There is a lot of negative talk about believers who seek after ‘experiences’ with Jesus.
Sadly, a lot of the negative sentiment is coming from mainstream churches… It saddens me, because it is a self-fulfilling prophesy for so many as a result…
It seems that the biggest issue with those against ‘experience oriented’ Christianity is this concern or fear that believers will be seeking after the experiences more than seeking after Jesus Himself.
I recall that when Pearl and I got saved, that we were just such people! We desired the supernatural so much! It drew us into Christ in the first place! We wanted to experience all of the King that He had to offer. And we were so full of our new found faith, that we actually believed that All things were possible for those who believed, according to His power at work in us… Faith like children. It was such a yummy time for us to be believing so radically in the supernatural. We were praying for everything every single day, and we were seeing prayers answered daily! Wow!
Yet, sadly, we were squashed. All our hopes and dreams of walking in the supernatural lifestyle by faith were quashed by our brethren.
They meant well. Speaking from their own minds and experience, they were trying to ‘save us from disappointment’ in case the supernatural experiences we so desired did not come to pass…
It shot a pepper spray of buckshot into the balloon of our rising faith and completely deflated us.
We were told that supernatural stuff only happens as ‘sovereign acts of God’, and ‘not to get our hopes up’ and ‘not to desire experience so much, but to desire first the King, and just trust Him to bring experiences to us as and when He desired to do so…’
What TERRIBLE advice to give two new young believers moving with child-like faith into this amazing adventure we call Jesus! That advice set us back for almost 10 years… To be admonished in such a way was tantamount to yelling disdain at our infant when he first started to try to walk and fell over the first time… instead of saying, Come on, Judah! Don’t worry if it didn’t happen that time! Get back up! Try it again! You can do it!
God is God enough to deal with our immaturities. If a new believer is excited about the prospect of a face to face relationship with Jesus, we should be encouraging this! To be like Abraham, Moses, Enoch, David, Jesus…
And you know, if the new believer gets a little experience oriented, putting the priorities the wrong way around for a time, God is God enough to sit back and smile and let them go through it… knowing that as the believer matures in their faith that they will begin to realise their folly and begin to put things into the right priority, seeking first the Kingdom of God, and then all else coming as the natural fruit of that…
Asking believers to NOT desire experience with their King is like asking a child to blow out their birthday candles but then never allowing them to take a bite of their cake. God wants us to have the party, make the wish, blow out the candles, then have our cake and eat it too!
He DESIRES to experience us and have us experience Him!
In the introduction to Glory School (a major foundational teaching for Glory Company) Patricia King gave this great example:
Imagine if you met the partner of your dreams and asked them to marry you. Imagine if on your wedding day, after you’ve said your vows, your newly betrothed paused and said to you, “You know, I love you, and I am so excited to be married to you and spend the rest of my life with you. But I want you to know that that is as far as it will ever go. We will never ‘experience’ one another in the various rites expected in a marriage. I will always be yours and true to you. But you will never have me or experience me.” I would imagine that you wouldn’t be very happy at all! Marriage comes with certain expectations! And ‘experiencing your partner’ is DEFINITELY one of those expectations!
God says that He wants to KNOW us… The word here is the same word used of Adam when he ‘knew’ Eve for the first time. It speaks of an intimacy where the two become one flesh, where the two experience each other at a deep intimate level, getting to know each other inside out by virtue of co-existing and experiencing each other. I sometimes refer to this as ‘mingling our spirits’. The bible actually talks about man and wife becoming a ‘new creature’…
Isn’t this the same terminology used to describe believers when we receive Christ and Holy Spirit enters us? That we become a new creation? That the two become one?
Of COURSE we are meant to experience our King on this side of eternity! We are meant to experience Him in All His Glory! We are meant to walk in the supernatural as a natural way of life! We are meant to remain 24/7 aware of His presence within us that we carry into this world, bringing Heaven to Earth daily, releasing Jesus to everyone with whom we come into contact!
The bible actually CALLS us to this lifestyle! Jesus said that He wished that we would be one with Him as He is one with the Father!
To deny the desire to experience Jesus when this is part of what He paid for is to deny the Cross itself to some extent. It’s like saying, Thanks for the Salvation, Jesus. But I don’t want any of the rest of it, thank you, until I get to Heaven.
How insulting would that be?
He died to trade His life for ours. He died so that we would experience Him and His Glory daily in our lives.
And it is perfectly fine for believers to desire to experience all that He died to give us.
So go on. Be like a child! Dare to believe in experience with Christ! Chase after Him. Lean in. Honour Him. Desire to experience Him in all His Glory. And see what happens. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. And if it doesn’t come the first time you try, don’t give up! Don’t let go until He blesses you.
He said of Mary: She has chosen the wiser thing…
Be encouraged. Be empowered. Be delivered.