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lighthouse (Peggy's Cove, east coast Canada).
What Does the Bible Say About … EXPERIENCING GOD?

How can I best experience God in my life?

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In the Stillness of a Sunset

Many believe that only a burning bush kind of experience will lead them closer to the God they want to serve. And such an experience would definitely alter our perspective on life, drawing us closer to Him at that moment. However it doesn’t usually work to maintain a relationship with God.

Take for example the enslaved Israelites who experienced firsthand many miracles of God in their deliverance. In the end, however, most of them were rebellious and doubted God at every occasion.

We hunger for the miraculous, but since these single moments in time don’t really constitute a relationship, most of the time these miracles don’t really change our lives!

The Pharisees and doctors of the law in Jesus’ time are a good example of this: “I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. . . Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” (John 7:21, 24 NIV) They recognized the miracles Jesus had done, but they most certainly didn’t know Him. They were much more geared towards accusing him of being demon-possessed.

Although we often wish we could hear God as clearly as Moses did in the burning bush, in all reality we simply don’t need such experiences. It’s not the astounding mountain peak experiences that reveal Him fully to any of us. It’s His unceasing presence in our everyday lives that makes us aware that He indeed cares for us to the minutest details. “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:20 NIV)

It’s truly amazing that thanks for what Jesus did for us on the cross, our relationship with God has been re-established, and we can once again communicate directly with our Heavenly Father 24 hours a day (See Heb 6:19-20)! Furthermore, Jesus promised us more than this: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7:37-39 NIV) In other words our constant companion is the One who can fill our thirst for God and help us discover who He truly is!

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17 NIV)

And once more, He is not only our companion, but He is also our guide! And the best part is that no one can ever take Him away from us!

Our problem is that we are too stubborn for our own good, and more often than not we prefer our own way over His. This, naturally, leads to unnecessary hardships. But one wonderful thing about God’s Holy Spirit is that He will never contradict God’s Word, the Bible. In fact He will constantly remind us of passages we have read and make His Word come alive to us.

It’s clear that God’s desire to communicate with us is way bigger than our desire to have an intimate relationship with our Maker. Maybe, just maybe, this is one of the reasons we have a tendency to not always hear His answers!

My family and I had just arrived at the Kolm Hotel in Triesenberg, Lichtenstein. My wife had just parked in the underground garage, and we were carefully taking our luggage out of the back of the car. For one reason or another, I didn’t see my wife when I closed the hatch of the car. To my dismay the inevitable happened. I pulled it down on her head. I was horrified. I had hurt my beloved wife! And being tired, my emotions flared up. Although I tried to console her, I felt like a real jerk.

She and I both knew it was just an accident, but at that time, I was blaming myself so heavily that I couldn’t hear anything else. I eventually took refuge in nature, where I noticed how the sun was setting over the mountains. Absolutely breathtaking! I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by what was occurring right in front of me. It’s then that I heard His whisper: “It’s all right. All will be fine. You only need to forgive yourself.”

Only God can give me perspective on life. How I hunger for Him! More often than not however, I let the rush of life take away opportunities to get closer to Him.

In conclusion, may we all remember the following: “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” (1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV)

God reveals Himself in stillness. It’s then that we can hear His voice more clearly than ever. It’s then that we will realize we have nothing to fear: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex 14:14 NIV)

“Can you turn down your radio please?”

“What’s in it for me?”

“An experience way out of this world!”

Rob Chaffart