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Seven Realities of Experiencing God

As people, in particularly Christians, run about trying to find the perfect church family, one has to ask what are they really searching for? The question is not is there a God. The question is how can an individual experience God. Experiencing God goes beyond the altar where we first gave our hearts to Jesus, although this is an important first step. It is, in fact, a daily walk. How can we know God in our lives like we know others and others know us?

In the mid-1990s I had the opportunity for the first time, to be part of a group that took several weeks going through this study called “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby with Claude King. The author has since put together a revised edition with the input of his son, Richard. But the steps, the seven realities of experiencing God, is still the same.

Reality 1: God is always at work around you.

Contrary to one particular belief, God did not create the world and just leave it to evolve on it’s own. He has always been involved in the affairs of humans. Even when all seems out of control, God, is in fact, in control, orchestrating history. Since the fall, people have been born separated from God. God’s work has included, for this reason, to save those willing, through his son, Jesus Christ, in hopes of reconciling the world to himself. Through his people, which believe on his name, God chooses to accomplish this work. As God carries out his mission, he seeks to move his people into the midst of his activity. God worked this way through Moses and he still seeks to work through believers today.

Reality 2: God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.

Have you ever asked yourself why it is that people can love? The truth is, God created people for a love relationship with Him. More than anything, God wants our total love. It is not us who naturally seek after God or the things of God, but rather, experiencing God comes in response to his invitation. God demonstrated the value of humanity in that Jesus died to restore the love relationship between God and man. It is personal and practical. God worked this way with Moses and can do so with us through his son, Jesus. For examples, read Exodus 33:7- 34:10 or Numbers 12:6-8.

Reality 3: God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

God has been at work throughout history to accomplish His purposes. He does not invite us to set goals and then pray that He will help us make them possible. God has his own agenda. God’s desire is to move us from where we are to where He is working. God leads us from being self-centered to being God-centered. When God reveals to us where He is working, that is the invitation to join him in His activity. When these things have been delivered to you, is the time to respond to Him.

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Again, as an example, God used Moses to rescue Israel out of Egypt and establish them in their own land.

Reality 4: God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.

The scriptures are a testament that God speaks to His people. Today, God communicates to us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will use the Bible, prayer, circumnstances, and the church (other believers) to guide us. When you hear God speak to you through a verse of scripture, it’s always best to verify what you heard through prayer, other believers, and your circumstances. If you hear God say the same thing through each of these sources, you can proceed confidently.

I have found it is God’s choice how He chooses to reveal to me the direction I should go. For example, one day while doing the laundry, I spent a couple hours pouring over a chapter in 1 Corinthians. I think it must have been in the back of my mind whether or not I should stay with the employer I was with at the time. I had some pressure to leave that job. It occurs to me that the reason I heard this way from God is that I took the time to pour over the scriptures the day before. The next morning, upon waking, I had the answer to my question. I stayed with that employer for over three years before moving on. In Moses case, God drew his attention to Him through a burning bush. Isaiah 55:8-9 states that God’s ways are not our ways. We cannot discover these things of God on our own. They must be revealed.

Reality 5: God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

It is, in fact, God’s desire for the world, His creation, to understand Him as he truly is. As such, God does not simply call the believer in to see what the believer can do in his own accord, but, actually calls to an assignment that cannot be accomplished apart from God’s divine intervention.

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Does this mean God is not interested in our everyday run-of-the-mill tasks needing to be done? No. “But when God is involved in anything, there are always eternal, divine dimensions, implications, and possibilities.” (Blackaby, p. 58). As another example, one day, as usual, I was doing laundry at my folks. While sitting in the living room chair, watching a show, up out of the blue, my mother asks if I believe in the rapture. God only knows why she asked me this. I replied that I did. Later, after taking the laundry home, I lent a book to her to help explain a little more.

Again, this particular reality brings a crisis of belief which requires faith and action. My own crisis of faith tends to come when I am contemplating where God might want me next in my working life. Several years ago when I thought I might be getting called to work for a company in San Francisco, that, for me, was hard to act on as I filled out the application and waited. It turned out not to be the case, but, until I had a definitive answer, it was for me, a crisis.

Another area of ourselves that can cause a crisis of belief is how we see ourselves. Moses hardly saw himself as the leader God saw him as, or was preparing him to be. At this point, I also struggle with how I see myself. Whatever direction I turn, it will require faith and action.

Reality 6: You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.

Blackaby states that “This is a second point at which many miss out on experiencing God because to get from where you are to where God is requires significant adjustments in your life.” (Blackaby, p. 60). These adjustments can be in your thinking, your circumstances, your relationships, commitments, actions and your beliefs. When asked if every adjustment God asks us to make is significant, Blackaby responded “To move away from your thinking and acting will require fundamental adjustments. You can’t stay where you are and go with God at the same time.” (Blackaby, p. 60).

Using Moses as an example again, it can be seen that major adjustments were made in his life from when he fled to the desert forty years before and then returning to Pharoah with his family. He had to trust God in this, and then it wasn’t to do whatever Moses wanted, but to be where God was working.

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Reality 7: You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

Blackaby states “Once you have determined to follow God by faith and you have made the adjustments, you must obey Him.” (Blackaby, p. 61).

When you listen and do what God leads you to accomplish, not only does it bless your life, but those as well who observe your life. As Moses was obedient to God, God accomplished through him what Moses could not do by himself.

Many times, in my life exist where change did not occur for me until I stepped out on faith. One example of this is when I drove out onto the freeway by myself for the first time. I was on my way to pick my husband up from work, and instead of going the long way around, I took a chance and took the freeway. This was a step of faith because I needed to overcome my fear which said something horrible would happen if I took this route. I put it in God’s hands as I ventured forth.

Here are some questions for reflection:

  1. Can you believe that God is working around you right now? If so, what do you sense He is presently doing?
  2. What has God done recently that provided you with an opportunity to get to know him more personally than has been your experience?
  3. Do you feel that God is inviting you to join Him in His activity? If so, what does He want you to do?
  4. Have you heard God speak to you in recent times? What did He say? What was your response?
  5. Are you at this moment experiencing a crisis of belief? If so, why?
  6. What adjustments in your life do you know God is asking you to make?
  7. Have you come to understand God more personally as a result of obeying what He told you to do?

Experiencing God is about learning how to know what God is doing and living by faith in obedience to His will for your life. This is the basic formula for knowing and experiencing God in our lives.