Growing Up: Part Two
The Power of Experience
Are there some things in your life that you know about but have not yet experienced?
I want to challenge you today to think about ‘knowing’ versus ‘experiencing.’
It may be that you have read about a particular country, or that you know a lot about its history but you have not yet to experience the place for yourself. It may be a person that you have read about. You feel like you know them personally yet you have never met them.
When it comes to our relationship with God it is possible to know ‘of Him’ as opposed to having ‘experienced Him.’
I have a friend that I can call on any given day and they will share moving stories of what God has done in the last couple of days in their life and the lives of those around them. Some of us may have to think back years for that type of personal testimony! For some of us the day we accepted Jesus as our Savior was the last time we had a personal experience of Him.
Are we living vicariously through others knowledge and experience of God without having our own personal experience? Do we have a balance of both knowledge and experience? Are they both important?
When Moses met God at the burning bush Moses knew of God. God was not a stranger to him but when Moses reached the Promised Land he had experienced God.
It is important to have our own personal experience of God as it empowers us to let go of doubt and insecurity and to trust in Him. We notice at the burning bush that God is telling Moses that He will be with Moses and empower him to succeed. It wasn’t however until Moses experienced Gods power and faithfulness that Moses began to fully and completely trust God.
The thing about experience is that once you have it, no one can take it away. Moses had seen the plagues, he had seen the waters parted, the cloud by day and the pillar by night and he had seen water come out of a rock. No one could convince him otherwise because he had seen and experienced all these things. When we have experienced something ourselves it is very difficult for someone else to discredit it.
Experience is also powerful. It gives you something to hold onto when things are tough. When things got tough Moses faith was strengthened and encouraged by looking back at all God had done.
When we go through times of trouble, remembering our personal experiences of God strengthens us. It also increases our faith knowing that the God who moved then can, and will, move again.
I have experienced difficult times. Times where I have questioned God and His care for me. It is in those times I have remembered His faithfulness. I have remembered how He was true to His word or how He made the impossible possible and it is those moments that have encouraged and carried me through.
When we experience God for ourselves our faith grows. The testimony of others is powerful and builds faith but our own personal experience of God sinks deep into a place that will hold us firm when everything else is shaken.
Lord, I do not want to be a person who just knows “of” You and has not personally experienced You. Where I have missed You and where I have been too scared to trust, I am sorry. Lord, help me to have eyes to see You at work in my everyday life and may my testimony encourage others to do the same. Amen