One of the things I have felt strongly about is that in the days we live in, there will be an intensified war over the subject of the goodness of God. Those outside the church will question his goodness outright, while many within the body of Christ will question God’s goodness in subtle ways.
Many Christians have hit deep disappoints, so messages that help point us back to the divine goodness of our Father is incredibly important. This book has many nuggets that cause me to underline them and ponder them over and over. Bill has great perspectives that make you think and rethink.
I wish at times that Bill Johnson would dig into some of the more difficult Scriptures that people get confused with, like the book of Job, but it’s clear that dissecting those subjects in a deep manner is not what forms his unique identity and calling. In addition, his simplicity on how he sees things can be very refreshing. I am learning more and more that knowledge can just puff us up if its not connected to heart experience. In addition, our desire for depth in theology can remove a child like faith that embraces mystery but pursues more relentlessly.
I appreciate Bill’s focus to trust no matter what and keep his eyes fixed on God’s goodness. It is an example for all of us.
This book will challenge those who do not think healing is for today or those who have given up on growing in healing. It is certainly a challenge to live a life that believes in the miraculous. But it must have a premise that lives in the eternal goodness of our Father.
Here are some thoughts that I highlighted and am pondering:
- Saying God allowed a terrible thing to happen is pretty much the same as saying He caused it.
- “It’s not the belief in His goodness that threatens us. It’s our definition of this goodness that has brought much debate and sometimes conflict and turmoil into the family of God.” (p. 32)
- “Creating doctrines of no miracles today not only contradicts His Word, it is a sneaky way to avoid responsibility.” (p. 32)
- His brief teaching on Ephesians 3:20-21 is insightful on the power of our prayers and the impact of our imagination in relating to God.
- “We will know our mind is renewed when the impossible looks logical.” (p. 38)
- I was challenged when he addressed how the church pushes most great promises in Scripture to the millennium, removing us from experiencing great manifestations of the kingdom right now.
- “God’s people are to be known for their hope.” (p. 98)
- “The one with the most hope will always have the most influence.” (p. 99)
- Speaking to today’s culture, he says, “unsanctified mercy has taken the place of true mercy.” (p. 107)
- The church experiencing many parallels that Israel faced in the dessert was very spot on.
One of the best quotes I pull from this book is one that resonates with my heart to see God restore our relationship capacity in the church:
“It’s a Father’s kingdom. In other words, all conversation about kingdom is about family. And once we’ve left the subject of family, we’ve left the subject of kingdom.” (p. 164)
- “It’s a theological crime to change the intent and message of the Scriptures in order to make me feel comfortable with my ministry experience.” (p. 170)
- “What we don’t know is sometimes as important as what we do know.” (p. 187)
Bill Johnson mentions his father getting cancer and passing away, a story that brings me to tears every time I read or hear it. How Bill and the rest of his family responded to that sickness and loss is an incredible testimony of engaging God’s goodness in the midst of it being challenged in what you see.
I’ve been challenged to my core regarding the goodness of God, in many situations and trials that have come in my life. Some challenges have gripped me so deep I wasn’t sure I could make it. But leaning deeply into the simplicity that God is good and the devil is bad, has anchored me to a deeper trust. I don’t blame Him or claim Him in regard to the storms in my life, but I look to use everything that happens in my life for God’s glory. I appreciate that Bill is living a life that dwells in God’s goodness, takes responsibility to spread that goodness, while undoing the works of the devil all around the world.