Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Experience God

"Feed on the revealed promises of God rather than rely on an experience. Otherwise, life becomes one continual leap from one experiential lily pad to another."
To experience God. For those of us who are Christians, isn't that what we all want. Don't we want to feel God's presence and to know He is near. I believe this quote, coming from a very insightful post by Ed Welch, gets it right on. I know I often struggle in this area of knowing God's reality in my life. But it's because I'm looking to experience, or walking by sight, when God has given me all that I need in His Word.

Ed explains this concept a little more:
What we find in Scripture are the deeper ways of God with his people. “Sometimes God puts his children to bed in the dark” is one way to put it. Another way is this: in this era, our God has chosen to make walking by faith more fundamental, and more blessed, than walking by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). This means that there will be many times when we can see the goodness of the Lord with our very eyes. But there will be other times when our experience says “God is far away” and he counters “I am with you.” In those cases, his words win.

Just expand the word “sight” in “walking by sight” to include all things sensory, such as our emotions. Then we are back on track: God is speaking right to us. He is not far away. This teaching gets to the heart of Scripture. Scripture exists because we need revelation. We can’t see reality clearly with the naked eye. Scripture is God’s technology that allows us to see everything we need to see.

You don’t feel his presence? Here are God’s words to you.
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)
There it is. Our senses say that we are destitute; God reveals that we have spiritual food that is profoundly satisfying. Our goal is to hear the word of the Lord in such a way that it drowns out our less-informed emotions.
And here's his conclusion:
How many times have I wanted Jesus’ audible voice and physical presence? I would even have settled for some handwriting in the sky or on the living room wall. But there is a better way… Believe. Believe in the one who has spoken promises and has backed up all those promises with his self-sacrificial actions.

So many followers of Jesus feel spiritually handicapped because they don’t feel the presence of God. They feel blind and numb. All they can do is trust in the God who has spoken to them and, because of him, put one foot in front of the other, care about others, and faithfully slog through the mire of life. Well, it’s time to track these people down and give them a big fat kiss because they are the ones who are knocking on the door of the abundant life. They are learning to believe what they don’t feel, and they are blessed. They are the heroes we can emulate.

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