Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Experience Factor

“Knowing God does not come through a program or a method. It is a relationship with a Person. It is an intimate love relationship with God.” ~ Henry Blackaby; Experiencing God 

Our relationship with God is not based on facts and figures, but on experience. There is evidence for the existence of God and the reliability of the Bible. It is important to have this, because it doesn’t matter how sincerely we believe something. If what we believe is not real then our belief does us no good. 

Through the Bible we also learn about who God is and what He has done through history. The knowledge we gain through the Bible helps us to understand God’s character and the purpose behind our creation. We can learn this, but the knowledge will not make us close to God.

Knowledge is important in a relationship, but it is not the most important part. The most important is experience. Going through life together. It is being together and experiencing life with each other that strengthens a relationship. 

I could learn all sorts of facts about Rebecca St. James. I could find out her birthday, her favorite food, the names of her brothers and sister, her favorite color, where she went to school, her favorite movie, and other interesting facts about her. My knowledge of her might be pretty comprehensive, but it doesn’t mean I have a relationship with her. I don’t have a relationship with Rebecca St. James because my I am lacking in knowledge, but because we lack experience. We have not experienced life together. It is that experience which produces a relationship. 

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew the Scriptures. Many of them devoted their lives to memorizing and studying the Law and the Prophets. They knew what the Scripture said and they had a knowledge of God. Though they had an impressive knowledge of God, their knowledge was incomplete. They knew facts about God, but they didn’t know God personally, they had missed out on experience. They didn’t live their lives in trust of God, and therefore they never experienced God first hand in their lives. Because they lacked a real relationship with God, they missed Jesus when He came.

The apostle Paul wrote; So that’s why faith is the key! God’s promise is given to us as a free gift. And we are certain to receive it, whether or not we follow Jewish customs, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe (Romans 4:16; NLT).

  By observing the life of Abraham we realize that for Paul faith wasn't just the acceptance of doctrine, but it was a life of action.  Abraham had faith because his life reflected the fact that he trusted God.

The key to experiencing God is faith. Abraham lived a life of faith and that led to experiencing God working through him. The relationship Abraham had with God was a product of trusting the promises of God and living as if those promises would come to pass. 

If we are going to have a relationship with God it is going to take us trusting the promises of God. Not only the promise of eternal life, but the promise of being new creations and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. By stepping out in faith we experience God and our relationship with Him grows.


Anonymous said...

Knowledge is necessary. You cannot have a relationship with RSJ if you do not know a lot about her.

Some times one has to actually take the risk of meeting another to actually have a relationship.

Blessings, Husker Red

pbsteele said...

Knowledge is necessary, but not knowledge alone. Not only do we need the trivial knowledge, we also need the knowledge that can only come through experience.

Accept the Differences

Most of us understand that people are different and those differences are a good thing. The world would be a boring place if everyone beli...