Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Daily Invitation to Friendship With God by Bill Johnson

This is a collection of writings from Johnson's previously published book, Dreaming with God. There are 365 of the writings so this can be used as a yearly devotional. Some of the writings are more what one would consider a devotional – a near page of writing. Others are merely a sentence.

Some of the writings are informative or encouraging. Some of them I had a little trouble understanding. Here is an example: “A person's heart is more clearly seen by what they're willing to embrace without offense than by their expression of faith only in what they already understand.” (78) I am sure in the context of the original writing that statement was clear. To me, I wonder what I am supposed to be willing to embrace without offense.

Sometimes the writing does not seem to have a very positive message to me. For example, “The Church has often fallen to the notion that darkness is stronger than light,” (164) That's the entire reading for Day 145. I am not sure how I am supposed to be encouraged by that day's reading.

Sometimes it seems Johnson goes out on a limb. “The voice of the Lord is not an impression that we have to find language for. It is a direct word-for-word communication from God to us.” (111) That certainly has implications for those who claim the prophetic word and make a prediction that does not come to pass. It was interesting that Johnson, writing about the prophetic voice, emphasizes that it is “the responsibility of the hearer to discern whether or not a word is from God.” (115) What, then, is the responsibility of the person who claims to have a word from God?

There are some very good readings in this devotional and there are some that left me wanting more. Charismatic Christians who embrace the prophetic word and want to dream with God will find some inspiration here. These writings do not have the depth that some classic devotionals exhibit.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Bill Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor and is, along with his wife, are senior pastors of Bethel Church in Redding, California. He has a vision for seeing all believers experience God's presence and operate in the miraculous. Johnson and his wife have three children and nine grandchildren.

Destiny Image, 384 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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