Experience of God

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When I speak of God, when I am talking about a Power greater than ourselves, I am not talking about the rhetoric or doctrine of God, but our experience of God.

I read the Bible a lot.  I read it because it speaks of experiencing God.  Do we consciously speak or write or even think about that in our day to day lives?

I can look back and define my life on earth by the relationship and the growth of the relationship I have with God.

When I was young, in school and in Sunday school, a face was painted on God.  A face that sometimes I could understand and love and sometimes the face was one I would not like.  A face that people would paint with their words as if they had physically seen it and better yet could define with physical attributes.  A face that people would paint with such accuracy in their minds that it left no room  for the experience of God.  Partially this has to do with what we are able to conceptualize at age 4 or 10 or 12.  It is hard to understand something our brain is not yet able to comprehend. Or can we?

I think about this lots because I have 4 children.  I have four very loving compassionate caring children.  I have thought about the stories we tell our children about God.  Why are we telling them about God – our understanding or someone else’s interpretation of who or what God is- instead of teaching them to experience God? Experience a power greater than ourselves? Perhaps because we are not fully experiencing God ourselves.

In all the world their are no two people exactly alike even identical twins have some differences.  The person next to you in church or conversing with you in the grocery store will not share the exact same thought as you do on any one thing. You may agree on something but the why you agree will be specific to you.

What I experience in relation to smelling a flower and what you experience will be different.

So how do we begin to move from living with a definition of God and that belief to experiencing God, or the Power greater than ourselves?  We start by not limiting God to what and who and where and when, we start by beginning to include in our idea of God that it is an experience to exist with God that it is a relationship with a power greater than ourselves.  This is where it goes from I think, to I know.  Knowing something, truly knowing something, is not a list of factually based bits of information, doctrine, or rhetoric, it is a feeling or an instinct. Knowing has a spiritual connection.  We “know” this because within the definition of deep knowing comes the experience of not being able to describe it in human understandable terms. To the extent that many of us, myself included, say, “I just know…”

Paul speaks of spirituality a lot in Corinthians.  In the 1st letter to the Corinthians, chapter 2, verses 6-16 in particular he addresses Wisdom From The Spirit.

Verse 13-14 says “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

If I speak of gratitude and talk about it in spiritual terms it is akin to living with and in the experience of gratitude, the feeling of experiencing it.

If I speak of gratitude in terms of definitions and language it limits gratitude.

The same holds true of God.  If I speak of God in spiritual terms it is akin to living with and in the experience of God, the feeling of experiencing it.

If I speak of God in terms of definitions and language it limits God.  Who are we to limit God? And in truth, how can we limit a power greater than ourselves?

As we begin to look to experiencing the God of our Understanding -a Power greater than ourselves- instead of explaining and defining God, we begin to feel God in us and see God in others so much more.

Today Let the Experience of God begin to grow in you.  For we are 3 dimensional living beings;  physical, mental and spiritual in our nature.  As our spirituality grows and blooms the other two aspects of our lives change and grow.  Share the Experience!

©Adrienne McLeod 2011

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About Adrienne

I am Canadian born, for those of you needing clarification. I was raised in Minnesota, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, Multiple Musical Geniuses, Lake Wobegon, and really, really cold winters. Writing, Music and Photography are my passions. My current companion is my camera though my guitars and the piano are always close by and often consulted. Inspiration is everywhere and so is beauty. I now reside in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. I love to write, ponder and give back what I have learned in my journey with the hope that it will benefit others. www.spiritualitythinkaboutit.org www.12stepsthinkaboutit.org www.labyrinthphotos.com

3 comments

  1. Great blog Adrienne. What I have found amazing about experiencing God is that few people really understand what you are talking about. I know many people who have lived their entire lives in the church, but don’t see him in the details. Thanks for reminding us to take time and experience His presence.

  2. Derek Jones

    Your ability to welcome a relationship with God is just wonderful to see. Knowing that experiencing God’s presence in our lives is so much more important and freeing than trying to define God. The truth is that we can never define God, and when we attempt to do so, we most often end up with a distorted image and this distorted image will usually lead us into sin.

    So keep on experiencing God, Adrienne. Let the Holy Creator surround you with a true sense of His/Her presence in your daily life and you will never feel alone or abandoned. Rather you will have an inner peace which will guide you through all of the vissitudes of this life.

    Love, Dad

  3. Thank you for your post. I think that words fall short of describing the experience of connection with God, but that’s what we have. And there is an immense value to our personal testimony to each other. For my children, I have to tell them how and why I experience God and what that experience is like in order for them to recognize that experiencing God is a big deal to me. I tell them what my practices are because it works for me. I don’t tell them that my way is the only way; I do tell them that something of it might work for them and encourage them to try.

    For example, my kids pray. They petition for healing and wholeness in the world, that express gratitude, etc. It’s really great. Over the last year though, I have suggested that they just lay quietly and LISTEN to what God is saying to them. And then talk about it with me. (or their Mom). I offer a breathing technique and some ideas about dealing with “monkey brain” etc. but then just let them try it. I’m thinking that this is an age-appropriate start for them in experiencing God’s presence. Also, they know that I do this and am “walking the talk.” And what they do with it is up to them.

    What do you think?

    Peace.

    David

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