I’m not talking about the juice and bread of communion, but intimate relating to God Himself. Have you ever had a time when you were certain you had heard God’s voice? When his peace flooded over you? When you sensed His presence filling your body? When you were filled with awe at His grander? This communion we have with God is our birthright as his children. The best part is, we don’t have to wait till we die to experience Him. God is here with us today. Leviticus 26:12 says, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” In God’s temple in Jerusalem, his presence rested in the holy place behind the curtain, and only once a year was it allowed to be visited and only under extreme conditions. But, now Jesus has perfected us and opened the way so that we might enter into the most holy of holies and experience his living presence.
Hebrews 10 “19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
What does this mean? It means that Jesus has made us right with God so that we might no longer fear judgement and condemnation, but draw close to God having our guilt removed and enjoying his presence. God’s presence is no longer reserved for the elite once a year. It’s for all his children and is always and continually available. God has no reason to withdraw from his children or hide Himself from them. But, He beckons you to draw near in full assurance. Full assurance that you are loved, delighted in, favored, righteous, and blameless.
2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 1 John 1:3 “And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
If we may truly experience God, enjoy his presence, talk with Him, feel his peace and delight, and have fellowship with Him, let’s not ignore our privilege for human arguments and philosophy that questions the validity of spiritual experiences. What I mean is this, why should we listen to and give credit to arguments that God no longer speaks today, or that He only speaks through the Bible, or messages that try to avoid spiritual experiences because they are dangerous? I agree that spiritual experiences require discernment and must line up with the Bible, but let us provide a culture that encourages God experiences rather than discourage them. Out of these experiences come the greatest life changes, deep love for God, incredible encouragement, and produce good fruit. The world doesn’t accept the validity of fellowship with God through the spirit. To them it is foolishness. Consider this passage in 1 Corinthians 2:
God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”[b]— the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[c] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”[d]
But we have the mind of Christ.
Remember, even Paul’s message was not revealed to him by humans, but by God himself. He writes in Galatians 1:11-12 “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” You see, it is the spirit that explains what God has given us, prepared for us. In John, we learn that the spirit also teaches, encourages, and comforts us. If these then all come through the spirit, let us not consider them foolishness. When we experience God, we must be willing to set aside that critical, judgement, and doubting spirit in our minds and be prepared to accept a greater wisdom than our own. Afterall, even discernment, which is so vital to hearing God’s voice, is not a fleshly or methodical approach, but rather also comes through the spirit. So not only is the voice of God given through the spirit, but the discernment of that voice also comes through the spirit. Shall we then take spiritual things and judge them with earthly things? Shall we critique the spirit with the flesh or subject the voice of God to human reasoning? I’m not saying we should throw these out all together, there is a time for simply hearing God and there is a time for discernment, and to use the Bible as the foundation. This requires a new practice and grace. A practice to hear the voice of God, experience his presence, and discern his voice and a grace to sometimes make mistakes and get it wrong. Even the best prophets sometimes hear God wrong, therefore we must all be given grace to hear his voice wrong. And in this grace, we should practice and grow in hearing and understanding his voice using the scripture as our guide, because God does speak today. It does get easier and better to hear Him over time and is well worth the effort. Don’t procrastinate in fellowship with God like so many people do, serving and serving and serving God, but never knowing the God they serve. Such people miss out on the greatest experiences of their lives. If you want to begin experiencing God, or to do so more, you don’t have to give a great effort of will. Simply ask. Ask to talk to Him, He is there and He will converse. Just be willing to lay aside that critical part of your mind for a time and have the faith of a child.