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Authentically Experienceing God

Authentically Experienceing God
By Peter Craft

Your spirit soars with the music and you hear your voice, rich with commitment, join the rest in Godly song. You just know that His Spirit has bought life into His church. The communion with God is palpable. He has touched you and everyone else. Yet, just a few rows back is another Christian who thinks that you really don’t know God, haven’t been touched by Him, because you are too reserved and don’t seem spirit filled enough! So have you had an authentic experience of God or not?
Strangely, an answer to this question may well be discovered in butterflies. Have you ever walked through a butterfly enclosure? Initially there doesn’t seem to be much to see. With time, however, you learn to look and slowly a multitude of beautiful, colourful forms start to emerge. With every glance more and more of these beautiful and delicate creatures become evident. It is breathtaking to take in the variety and colour of the insects dancing around the flowers and hovering in the sky. Still this is only a small sample of the 15 000 different species of butterfly that inhabit our world.
Why are there so many different types? Such abundance tells us something about our great God. He never does anything by half; He always provides a full measure. So when He created butterflies there can be no doubt that He delighted in all the beautiful forms He created. It seems God loves variety. Consider how many different types of flowers, trees and fish there are. This love also seems to carry over to us. Not only has God created an amazing variety of humans but He delights to relate to us in a wide variety of ways.
Think about the ways that God chose to reveal Himself to people in the bible. Isaiah walked into the temple expecting to meet with God and was stunned when God was actually there. The holiness of God was so overwhelming that all Isaiah could say was “Woe to me!…I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”. A discouraged Elijah, after being fed and watered by the ravens was told to wait so that God could speak to him. It wasn’t in the storm or the earthquake that God spoke, but in a quiet little voice. And while Jacob wrestled with God, Joseph had visions in dreams. In a strange passage we read that Paul was taken to the seventh heaven some time after Jesus literally spoke to him on the road to Damascus. Yet we are also told that God spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend. And what about King David, who full of the Spirit, danced before the Lord with all his might as the ark was bought into Jerusalem? His worship was so vigorous that he ended up dancing naked through the streets of his capital, provoking the following response from his wife; “Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” God met with all these people and others in ways that were appropriate for them.
Which brings us back to our original question; what is an authentic experience of God. Is there any one way to know God that is more authentic than any other? Firstly, it is important to realise that any authentic meeting with God is transforming. Meeting God changes lives. Corinthians gives some idea of this when Paul writes “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Unsurprisingly meeting with the one and only Lord of the Universe changes people. However, it seems evident that God is content to meet us in different ways at different times. He knows our needs and our characters. After all, He created us and oversees our lives in all their variety. For some people a quiet voice is needed while others need the chorus of angels. There is no one right way to meet and know God, there is only one true God to meet and know!
That sets a challenge for us. We cannot assume that out preferred way of knowing God is the only way to know Him. Nor can anyone else assume that the way that God speaks to us is inferior either. God will relate to us as He pleases. We need to be able to celebrate diversity in our worship while maintaining the unity of God’s spirit. That is a real challenge for us as well as for the world wide church of God.

I have been married to Alison for 20 years and have five children. We live in a small rural town where I teach science. We worship in the local baptist church where I am an elder.

(c) Peter Craft This article may be freely reproduced without alterations.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERSMAKE A WEBSITE

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