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Experiencing God

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  • Experiencing God

    OK, so we're all familiar with the language of "cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus" and "I had an experience with God" type-talk. My question is, how far does this really go in reality? I understand it, and can find biblical support for it to an extent, but I think it's being played up to the point of being totally unrealistic and almost a bit nauseating. I think on an objective basis, comparatively speaking, if we were to compare the effects of coffee vs. the effects of these God experiences, coffee would win. Now I'm being rather facetious, but I think the point is clear.

    What do you think?

    PS: Thank God for coffee.
    Last edited by Scrawly; 06-26-2015, 10:57 PM.

  • #2
    "Experiencing God" is the name of a study by Henry Blackaby - I like a lot of what Blackaby says in that study.

    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      "Experiencing God" is the name of a study by Henry Blackaby - I like a lot of what Blackaby says in that study.

      Well do tell what your experience of God consists of. I could answer this, so I am not mocking the reality of experiencing God, but I think there are problems with the popular characterization and/or how it's perceived by the laypeople.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
        Well do tell what your experience of God consists of.
        My "experience of God"?

        I could answer this, so I am not mocking the reality of experiencing God, but I think there are problems with the popular characterization and/or how it's perceived by the laypeople.
        I'm really not understanding where you're going with this.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          My experience of God is simply my relationship with Christ.

          My relationship with Christ is one of submission.

          Does this answer your question?
          Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
            My experience of God is simply my relationship with Christ.
            And, then there are those remarkable "experiences" beyond the overall journey. Some of my most treasured "experiences of God" came as I had opportunity to pray with somebody who was asking Jesus to forgive their sins and become their Savior.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
              OK, so we're all familiar with the language of "cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus" and "I had an experience with God" type-talk. My question is, how far does this really go in reality? I understand it, and can find biblical support for it to an extent, but I think it's being played up to the point of being totally unrealistic and almost a bit nauseating. I think on an objective basis, comparatively speaking, if we were to compare the effects of coffee vs. the effects of these God experiences, coffee would win. Now I'm being rather facetious, but I think the point is clear.

              What do you think?

              PS: Thank God for coffee.
              I do not drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage; however, I imbibed various such ― sometimes a lot ― during earlier of my 8 plus decades in this world. If any were as great as you imply, I would not have forsaken them all, because of adverse physical consequences.

              However, with regard to "experience with God' I could write a book.

              When I was a student at a Baptist Junior College, sitting beside my student-job boss (the basketball coach) I heard a young military veteran give a simple unremarkable testimony with regard to the fact that God has "saved" him while he was in the Navy. I was not impressed. He ended his talk with this challenge: "If anyone feels called into full-time Christian service, please raise your hand." I had never thought of any such thing ― I had come to the college to acquire the minimum college credit required for enrollment in Naval Aviation cadet training.

              But then the Navy vet said (IIRC): 'If you wish to dedicate your life to God, raise your hand". That struck a cord in me, so I raised my hand. And then he said, "All who has raised their hands please come forward." To which my immediate response was a negative sense of self-consciousness ― I did not wish to get up in front of all those people; but within a split-second of that sense of self-consciousness, my entire being was flooded with a quite different sense that replaced the initial sense of negative self-consciousness. I was filled with what I did not have words in my vocabulary at the time to describe (but when I later read the New Testament, I found such words in the Bible, such as "Holy Spirit"). An unforgettable part of what happened in me that night was that, when I went forward to the front of the room ― devoid of any negative sense of self-consciousness ― and shook hands with faculty members and others who happened to be standing in a line to shake hands with people who had "come forward", there were at least two with regard to whom when I shook their hands, I was keenly aware of a sense that what I was experiencing within myself was not in them (one such was the college dean, who had been a pilot in the Navy), whereas in the case of others, I had a sense that what was within me was flowing freely through me and them. One other thing: in the case of those whose hands seemed like dead fish as I held them, when I looked into their eyes, I saw fear.

              A long-term consequence of this first conscious experience with God is that ever since I have been acutely aware of a certain providential presence and leading ― I have never since been alone, no matter how alone I have often been with regard to people.

              I'd like to tell another story of experience with God, but the physical problems that are exacerbated when I work at the computer require that I stop writing for now; perhaps I may share one of more other stories of personal experience with God later in this thread, if anyone may be interested.

              By the way, none of said experiences have been matters of emotion or mere "experience" in and of themselves, like the effects of drinking caffeinated beverages ― they have all precipitated radical life-changing consequences.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think God has been simply a part of my everyday experience since I was a little girl. I don't really find it remarkable, its just there. I talk about God, as if He were an actual person in the same room. I even struggle with understanding a lot. I certainly have respect for Him. I've certainly had some issues and some more remarkable encounters.
                A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                George Bernard Shaw

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                • #9
                  So, I just had another neat "experience of God" experience!

                  The guy in our Church who is awaiting a liver transplant had to go to the emergency room today - his kidneys were failing, and he was in tremendous pain.

                  His wife texted me, asking me to pray, and saying they were in ICU at Methodist Hospital in Houston.

                  Her text kinda "read funny" - it just seemed to be a different tone or something than her previous texts about him. She was saying something about toxins in his brain, and he was completely out of his head and yelling at people and being uncooperative --- not like him at all.

                  I did pray, but then I ate dinner with my family, but kept thinking I need to go to the hospital, so I went. 48 miles one way, and for some reason, Houston traffic was really heavy for a Saturday evening, but, got there safely.

                  The nurse at the ICU desk explained that visiting hours were over, but she saw that I was a pastor, and told me to go on down to his room, but asked me to be brief.

                  I could hear Jim yelling as I walked toward his room, and I could hear the nurses (three of them) trying to calm him, explaining they need to administer his pain and "queasy" meds.

                  As I rounded the corner, Jim looked out in the hall, and saw me - for a split second he looked confused - then instantly called out "PASTOR!!!!"

                  I walked over to him, took his hand, and said, "Jim, let's cooperate and let these nurses do their jobs". He immediately calmed down, relaxed, seemed to be in his right mind, and allowed them to administer the meds. I stayed with him about 10 minutes when his wife showed up (she had been in the ICU waiting area) and she was stunned that he was so calm and cooperative.

                  So, if you're wanting "Experiencing God" experiences, I guess I'd consider that a recent (couple hours ago) example.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                    I'd like to tell another story of experience with God, but the physical problems that are exacerbated when I work at the computer require that I stop writing for now; perhaps I may share one of more other stories of personal experience with God later in this thread, if anyone may be interested.
                    So sorry about that, JR, but looking forward to reading another of your stories!

                    By the way, none of said experiences have been matters of emotion or mere "experience" in and of themselves, like the effects of drinking caffeinated beverages ― they have all precipitated radical life-changing consequences.
                    Yeah, that!
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OK, so another, while JR is in the bullpen getting ready to come out and pitch!

                      The guy who was one of my troublemakers at a previous Church (the change them or move them prayer)... He's the guy who stopped by my office one day and told me I was free to do whatever I wanted, and he would no longer be fighting me. Long story short, he found out he had cancer, and had less than 6 months to live.

                      Anyway, one day I got a phone call from his daughter telling me "Daddy's been in bed the last few days, and I wonder if, maybe in a day or two, you might stop and visit him". I was at a computer client (I was a bivocational pastor, running my own computer consulting business) in the middle of helping the business owner with a problem. I had excused myself to take the call, then came back to talk to him. Suddenly, I got that "feeling" (can't explain it) that I needed to go see Hubert RIGHT AWAY. It was pretty clear that something was up.

                      I apologized to the business owner, and promised I'd come back the next day to finish up. I drove the 60 or so miles to Hubert's house, and his daughter met me at the door. She said, "he's in the back bedroom". I walked in, and he was lying in bed, looking pretty frail. I sat down on the bed next to him, and he reached up to take my hand. We spoke small talk for a few minutes - he mentioned he'd rather be fishing than lying there..... he had lost his wife only 3 months earlier to a massive heart attack. He looked at me and said, "I want you do my funeral - just like you did Momma's" (he always called his wife "Momma")

                      I was mildly surprised, but her funeral, indeed, went well, and the family had expressed that they wanted me to "bury daddy" too.

                      I told him "Sure, Hubert - when the time comes".

                      He smiled, then knda laughed/coughed, then looked me in the eye and said, "you're a fine fella".

                      Then he closed his eyes and died.

                      I am so glad I didn't wait "a day or two" like his daughter had allowed, because I would have missed this "Experience of God".
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
                        I think God has been simply a part of my everyday experience since I was a little girl. I don't really find it remarkable, its just there. I talk about God, as if He were an actual person in the same room. I even struggle with understanding a lot. I certainly have respect for Him. I've certainly had some issues and some more remarkable encounters.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                          So, I just had another neat "experience of God" experience!

                          The guy in our Church who is awaiting a liver transplant had to go to the emergency room today - his kidneys were failing, and he was in tremendous pain.

                          His wife texted me, asking me to pray, and saying they were in ICU at Methodist Hospital in Houston.

                          Her text kinda "read funny" - it just seemed to be a different tone or something than her previous texts about him. She was saying something about toxins in his brain, and he was completely out of his head and yelling at people and being uncooperative --- not like him at all.

                          I did pray, but then I ate dinner with my family, but kept thinking I need to go to the hospital, so I went. 48 miles one way, and for some reason, Houston traffic was really heavy for a Saturday evening, but, got there safely.

                          The nurse at the ICU desk explained that visiting hours were over, but she saw that I was a pastor, and told me to go on down to his room, but asked me to be brief.

                          I could hear Jim yelling as I walked toward his room, and I could hear the nurses (three of them) trying to calm him, explaining they need to administer his pain and "queasy" meds.

                          As I rounded the corner, Jim looked out in the hall, and saw me - for a split second he looked confused - then instantly called out "PASTOR!!!!"

                          I walked over to him, took his hand, and said, "Jim, let's cooperate and let these nurses do their jobs". He immediately calmed down, relaxed, seemed to be in his right mind, and allowed them to administer the meds. I stayed with him about 10 minutes when his wife showed up (she had been in the ICU waiting area) and she was stunned that he was so calm and cooperative.

                          So, if you're wanting "Experiencing God" experiences, I guess I'd consider that a recent (couple hours ago) example.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Before I share another experience with God that is out of the ordinary, I should thank Him publicly in this forum for the daily relief I currently have been experiencing from the pain I had been suffering almost all the time as of the last time I had an exchange of communication with robrecht ― which was a number of months ago; since then, I have been pain free almost all the time. Every night when my wife tucks me in with a kiss, after she medicates the "worst case I have ever seen" (to quote my dermatologist) of stasis dermatitis, I thank her and utter a hearty oral "than You, God!" for the blessing of another tolerable relatively pain free day ― which is an improvement over my former expression to robrecht of a wish for a shorter rather than longer lifespan. Thanks to you too, robrecht, for your prayers!
                            Last edited by John Reece; 06-28-2015, 08:51 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                              OK, so we're all familiar with the language of "cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus" and "I had an experience with God" type-talk. My question is, how far does this really go in reality? I understand it, and can find biblical support for it to an extent, but I think it's being played up to the point of being totally unrealistic and almost a bit nauseating. I think on an objective basis, comparatively speaking, if we were to compare the effects of coffee vs. the effects of these God experiences, coffee would win. Now I'm being rather facetious, but I think the point is clear.

                              What do you think?

                              PS: Thank God for coffee.
                              I agree that the experience with God is overplayed. It is also very personal as the posts on the thread. I know people who have experience with God who are credible as their life shows the fruits of it. I know people who claim an experience with God and its seems more to score points with the audience than a real experience.

                              As for me, my experience with God tends to be few and far between and vaguely distant. I know He's there yet it doesn't have that in the room sense. To be fully honest, right now He's gone - I got nothing. If I was to use experience as a sign of salvation status, I guess its time to get ready to fry.
                              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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