Monday, May 11, 2009

A taste of heaven, experiences of God

The desire to 'experience' God is as scriptural and irrational as asking to be made holy!
What does that mean? Well let's start with the latter, holiness is the aim of the believer. We are to strive after holiness, and when we strive after it we strive for an unhindered holiness. In other words we seek to be perfectly holy, yet we also know that this simply won't take place, that we cannot attain sinless perfection in this life, yet we aim for it because it's what we are called to be.
In the same manner, we seek to behold God in the face of Jesus Christ. That means that we seek after an unhindered, heaven like experience of God. Depending on what brand of doctrine you come from you might call this different things, some might call it a Holy Ghost blessing, others the filling of the Spirit, others realized communion with God, others a 'new level'.

Whatever some might call it, I would like to describe what I mean when I say experiencing God. So before you put me in this or that camp, why not let me explain myself and forget the labels.

However I'm not sold on the one-time experience if the Spirit after conversion, for one thing I know of too many believers and preachers that don't agree with such things and yet they DO have boldness and POWER in their lives, and ministries (unless you'd argue they have something they don't know about).
I'd say there are rare times (and i wouldn't want to set any type of parameters or limits here) when all our senses, when our mind, our desires, and our emotions are unified. I speak of rare times where what we know and what we think and what we feel are linked in our enjoyment, worship, and sense of God. As I said these are like glimpses of heaven and they are the times you should hope for as you seek God.
Likewise in preaching there are rare times of special endowment and a special influence upon the listeners (these as the testimony of revivals throughout history bear witness are temporary).

What must be said is that these times are not to sustain us, they encourage us, they comfort us, they bring us much pleasure, but they are not our daily bread (perhaps daily expectation). Yet all believers testify to times of 'sensed' barrenness, times of weakness, times of doubts, yet in those times we cannot and will not find rest in past experiences, we will find our strength in the promises of God (not what we sense).
Yet it is right and it is good to want and seek such things (not in weird sense, like thinking 'if only i could get C.J. Mahaney to lays his hands on me' or chasing after some ' worship experience' movement), but a persistent crying out to God that He might show you His glory, that He might drown you in His presence, that you might feel Him and see Him. Praying the type of prayer that begs for God to visit you, to manifest Himself to you.
I hope I've made sense? Blessings

3 comments:

Steve

You might find the following blogs of interest about C.J. Mahaney and the group he leads:

http://www.sgmsurvivors.com
http://www.sgmrefuge.com

Hope this helps.

Julius Mickel

you said 'hope this helps'
Help how? What exactly would you like me to see?
WOuld you limit concerns to only a select few SG churches or all. Likewise some of the pastors or CJ and all the pastors?

Steve

Hope this helps you get a clearer picture of what really goes on within Sovereign Grace Ministries. The concerns are reported at a number of churches so definitely not just a few select SGM Churches. I am sure there are some SGM that are exceptions to what is being reported on these blogs.

It appears that the problems identified on these blogs involve most of the leadership. A lot of it is the result of cultural problems and how things are taught from the top down. The church polity where the pastors are the church elders contributes to these problems.

Hope this answers your questions.

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