Blackaby’s teaching throughout Experiencing God is heavily tilted toward discerning some particular “assignment” or “task” from God for a person’s life. His illustrations often begin with words like, “One of our churches believed that God was calling them to . . .” or “Our association was convinced that God wanted us to . . .”(pp. 23, 41) He writes on page 24, “Whenever God gives you a directive, it is always right.” What, though, is the nature of such directives? How does God give them? Blackaby’s conception of these “tasks” or “directives” seems to be a subjective impression on the mind about God’s will for a particular circumstance. God communicates directly to the mind of the Christian and tells him, almost audibly it seems, what should be done. “When God speaks to you in yourquiet time, immediately write down what He said,” (p.172). This belief that God gives direct, subjective impressions to His people is certainly not without merit. Perhaps most importantly, it underlines the reality that God is imminently present and involved in the world. He has not left it to run itself, but is determined to be a part of His people’s lives. There are, though, some cautions that should be raised about such a belief. (Read more)
Gilbert not only offered the criticisms contained in the article, but also made a recommendation for those of you asking, “So, if Blackaby’s version of “leading, guiding and directing” by the Holy Spirit is problematic, where can I learn the way of the Spirit’s leadership more perfectly?” Gilbert’s answer is to direct you to the teaching and writing ministry of Jim Eliff called Christian Communication Worldwide, whose stated ”compelling interests are the reformation of the church, biblical evangelism, and the hope for authentic revival in our day.” Elliff has written a book called, Led by the Spirit: How the Holy Spirit Guides the Believer. I’m intrigued. Whenever I get around to ordering it, perhaps I’ll write a few posts featuring his wisdom from the written Word of God on the subject.