek the will of God for our life He will put us in the company of all kinds of people. Our vision is to be a multicultural church that is evangelizing, “discipling” and fellowshipping. As they worship God they receive an invitation to join God in His mission. If you want to do the will of God then get into a relationship with Him. Do not pursue your own desires and then invite God to join you. Go and develop a relationship with Him so that God can prepare you and commission you to advance His Kingdom. It is not enough to merely connect with the right person and worship God, but we have to obey Gods’ instructions. This begins with accepting His invitation. Where God is sending you, the work that He has prepared for you, requires the invitation of God, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the affirming of the saints, and your obedience. Note that while you can do without the affirmation of the saints your work is best carried out within the context of the community of faith. This is a key Biblical (kingdom) principle that is often taken for granted. If you and I are going to participate in the God’s work, we must seek to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In conclusion, God is working, but are you ready to submit to the call of God on your life? You have to get into a relationship with God by worshipping Him and accepting His invitation to participate in Kingdom building. The Holy Spirit is the Key person in the commission and sending, it is His plan and He has all the instructions for the journey. When we recognize that the Sovereign God is inviting us to be on mission with Him, our attitudes will be changed. It is never the case that God cannot do something, therefore, He asks us to do it; God wants to be in a loving relationship. This is accomplished through experiencing God. We will see everyone, as a soul that needs to be reunited with God, and it is our responsibility to accept God’s invitation for us to walk with this person on this journey. I will never be able to be with this person during the entire journey, but for the period of time that God has placed me in his or her life I am going to do my part.
 Blackaby, Experiencing God, Kindle Locations 70-71.
 These realities are documented and deliberated in detail in Henry Blackaby’s book Experiencing God.
 Blackaby, Experiencing God, Kindle Locations 683-684.
 Bill Hybels, Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith, (Zondervan 2008, Kindle Edition), Kindle Locations 1595-1598.
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