Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda, Bill Johnson (Destiny Image)

It’s the kind of book that may leave you thinking that the author inhabits a different world to you. But here’s someone with confidence that the Bible means what it says and expects the experience of God enjoyed by the saints in scripture to be the same for us today. For Johnson, ‘hosting the presence’ is a life’s passion. He builds a case for its importance’ by focusing on various Bible passages that illuminate how people knew the presence of God. It’s also liberally illustrated from church history and his own life at Bethel Church, Redding, California, which sees miracles and manifestations of God’s presence, and has become a magnate for those hungry for personal and corporate revival. If this sounds at all, out of your league, it is very practical as Johnson takes us beyond the clichés to ask what it actually means for you to be a conscious host of God’s presence, going beyond the theological truth of ‘Christ within’ to what this might mean in your daily life. Even if you don’t buy into the renewal scene, you will still find it helpful. It’s written in non academic accessible language, and perhaps best read devotionally, and prayerfully in small chunks to allow the profound insights to sink deep within. Though deserving high commendation, the links between one chapter and the next are not always clear and in places an editorial touch would have helped slightly clunky expression. But most will forgive this as they enjoy the God bathed stories that open up the possibilities of knowing God in a deeper and more tangible way and become better hosts themselves.