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Holiness- God’s Plan for Fullness of Life – A Book Review

Title: Holiness – God’s Plan for Fullness of Life

Author: Dr. Henry T. Blackaby

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tn.

Copyright: 2003

Category: Christian Living, Spiritual Growth, General

Cover: Paperback

Price: Suggested Retail: $9.98

About the Author

Dr. Henry T. Blackaby is the founder and President Emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, an organization ‘built to help people experience God’.

Dr. Blackaby was born in British Columbia.  He has devoted his lifetime to ministry.  He studied English and History at the University of British Columbia as an undergrad and earned his B.D. and Th. M. from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.  He holds four honorary doctorate degrees!

In 1970, Dr. Blackaby followed God’s call to pastor a tiny church in Saskatoon, Canada.  That church, Faith Baptist Church grew, and led to the founding of thirty-eight new churches and became a pastoral training center.  Dr. Blackaby went on to serve on staff at the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  He also served as special assistant to the presidents of the International Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources.  Officially retired, he still provides consultative leadership in the Christian community.

He has published many spiritually influential messages in his lifetime, most notably and my favorite: Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (1990) which has sold 7 million copies and has been translated into 45 languages.  The other favorite of mine which I have also blogged about is Experiencing God Day-by-Day Devotional. Both of these books won the Gold Medallion Award.

His works are very much sound in Biblical doctrine and very uplifting and yet convicting.

(This information was taken from Blackaby Ministries International website.)

Holiness is the Highway over Which God Brings Revival

Back on July 25, 2018 in reading my daily devotional from Experiencing God Day-by-Day  by Dr. Blackaby, the devotional prompted me to study more in depth, Isaiah 35:1-10 where Isaiah talks about the ‘Highway of Holiness’.  This prompted me to write a blog about it and to order this book by Dr. Blackaby, entitled Holiness…..

This is the heading on the back of this book.  To quote Dr. Blackaby, “If we were to talk in very serious terms about repentance, many of us would bow our heads and pray, Oh, God, there is any lost person here, I pray that they will hear this word and repent.’  But God is shouting to His people saying, ‘It is not the lost who need to repent–you need to repent!’  We are the ones who have moved away from Him.”

In this book, Blackaby addresses the need for accountability to God’s word, for seeing sin from God’s perspective, and for directing our lives back to Him, at every level!

God urgently wants His people to be holy–only then can you experience God’s plan for fullness in your life.

The Introduction

The book is an easy read.  It is only 106 pages long with only three chapters and an introduction. In the introduction, Dr. Blackaby shares a bit about his childhood and his father’s strong call of God on his father and his life as he held true to his personal holiness.  As a young man his life and message were shaped, as was his father’s, with deep conviction of the return of the Lord and its accompanying accountability.  He was greatly influenced by Oswald Chambers and Duncan Campbell.

Dr. Blackaby, trembled before God as he realized God’s people no longer feared God nor sin, and no longer sought holiness!  (This was in the 1960’s, imagine how he feels today!)  He prayered fervently and faithfully proclaimed God’s Word and Truths to His people.  Many were saved and many new churches created over the years of His faithful service.

His life has been shaped by God through these experiences of the revivals he has witnessed.  He remains, passionately burdened to share these much-needed Truths with God’s people.  These are Truths are the subject of the 3 chapters in this book:

1) The loss of the fear of God

2) Seeing sin from God’s perspective

3) The Highway of Holiness

Chapter One – The Loss of the Fear of God

The opening statement of this Chapter is so true: ‘It is the people of God who can truly shape a nation!  Leaders and governements can influence a nation,but there is no group of people who can determine the coming years of a nation like God’s people!’  ‘As go the people of God, so goes the redemption of the world!’

He says we are closer to either revival or judgment than we have every been!  If we look at the history of God’s dealings with His people it ought to cause us to tremble.  ‘But it is the loss of the fear of God that characterizes God’s people in America today.’

This chapter is very, very convicting.  Dr. Blackaby talks about revival and the fact that revival is for the believers who have slipped away. You can’t revive what never had life.  In other words, those who are lost, must first be saved. Revival is for those who had it and have let it go.  We do need REVIVAL for all of the believers who are living in sin and have no fear of God.  No fear of sin.   They believe because they once believed that they are saved and they don’t have a clue of what is going to happen to them on judgment day.  God does judge some while here on the earth.   Just take a look at your family and what is happening in families that were once God-fearing, Bible believing families!

‘When He comes in our day, no one will be able to speak except God.  When God is through speaking, you will know how He sees what you have done.’

Chapter Two – Looking at Sin from God’s Perspective

‘God is calling His people to return to Him and be a highway of holiness over which He can come to the lost world.  First we must see our sin from God’s perspective. We must build our relationships with God in such a way that our lives can be a highway of holiness over which God reaches the rest of our nation in a sweeping, spiritual awakening in the hearts and lives of those who do not know Him.’

Dr. Blackaby feels, as so do I and many I know, that the hedge of protection fell from around the USA in the 1960’s with the feminism movement, the birth control pills, free sex, etc.  When God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 ‘If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. He clearly indicates that the redemption of America waits on the repentance of the people of God.’

‘If God’s people do not sense that the problem is with them, then America does not stand a chance of revival or survival!’ (Amen, my agreement!)

If revival in American depended on your prayer life would there be a revival?  Are you praying, are you praying with your family, with your friends, your church?  In your church alone, there are enough of God’s people, if they were serious with God, they could turn the course of our nation! 

One definition of sin in 1 John 3:4 is that sin is lawlessness (or rebellion).  Rebellion is when one knows what God says and chooses not to obey.  James 4:17  says Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.  These are just a few of the many verses in Scripture which tells us what sin looks like from God’s perspective.   Blackaby makes a very strong case explaing how we cannot ignore what Scripture says. God has given us His Word and told us what sin looks like and how it grieves Him and He hates sin.  We must deal with our sin immediately.

I will leave my summary of Chapter two at this spot.  You MUST read this book and read the rest of what Dr. Blackaby has to say about Looking at Sin from God’s perspective.   It is all about Him!  It is not about us.  We are here for His purpose, not ours!

Chapter Three – The Highway of Holiness

Dr. Blackaby begins this chapter as he did in that devotional of July 25, with Isaiah 35:8-10 (NKJV):

8 A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it;
It shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk there,
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Dr. Blackaby refers to a Revival in Brownwood, Texas in 1996 and where many people felt the presence of God and were convicted of their past sins and came forward to repent and confess their sins.  He talks about the message he was hearing from God during that four day event.   He heard from God that if sin is not exposed when we preach that there is something wrong with our lives in their holiness.

The Scripture says that when God builds a highway, it is a highway of holiness!  The highway of holiness is something that God creates, but when God creates a highway of holiness, it exposes sin like a refiner’s fire!

Scripture says if we meet the condition of holiness in our lives, He will bless  us.  We must come to Him with clean hearts.  We must confess our sin and repent.  A pastor who preaches a message to a congregation with unrepented sin will not see fruit and neither will an individual receive answered prayer when they come to Him with unconfessed sin and without a repentant heart.

This chapter is so strong.  I will not go further except to say that the Word of God is truly spoken in this short book.  It is so convicting and powerful, I pray that you will purchase this book and sit down and read it asap!

I highly recommend this book and all of Dr. Henry T. Blackaby’s books and those of others in his ministry.

You may click here to take you to Amazon or click here to go to where you may purchase this book or others of Dr. Blackaby if you feel called to do so.

To God be the Glory!

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