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Various authors share about experiencing God's wonderful presence by knowing Jesus Christ personally through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Experiencing God Personally

By Brian E. Trenhaile, MTh, last published November 1, 2010

There are countless wonderful gems in Bible.  These include wise sayings, beautiful poetry, lovely songs, powerful prophecies, maxims and insights to live by, and history that can be applied into one’s life.  But the gospel message, the good news, is very precious indeed, because it points to the magnificent love of the God.  This article has a twofold purpose.  The first purpose is to help people who are unfamiliar with the love of God, to experience His love.  The second purpose is to enhance the understanding and experience of those who already have a personal relationship with God.

Unfortunately, many people present salvation like it is fire insurance, like it is something that you need.  It is that but, it is really much more than that.  It could be better described as getting a huge wonderful fireproof mansion, filled with loving companions, along with all the resources needed to maintain it indefinitely.  But even this second analogy is somewhat lacking in describing it.  It is difficult to convey conceptually because it involves the infinite love and goodness of God.  But as understanding increases one begins to realize that you really do desire what God has to offer, rather than just get it because you need it.  So here is an attempt to describe the process, just bear in mind that it is really much better than one can ever be put in words.

First we need to know about the tremendous love that God has for each of us.  Let me illustrate with a story that to the best of my knowledge actually occurred.  There was a farmer who had a hen with little chicks on his farm.  One day a ferocious fire came through the farm and burned the crop in his field.  As he was surveying his damaged field, as he walked he kicked a charred and smoking piece of debris and a bunch of little chicks ran out.  After more careful examination he realized that the charred debris was the body of the mother hen.  She had covered the chicks with her body at the expense of her own life!  This is similar to the infinite love that God has for each of us.

Among other things, God’s love for us is self sacrificing on His part and undeserved on our part.  The Apostle Paul said, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NASB).  The context of this verse: it is when we were God's enemies that Jesus died for us.

Before I get into the next part, please keep in the back of your mind that it is always God’s desire to qualify you and not to disqualify you.  The Apostle John stated “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17, KJV).

There are other similarities between God and the hen.  In addition to giving her life for her chicks to save them from the fire; this hen also had a major role in the creation of her chicks.  In essence, she was responsible for the life of her chicks in two ways; once in their creation and once in their deliverance from the fire.  Likewise, God created mankind perfect and without sin.  But the first woman, Eve, was deceived into thinking that God could not be trusted; and the first man, Adam, did not stop her and he choose his wife over God.  In essence, they both rebelled against God.  In a sense, fire was brought to their descendants by their choice to be enemies with God.  So all mankind, because of their deeds, inherits a sinful nature.  But God, moved by compassion for His creation, takes positive action to protect us from the destruction caused by sin. 

Paul states, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, KJV) and “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23, KJV).  So we all fall short.  We don’t and can't measure God’s standards.  But the solution God provided is also present in these verses; God gives us the gift of life through His Son. 

When the gospel was shared with me, as best I can recall, the speaker said, “God expects you to live a holy and pure life and you can’t do it.”  I had no problem whatsoever agreeing with him on that.  Then he said, “The way you do it is to let Jesus Christ come into your heart as Savior and Lord, and then let Him empower you to live the life that God wants.”  Some Bible verses that back up what he said are as follows: “ But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12, KJV); “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Romans 8:1, 2, NASB).

To obtain new life God has chosen to work through relationship, not through tradition, ritual, religion or ceremony.  The Pharisees were well trained, very devout and one strictest branches of Judaism at the time.  Jesus said to them, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40, NASB).  So they had knowledge about the scriptures and zeal.  But because of their traditions they could not experience the life that God wanted them to have.  Sadly they could not personally relate to God, who was the real reason for the scriptures that they were trusting in.

To really experience life, we need to personally know the God of the Bible, not just know what is in the Bible.  Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3, KJV).  Knowing the God of the Bible is the true purpose of the Scriptures.  Jesus said “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 16:53, NASB).  The words are meant to bring forth life not religious acts.

So how does one get this life through God’s Son?  Simply put faith.  Faith in what Jesus had already done through His death, burial and resurrection.  In a nutshell He died for our sins, was buried went to Hades, and then God raised Jesus from the dead on our behalf.  In essence Jesus became us and took upon Himself the consequences our sinful lives, and then by the power of God He overcame the death caused by our sin, and furthermore He turns around and gives us the consequences of His holy and pure life.  Regarding the faith that we need Paul said, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9, KJV).  From these verses it can be seen that God will even give you the faith that you need to believe.  The one thing that you can do is choose.  God will never take your choice away from you; He wants you to be able to choose.  Should you choose to follow God and believe, His grace (power and ability) will come into action to back up, confirm and empower your choice.  His grace will not only empower you to receive salvation, it will also empower you to live the wonderful life that He has for you in Christ Jesus.

Here is a prayer that you can use to affirm your desire to know God in a personal way:  “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me, I believe that you rose again from the dead on my behalf.  I accept You right now as my Lord and Savior.  I now receive the empowerment that you offer me to be saved and to live the life that you want me to live in You.”

After saying this prayer, go and tell someone what you did.  I say this because the Apostle Paul stated, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10, KJV).  From my own personal experience I know that there is something special about confessing Jesus as my Lord before others.  For me it brought about a marvelous experiential awareness of the new life that I had in Christ.  In the above verses it is also important to note that in addition to salvation Christ gives us His righteousness so that we can now walk continually in personal relationship with God. 

If you want, you can email us and we will pray for you.  There are so many wonderful consequences of saying yes to God.  We highly recommend that you look at some of the other articles in this website. These articles are designed to help you quickly benefit from the positive choice that you have just made.

There are a lot of other things that God will straighten out as you start out in this new life.  For instance, I didn’t believe that the Bible was the Word of God until I started to read it anew and I actually began to experience what was written in it.  Reading it also brought strength and comfort to me.  It was totally different effect from when I had read it before I had accepted Jesus as Lord.  Also before I accepted Jesus I was trained in the theory evolution which I believed.  I did not believe in creation.  But then I started to study the other side of the story and found out that there is more scientific evidence to substantiate creation than there is to substantiate evolution.  Now I believe in creation and I do not believe in evolution anymore.  The point is if you trust God now, He will take care of teaching you whatever else you need to know.  He will also clear up any confusion that maybe present.

We were created for fellowship with God. So naturally God has provided abundantly to establish and maintain our relationship with Him.  To illustrate this here is a quote from a book about Colossians, “He died for our sins, but He did more than that.  He also provided salvation from the power and penalty from sin but He also died for my health as well.  He also died for my prosperity.  He also died that I might enjoy life to the very full.  He went beyond just paying the penalty of sin.  He died that I might have “life more abundantly” (pg. 164, Wade).

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, NASB).

See the nugget of truth on the death of the old nature to see the first part of this dynamic process.


References:

a) Wade, Dr. Peter, I'm Excited About Colossians: How to Live and Grow in Christ in a Hostile World, Seaford, SA, Australia, Positive Word Ministries, 2010.

b) Richards, Dr. James, Foundations of Faith, Huntsville, AL, USA, Impact Ministries, 1998.

c) Richards, Dr. James, Grace: The Power To Change, New Kensington, PA, USA, Whitaker House, 2001.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture references marked NLT are taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION ®. NLT ®.  Copyright © 1996, 2004 by the Tyndale Charitable Trust.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.  All rights reserved.

Scripture references marked NASB are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.