Opinions

Are You Truly Experiencing God?

I think there are moments in my spiritual life where I’m simply caught in the motions… I go to Bible study and hear about Jesus, I go to church and am told about God, his teachings and his love. But it’s one thing to hear about him , and another thing to completely embrace and experience God. Tim Keller brings this notion of an all-embracing faith to the surface in his book “Jesus The King”.

Freshmen who are taking INST150 this semester have to read Tim Keller’s book “The Reason for God.” It is impossible to read one of Keller’s books and not walk away with a serious revelation. Most people have heard of Jesus’ life from many different perspectives: through church, youth groups, their own interpretations of the scripture; however Keller sheds new light on the Messiah and his time here on Earth.

One of the points that really hit me is when Keller asks the reader a poignant question: are you truly experiencing God? Keller writes, “Somebody says, ‘This restaurant is unbelievable; it’s the best.’ You believe what you’re told, but when you go there and eat, you’re still bowled over. Did you get new information? No—you’re experiencing what you already knew to be true” (129). It’s one thing to simply hear God’s word and learn about Jesus, but it’s an entirely different thing to tap into your senses and experience his presence through worshipping him. When you’re standing in chapel, and that first worship song begins, how do you feel? Are you singing the songs, but thinking about that paper that’s due tonight? Or, are you truly in tune with God’s voice, with his overwhelming presence, and with the communal voice which brings him praise? As Keller says, “It’s one thing to know that the glorious Creator God loves you, cares for you, holds you, but it’s another thing to sense it, to experience it.” (129) God is love. Can you truly say you’ve experienced him?

But worship isn’t simply singing. We can experience God by sitting outside and being in awe of nature, every breath of the wind, every color in the sky, every rustle of the trees. We can also worship through our intentional conversations with other people. You can simply say to a friend, “How can I be praying for you today?”

Are you truly experiencing God through worship, or are you simply going through the motions?

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