I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Discuss strengths and weaknesses of new pages added to the God And Science website
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Gman
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I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:46 pm

Folks we have a new page out called "I Have Never Experienced God Personally. What am I doing wrong?'

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/e ... d0aN5Gn769

I've got you let you in on a little secret here about all this.. Last night (the 23rd of Dec) I talked to God for quite awhile. Now my prayer life has always been kind of up and down, sometimes never speaking for months. Anyways last night I was really disappointed with the way my conversations have been going with God. My thoughts? Well I pray about something and I never have a clue if they are ever answered or even if God hears me. He never speaks back to me... So I was angry with God. How can you have a relationship with someone who doesn't even talk back to you?

So what happens?? Tonight I look on our website the 24th only to find that Rich posted a web page called "I Have Never Experienced God Personally. What am I Doing Wrong?" Written on the 23rd the day I had my blow out with God. Coincidence??

This is really strange... Again, my prayer life has been off awhile. I haven't opened my heart to God in awhile.. And then this message out of the blue..

I think we could add to this page that God can also talk to you through others.... ;)
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby cslewislover » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:04 pm

Gman wrote:I think we could add to this page that God can also talk to you through others.... ;)


Ha ha, yeah, for sure. There have been times when God talked with me and convicted me about some things through what someone wrote on some threads. Of course; and I'm sure it happens with others too. We are God's hands . . .
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"I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Canuckster1127 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:30 pm

I feel a little awkward posting this, but I want y ou to know up front that I respect and agree with Rich on far, far more than I disagree.

In fact, I don't think I'm so much disagreeing with this point as clarifying it. The comment that many who feel distant from God or that God is not communing or speaking with them personally are not attending church is curious to me. From where I am coming from and in my experience I've found this to be a huge issue among many who have left more traditional forms of church not because they were walking away from their faith, but in many way, because they felt the need to leave it in order to grow and preserve their faith.

I've been out of traditional church for the past 8 months. In that time, I've been taking a little time to "detox" as it were from the idea that Christian fellowship and service is mostly passively sitting in a service watching other people perform and being spoon fed shallow pablum from the pulpit and then leaving with the impression that that constitutes my spiritual life for the most part.

I do think that christian fellowship is a huge element and I fear that far too often many who participate in an insitutional church have no strong relationships and knowledge of others or others who have knowledge of them. Further I fear that the structure and programs present, tend to preserve this state of being than to break out of it. I think some churches are recognizing this and trying to address it with cell groups, home fellowships etc., but in many cases all this becomes are smaller groups with the same dynamics that are in work in the larger meetings, with prepackaged bible studies, highly directed conversations and very little invitation to every member exercising their gifts and dropping the shield that is commonly carried in churches.

I'm now moving toward organic church which is more than just a smaller model of the typical western church meeting today and I'm meeting weekly with a small group of believers and we are seeking to grow in this expression, in the belief that in doing so things rather than being easier tham before will in fact be harder and we'll have a lot of bumps and difficulties along the way, but I think that's a good thing if the result is that we're functioning as a church more like the early church did and like we wished the institutional church allows.

So in that regard, I guess I'm not disagreeing with Rich's comment so much as noting that I think there are far more people within the institutional church who really do have this issue and either are resigned to that fact or, as in my case, there are people leaving the traditional forms of church to look to find a deeper, more meaningful and personal faith than what is typically offered in many (I'm not saying all or that it isn't possible in traditional setting, just getting harder) church.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:46 pm

I hear you Bart...

I would also question the phrase "a Christian who is worshiping only on his own is being disobedient to scripture." I'm not sure if I agree with this. There are times when the Christian walk is lonely if not vacant from a relationship with another believer but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is empty of God either. As an example today I took a bike ride and experienced God along the trails of life and nature..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Canuckster1127 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:27 pm

Gman wrote:I hear you Bart...

I would also question the phrase "a Christian who is worshiping only on his own is being disobedient to scripture." I'm not sure if I agree with this. There are times when the Christian walk is lonely if not vacant from a relationship with another believer but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is empty of God either. As an example today I took a bike ride and experienced God along the trails of life and nature..


I think there are times where we walk alone for some periods of time, but overall I think I agree that corporate fellowship is an important and integral part of genuine Christian life. You can be alone or lonely however even in a crowd. Just physically being with people is a prerequisite to fellowship, but it doesn't guarantee it, especially if the meeting has 90% of the people just passively sitting and watching. Sure there's an element of corporate worship we can enter into (again if we choose to, as that is a matter of the heart of the one there) but that is not Christian life and fellowship at a high level. For many it is a panacea that lets them believe they've done their christian duty for the week and can now return to home and work where there's very little evidence that there's anything different about them and their walk with Christ and other believers.

I do believe there are works and special times in which the Holy Spirit works in our midst (and I'm not saying that in a charismatic sense although many might see that) that take place corporately. As a believer in Christ, I need and want to relate to my brothers and sisters in Christ and that can and should take place not just in chance meetings (although those are great) but in a deliberate context of fellowship and relationship.

So again, I'm not disagreeing with Rich in terms of what he's saying, I think I'm just trying to say that the context within many so called Christian fellowships are sadly very lonely and very shallow and further the practices in place there practically guarantee that that will continue.
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

http://bartsbarometer.com/

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby ageofknowledge » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:09 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:I've been out of traditional church for the past 8 months. In that time, I've been taking a little time to "detox" as it were from the idea that Christian fellowship and service is mostly passively sitting in a service watching other people perform and being spoon fed shallow pablum from the pulpit and then leaving with the impression that that constitutes my spiritual life for the most part.

I do think that christian fellowship is a huge element and I fear that far too often many who participate in an insitutional church have no strong relationships and knowledge of others or others who have knowledge of them. Further I fear that the structure and programs present, tend to preserve this state of being than to break out of it. I think some churches are recognizing this and trying to address it with cell groups, home fellowships etc., but in many cases all this becomes are smaller groups with the same dynamics that are in work in the larger meetings, with prepackaged bible studies, highly directed conversations and very little invitation to every member exercising their gifts and dropping the shield that is commonly carried in churches.

I'm now moving toward organic church which is more than just a smaller model of the typical western church meeting today and I'm meeting weekly with a small group of believers and we are seeking to grow in this expression, in the belief that in doing so things rather than being easier tham before will in fact be harder and we'll have a lot of bumps and difficulties along the way, but I think that's a good thing if the result is that we're functioning as a church more like the early church did and like we wished the institutional church allows.

So in that regard, I guess I'm not disagreeing with Rich's comment so much as noting that I think there are far more people within the institutional church who really do have this issue and either are resigned to that fact or, as in my case, there are people leaving the traditional forms of church to look to find a deeper, more meaningful and personal faith than what is typically offered in many (I'm not saying all or that it isn't possible in traditional setting, just getting harder) church.


I like what you're saying.

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:10 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:So in that regard, I guess I'm not disagreeing with Rich's comment so much as noting that I think there are far more people within the institutional church who really do have this issue and either are resigned to that fact or, as in my case, there are people leaving the traditional forms of church to look to find a deeper, more meaningful and personal faith than what is typically offered in many (I'm not saying all or that it isn't possible in traditional setting, just getting harder) church.


It's a hard nut to crack.. There is a lot of differences between people, not just in doctrine but also how one worships God. As an example music, I'm not a real fan of protestant music. I can tolerate it, but I'm not drawn to it. In the Catholic church, however, I'm really drawn to their music and the seriousness they put into their services. But I truly love the music, there is a type of sadness that draws me to it. Again this is more of a personal preference. And then there is the doctrine.. I'm a protestant at heart and in doctrine, but I'm drawn to the Catholic way of reverence...

But I hear you about the fellowship Bart.. Here is a question for you. I wonder if conversing on this forum is a type of fellowship? I think there is a touch of merit here.. :P
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:26 pm

cslewislover wrote:
Gman wrote:I think we could add to this page that God can also talk to you through others.... ;)


Ha ha, yeah, for sure. There have been times when God talked with me and convicted me about some things through what someone wrote on some threads. Of course; and I'm sure it happens with others too. We are God's hands . . .


CS.. You too? This was pretty strange. But I really felt that God was listening to me the other night. And then out of the blue Rich's message.

How cool is that?

Another one was when Rich posted on marijuana. Right after he posted a friend of mine had a son who was struggling with it. So I sent him Rich's page. The day after he posted.

Bizarre..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby B. W. » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:33 pm

Gman wrote:
cslewislover wrote:
Gman wrote:I think we could add to this page that God can also talk to you through others.... ;)


Ha ha, yeah, for sure. There have been times when God talked with me and convicted me about some things through what someone wrote on some threads. Of course; and I'm sure it happens with others too. We are God's hands . . .


CS.. You too? This was pretty strange. But I really felt that God was listening to me the other night. And then out of the blue Rich's message.

How cool is that?

Another one was when Rich posted on marijuana. Right after he posted a friend of mine had a son who was struggling with it. So I sent him Rich's page. The day after he posted.

Bizarre..



I have learned from everyone here on the forum just like the Iron sharpens Iron Proverbs 27:17 says...

and yes, I would say we have an interesting fellowship here that is used by the Lord for all who come here...

God Bless you all :D
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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Rich » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:17 am

The key is not that Christians shouldn't worship privately. Obviously, that is mostly what we do. However, the Christian is not to only worship privately. You don't need to necessarily worship in an institutional church. Attending a Bible study would fulfill scripture. The point is to have physical fellowship with fellow believers. The temptation, especially in this day when we can "meet" and pray for other Christians online, is to use the Internet as a substitute for gathering together as a body. Not that the online thing is bad. There are several people I regularly communicate with only online, with no expectation of ever seeing them on this side of the veil.

Gman,

I have experienced many times God directing the timing of things I have done. Sometimes things get delayed and I am getting frustrated, but then somebody tells me that my timing was perfect. But, it wasn't me!

God bless you all in the New Year.

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:15 pm

Rich wrote:Gman,

I have experienced many times God directing the timing of things I have done. Sometimes things get delayed and I am getting frustrated, but then somebody tells me that my timing was perfect. But, it wasn't me!

God bless you all in the New Year.


:P I think we can call that God's timing.. For sure. Even when we don't think it is...

You should have seen my face when I read your post that morning! :shock:
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby DannyM » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:34 am

Gman,

Sorry if I'm a bit late on this one, but I've just seen it. For what it's worth, I have never had a conversation with God; never heard from him and never had “an experience” of God. My experience of God is that he is there within, and whenever I pray he is just THERE. I don't expect an audible answer from God. Just to qualify that I DO talk to God and I know he's listening, but it is not a “conversation” in the orthodox sense as we know it.

As regards prayer, for me this is a personal thing between God and me — as it should be for EVERYONE. That's not to decry the group prayer in a church among the community. But, by and large, prayer is a personal thing for the Christian, which is between himself and God. I was with an ex-girlfriend once at a family (her family) dinner, all very nice and all very sweet. But my girlfriend's dad insisted on joining hands and praying thanks to God…Well, I had never felt so uncomfortable in my life: I thought it was absolutely absurd.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6: 5-8

God bless.

P.S. Thanks for the message, Gman.
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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:10 pm

DannyM wrote:Gman,

Sorry if I'm a bit late on this one, but I've just seen it. For what it's worth, I have never had a conversation with God; never heard from him and never had “an experience” of God. My experience of God is that he is there within, and whenever I pray he is just THERE. I don't expect an audible answer from God. Just to qualify that I DO talk to God and I know he's listening, but it is not a “conversation” in the orthodox sense as we know it.


It's a bit tricky, but for me I believe He can talk to me through imagery and music as well. I remember once when I was pulling out of a church parking lot that I was attending, when an image of a bright cross with a bunch of lights appeared in front of me. I guess this was a way God was putting His stamp on it... ;) Anyways, about a year later, this pastor turned into the president of the "Walking through the Bible" .org.

I'm also a firm believer in music as God's catalyst. I believe that God can talk to me via songs as strange as that may sound. But mostly I believe He can talk to us through others Matthew 25:35-37, or a small still voice I Kings 19:11-13.

DannyM wrote:As regards prayer, for me this is a personal thing between God and me — as it should be for EVERYONE. That's not to decry the group prayer in a church among the community. But, by and large, prayer is a personal thing for the Christian, which is between himself and God. I was with an ex-girlfriend once at a family (her family) dinner, all very nice and all very sweet. But my girlfriend's dad insisted on joining hands and praying thanks to God…Well, I had never felt so uncomfortable in my life: I thought it was absolutely absurd.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6: 5-8

God bless.

P.S. Thanks for the message, Gman.


I'm with you here.. I rarely pray in front of people, except in church.. I believe that it is a personal thing. Some like doing it in front of others, but I kind of shy away from this.
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby zoegirl » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:07 am

Gmam , defintely agree about the music!!
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: I Have Never Experienced God Personally

Postby Gman » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:06 am

zoegirl wrote:Gmam , defintely agree about the music!!


Thanks.. I think music is a very powerful tool that God uses.

Getting back to imagery, I remember once I was saddened about the death of my grandparents but God explained to me how the older generation hands off the "baton" to the next generation like in a race. Once I understood that, it made perfect sense to me.

Image
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8


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