If you are anything like me then you have often wanted to “experience more of God.” I use to desire this all the time. Now I don’t. Why? Because I don’t even know what that means, “experience more of God.” What was experiencing God like for David? Solomon? Elijah? Abraham? Isaac?
If we want to “experience more of God” or “experience more of His presence,” then we need to obey more of His commands. One of which will really get you to “experience” more of Him. Which is: meditating upon His word.
Have you ever thought about wanting to experience more of the beach? Do you simply ask to have more of an experience at the beach? Or do you go to the beach “experience” it?
In our desire to know God more then praying to experience God isn’t going to help us to know Him. Meditating upon His word will. I simply don’t like the term “experiencing God” or “desiring more of His presence,” because both I believe have fault assumption within them.
Experiencing God sounds too much like experiencing life. It’s vague, squishy, and it doesn’t mean much. We experience life 24/7, even when we “don’t feel anything” we are technically feeling and experiencing life. Desiring more of God’s presence is also too vague and not rooted in the Bible enough. Most of God’s people didn’t have supernatural experiences. Most of them lived life, obeyed God, and that was supernatural enough. Plus, God’s “presence” is everywhere and nowhere all at once. God is beyond location, and so he can be found everywhere and nowhere. He has no substance but all substance subsists in him. Thus, his presence can be both wrath, fire, brimstone, and love, joy, and peace.
I think it’s about time we try to be more precise in our language. That’s why I don’t pray to “experience God” more, but rather that I would know Him more and understand His love for me as Paul prayed in Ephesians 3. I don’t pray for “more of God’s presence” because He dwells in me. Instead, I pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and then I live out God’s commands, seeking to love my fellow brother in Christ.
I won’t get upset at anyone if they want to say that they want to experience God or feel more of His presence. Often they just want to feel more joy and be less caught up in themselves, so I pray for that for them.
But I pray that we all will use our language more precisely.