It's Your Experience that Matters
Yesterday, I got to catch a phone call from one of my favorite people in the world. My Uncle. He had called to congratulate me on my new position as Lead Pastor and wanted to see how I was doing. After talking nearly half an hour about how God is moving in our church, we turned to the subject of our kids. He began talking about his daughters, my cousins. One of them is getting married next year, and we spoke of plans and all that goes into that as a father. Crazy to think!
But then he spoke about his other daughter. She recently graduated from a major Texas university with a degree in Business and Marketing, which is exactly what I graduate with 20 years ago! He mentioned that she's trying to find work. That she has great interviews, had good grades on her transcript, and brings in a positive attitude. But at the end of each interview process, she ends up being the "#2 or #3 person" on the list. She just can't seem to land the position. The reason is always the same: experience. The employer always seems to choose a candidate who has more experience in the field she's trying to enter.
Experience is that intangible item on a person's resume' that can't be replaced with education, upbringing, or position. With it, you can enter into a position knowing what to expect, what possibilities exist, and how to bring new ideas to your field. Without it, you're a motorboat heading up-stream in the middle of a pitch-black night.
Know People, or Experience People?
That's how it is with our relationships with people. You can know a person. But to experience that person may be completely different. You may know your special someone that you're about to marry. But then you say "I do" and begin living a life together. You begin to "experience" who that person really is. That's how it is with all relationships. Experience always trumps knowledge.
So when a friend asks me, "Is God real?", why do I all of the sudden try to prove that He exists through science and reason? If that same person asked me if Martha Stewart was a mean person or a nice person, I couldn't just say, "Well, I've heard this and that...." If you want to find out if she's nice or not, you'll need to be around her and experience her attitudes throughout the day.
And the same goes for our Father. Is there science that proves God exists? Yes. Is there proof that Jesus Christ walked this earth 2000 years ago? Yes. Can I say beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is sovereign and governs in the affairs of men? Yes, without a doubt.
But that is not what changes a person on the inside. You can know all about God. What He's done. What He can do. You can even understand His very nature. But that is not enough to KNOW who God our Father really is. What it comes down to is what we addressed above: Experience.
Your experience with God becomes your proof that He is real and that He is interested in you. You can prove God without experiencing Him, but you can't experience Him without coming away knowing that He is real.
It's like electricity. You can understand all the theories behind how electricity works so that you can prove to yourself that it does what it's supposed to do. You can read up on Tesla and how he harnessed the electrical currents. You can study Thomas Edison and his work that changed our world. Or .... you can experience it. When I was about 19 years old, living in my parent's Guest House while I was at college, I decided I was going to exchange the light fixtures in the bedroom with fans. I had no experience in this. I just figured I'd follow the instructions and be fine. So I pulled off the light fixtures and began to rewire the fan to the ground wire and hot wire. Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to simply turn off the light switch. And the jolt I received was more than enough experience to prove that electricity was flowing through that wire. I didn't need theory. I didn't need a class. I received an experience that showed me the power of electricity. It proved electricity was real.
Make Contact with the Eternal
Today, my friend, if you're reading this and wondering to yourself, "Is God real?", or "Does God really know me and care about me?" .... The answer is found just beyond the action called Experience. I could tell you all about Him. Share what He's done for me and others. Give you a list of how there's no way a universe could exist without Him. But to really know who God is, you have to experience Him.
Ask Him today, "Father, I think you're real. I might even know You're real. But I need to feel that You are real. Please be real in my life today. I want to experience who You really are." Do this. And I guarantee you'll begin to see how real God really is. And when you do, get ready: because He will change your world!
Don't prove God. Experience God.
Don't prove God. Experience God.