Chapter 1 Summary – The Normal Christian Life
In this chapter Bill basically states his thesis for the book; that it’s normal for Christians to have an appetite for the supernatural; to just live in expectation of the kingdom. He tells a story about how a person was miraculously healed of multiple conditions at a wedding. He says that these kinds of things are becoming more common place or “normal” happenings in their community. Powerless Christianity is not normal. Normal Christianity is when believers move in God’s power.
At the end Bill argues that for this to happen a transformation of our minds needs to occurs when the Holy Spirit comes upon desperate people. Bill then says that our mandate is to raise up a generation that will understand normal Christianity as moving in God’s power.
Chapter 2 Summary – Commission Restored
This chapter is about our commission as humans to co-labor and co-create with God. The Lord’s plan has always been to share dominion with us over the creation. The Garden of Eden was the original area where God and humans would share the dominion over the earth. Eden was where Adam was to learn how to co-labor and co-create. The plan was for Adam & Eve to procreate and extend this arrangement of shared dominion. But of course this was lost by the Fall. Not only was it lost but now dominion over the world was given over to the satan. From that point on the Lord determined to take dominion back from the satan. Jesus came and did just that. But Jesus did not come in full divinity. But came as a man just like Adam (Romans 5) in order to win back the place of humanity to share dominion with God again. Even though he is 100% divinity, he emptied himself of the right to use His divinity. Instead He depended on the Holy Spirit’s guidance and empowerment. In so doing Jesus reclaimed humanity’s right to share dominion with God on earth again. His concluding point is that believers hold the Key of David, that is, that when believers declare the gospel to others we allow others to “see” the Father. When we fail to declare we prevent others from seeing the Father.
Chapter 3 Summary – Repent to See
In this chapter Bill talks about the need to have a repentant mind. By repentance he means having a changed mind and heart – a mind that has been changed to think differently and go in a different direction. The repentant mind believes for the kingdom to breakthrough. God has brought His dominion close to us again and made it available to us again. The kingdom is “at hand” for us to lay hold of again. We have to learn how to do this. It starts with having a transformed or new mind that understands and expects to be able to do this. The best description of a repentant mind and heart is in fact the sermon on the mount in the beatitudes. He says on pg 40 “This is how the repentant mind looks.” The beatitudes describe the “desperation” for God and see heaven and have earth be changed to be like heaven. Hearts and minds that are desperate, broken, mourn, are pure are most apt to see and lay hold on the kingdom.
When Bill Johnson explained about the Garden of Eden as an area under the dominion of both God and Adam. Eden represents God’s plan and dream of shared dominion over His creation with us. I don’t know that I thought of Eden that way.
Daily Impact: I just finished reading Heidi Baker’s book “Compelled by Love” – wow! If you haven’t read this book, move it to the top of your list. Seriously!! This whole book is a mediation on the Beatitudes and how she has seen them in her ministry in Mozambique. She shows over and over how a person who is in daily desperate need for the Lord to break through and believes for the kingdom being “at hand” (just right there in reach), are the people who see the Lord break through. I think that Bill Johnson is coming from the same place. The Lord has been calling me to “dispossess” and divest more and more; to let go of things, my own abilities and resources and to live in dependence upon him; to put myself in situations where I can only depend on Jesus breaking through; also to totally re-arrange my finances to make more of what he has given me available to him. Also reading what Bill Johnson says increases faith. right? We are co-inheritors with Christ. Christ has won back our rightful identities as those who share dominion with the Father over the world. The kingdom is “at hand”! The implication is that Father’s will for us is to always be able to access his dominion on earth. So pray until it happens. right?