My church’s ladies’ Bible study group has chosen to do Henry & Richard Blackaby’s (and Claude King’s) book, “EXPERIENCING GOD“, this time around. They needed to step away from Beth Moore, for a while, as too many of the ladies were focusing on Beth’s teaching, instead of on what God was trying to teach them. And, the leaders seriously believe that God was calling them to do “Experiencing God“.
We’re only just beginning week 2, but already I can see that I’m going to have difficulty with this study. While I’m enjoying it, and certainly finding things in it that I can use, I also have “experienced” (pardon the pun) some theological “red flags“, too.
For example, on page 15 of the workbook, the authors write, “‘If you ask the wrong question, you will get the wrong answer.’ Sometimes we assume that every question is legitimate. However, when we ask the wrong question, we may find an answer but remain disoriented to God and His activity. Always check to see whether you have asked the right question before you pursue the answer.”
I honestly don’t believe that there are “illegitimate” questions. In my opinion, every question is legitimate, as that’s how we learn (by asking questions).
And, I don’t believe that we have to ask the “right” questions to get a proper answer from God. God is not spiteful, giving us wrong answers just because we haven’t asked the “right” question. God knows we’re fallible human beings, and He is always going to give us His right answer, regardless.
In a recent devotional my mom sent me –after we’d discussed this particular “red flag” from the study– God confirmed my beliefs. The devotional said this:
“…May we come to a realization that You’re pleased even in our searching, and You [God] honor our honest questions. Thank You for accepting us in our struggles and understanding our doubts…” [Charles Swindoll, “For Daily Doubts” devotional, excerpted from “The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1″]
God honors our honest questions. They don’t have to be “right”, they just have to be honest. “Seek… and you will find”, God says. (Matthew 6:33).
Another “red flag” I had was on page 14, where the author writes, “Your experience is valid only as it is confirmed in the Scriptures.” This just didn’t sit right with me, and I’m still not sure why… I just know that I get irked by it. I have to research this one a bit more, though, before I can say why I think it’s a “red flag”. (If you have an opinion about it, please leave a comment!).
Anyhoo. This isn’t to say that I don’t like this study. As I said before, there are definitely things that I’m getting out of it ~ enjoying ~ too. For example, I like that we are encouraged to look to see how God consistently responded in the Scriptures, and remember that He will still respond in this way to situations, today. God never changes. And, I liked that I’m being reminded that this life is not about me/us… it’s about God. This is God’s story… and we are priviledged to play a part in it.
My favorite part of this study, though, is how the author keeps stressing that God reveals what He is about to do to His people! Here’s a quote from the book, page 23:
“Whenever God prepares to do something,
He reveals to a person or His people
what He is about to do.“
Right after this sentence, there was a verse quoted… Amos 3:7, which says, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets.” And, I thought to myself that this verse would be great to add to my collection of “proof” that God reveals the future to people. So, I went to my notebook to add this verse… and found that it was the same verse that I’d last added to my notebook! LOL. How cool is that?!
Anyway. I will share more from this study as the weeks go on. But, for now, that’s all I wanted to mention. 😉