Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experience

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Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experience

#1

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:49 am

catherine wrote:B.W, I think I might be one of the ones who are called but not chosen Matt 22:14. I pray to Jesus and ask Him if He is real and to let me know He is real and He has forgiven me etc, but I never feel any different or 'understand' that I am forgiven. (I tell him I've got a hard heart that needs to be replaced). I usually get fed up of not feeling forgiven and then I 'give up' on Him - for a while, until I'm drawn back to Him. It's a vicious circle. I then think, maybe it's all a load of baloney or maybe I'm not forgiven. I've been like this for the last twenty four or so years. I can't be born again if I don't even know I'm redeemed. :(
This is quoted from another thread.

Catherine, I'm sure you don't mind. I just think this an important topic. Just wondering, you don't actually say you asked Christ into your life. Have you taken this step and not felt any different, or is this a step you don't feel you can sincerely take without feeling something?

To other Christians here, what do we make of those who ask Christ into their lives, but they feel none the different thereafter? Is God withholding Himself from such persons? Does He want such a person to keep seeking Him? Is the person in question not really seeking in the right way? It is not something I've actually ever thought too deeply on myself as I have always seen it as a clearcut either you come to Christ, or you dont. So I'd be interested to hear what others think.

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#2

Post by jlay » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:07 pm

Catherine, clear something up for me.
You say you don't feel anything. And then you say you are, "drawn back to Him."
Don't you think that there is a conflict there? If you are drawn, then you are feeling something, no? And here we aren't talking about emotional feelings, but awareness and the sense of His drawing.

Now for the emotional feelings. Is being forgiven a feeling? If I TRUST that I am forgiven, then what am I too feel? Trust means, I place my faith in something regardless of my feelings. Your feelings can and will betray you.

Let's say someone wrongs you. You completely forgive them. Do their "feelings" have anything to do with whether you have forgiven them or not? Nope. They are just as forgiven, whether they trust it or not.

The bible says to trust Him. Not to trust your feelings.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#3

Post by catherine » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:48 pm

Thank you Kurieuo for starting this thread. I've just been praying a prayer that B.W has posted for me and I'm going to continue to pray about this. I have asked Jesus into my life in the past, but I think I've always been rather 'half hearted' due to doubts and maybe not wanting to relinquish all my will.

The 'drawing' that I 'feel' is not a feeling I can put my finger on. It's a 'wanting' to know if God really is real and if Jesus is real and there is a purpose to us being alive. I'm going to pray about this all now and I'll come back to you hopefully Sunday night.

God Bless All.

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#4

Post by catherine » Sun Apr 11, 2010 11:28 am

Hi guys,

I had a time of prayer Friday night, and B.W gave me a great prayer to start me off. I prayed that God would save me (and my family) and forgive me for every single sin I've ever committed and would give me a new heart and mind. I prayed earnestly for His Holy Spirit to baptize me and thus bring alive that tiniest of mustard grain of faith I have and make my faith alive and on fire so that I would Know He is real, just as I know my family are real. I kept (keep) asking if He (Jesus) is real and to forgive my doubts. I asked that I would find truth so that I don't keep sailing from one wave of confusion to another, with this doctrine and that doctrine but to know Him. I went to bed and continued to pray but to my shame I fell asleep at some point. I had cried a lot the night before and I hoped a miracle would happen and I'd wake up 'different' but I'm just the same. My doubts are still the same, my fears and confusions. Maybe I'm expecting something that isn't going to happen the way I imagine it. IT's just that when I read the accounts in the NT, I get the impression that the Holy Spirit's baptism is a dynamic, powerful 'experience'. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits, He is the Comforter. He can bring peace that is beyond all understanding. I have had a 'spiritual experience' as described in another post on this site, but a 'power' experience, is not the same as a 'person' experience surely? I've felt a tremendous power outside of me and then in me, but I don't know for sure what or where that power came from. If I'd felt the 'peace that goes beyond all understanding, coupled with an assurance that Jesus is real and has forgiven me, then that would be amazing and I'd say , yes, that's the Holy Spirit doing His work. I believe 'feelings' are an essential part of human experience and although I'd agree they are not the foundation of our faith, or the most important aspect of faith, but I think it would be impossible to not include 'feelings' here, because even some of the fruits of the spirit are 'feelings' to some extent e.g 'joy', 'peace'. I'm not trying to compare 'joy' of the Spirit, with 'happiness' which is a more carnal reaction. I can 'feel' happy because I'm about to have my favourite dinner, but the 'joy' I feel when I hold my grandson is a different thing all together. I hope you can see where I'm coming from here. If I were to 'know' that I am saved and that Jesus really is real, then that knowledge would cause 'joy', 'gratitude', 'love', 'relief' etc. to be born in my spirit.

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#5

Post by Gman » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:30 pm

catherine wrote:I believe 'feelings' are an essential part of human experience and although I'd agree they are not the foundation of our faith, or the most important aspect of faith, but I think it would be impossible to not include 'feelings' here, because even some of the fruits of the spirit are 'feelings' to some extent e.g 'joy', 'peace'. I'm not trying to compare 'joy' of the Spirit, with 'happiness' which is a more carnal reaction. I can 'feel' happy because I'm about to have my favourite dinner, but the 'joy' I feel when I hold my grandson is a different thing all together. I hope you can see where I'm coming from here. If I were to 'know' that I am saved and that Jesus really is real, then that knowledge would cause 'joy', 'gratitude', 'love', 'relief' etc. to be born in my spirit.
Oh, yes... I would agree that "feelings" ARE a part of our spiritual journey. While nothing would compare to the day of Pentecost in which many miraculous events occurred, I believe a spiritual awakening can occur within us that might not be as powerful as it was seen on that day.

I believe God expects us to worship him with all our heart, mind, and soul Mt 22:36-38. In other words everything that makes us human which includes our feelings... Although I wouldn't say necessarily believe we should let our feeling control us, they still are an important part of us nonetheless.

Just a note, many believers are extremely fearful of feelings, and that feelings have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. But I disagree. There is type of joy that I believe is supernatural, and that can only come from God. And that joy can hit you at any time.. ;)
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: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#6

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:29 pm

Catherine, for what its worth I believe you are saved, if you did ask Christ into your life and meant it. Perhaps you had even invited Christ into your life before this. God can read your heart, so even before you spoke He was there. Rest assured, I have heard stories from those (often very rational types) who also did not have an saving experience.

That said, if you are seeking an experiential confirmation from God, I was thinking on this yesterday. I had the thought while driving to church with my family... Before my wife came to Christ we would often debate many topics. I ended up taking her to an Alpha course as her interested seemed to peak in my beliefs, and attending the church which ran the course during night services. She would always tell me she can't force herself to believe. Eventually God moved her at a church service and she responded to an alter call... seeing some connection between a greater community of Christians and my wife's conversion experience, I asked my wife, "Do you think you would have been moved by God if you just rationally accepted all I was saying, rather than being within a congregation of Christians?" She didn't know where that question came from, but was not sure.

Jesus said, where two or more gather in His name, then He is in their midst (Matthew 18:20). If you are seeking a revelatory experience then I'd recommend joining a live community of Christians. Church night services are often best for this as they are more alive. Getting into contact with friends you know are strong "live" Christians would also be good. I'm sure they would be more than happy to help you. However, I strongly believe if you attend a few night services at a live Christian church, you will receive the experience and peace of mind you are looking for.

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#7

Post by B. W. » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:20 pm

catherine wrote:Hi guys,

I had a time of prayer Friday night, and B.W gave me a great prayer to start me off. I prayed that God would save me (and my family) and forgive me for every single sin I've ever committed and would give me a new heart and mind. I prayed earnestly for His Holy Spirit to baptize me and thus bring alive that tiniest of mustard grain of faith I have and make my faith alive and on fire so that I would Know He is real, just as I know my family are real. I kept (keep) asking if He (Jesus) is real and to forgive my doubts. I asked that I would find truth so that I don't keep sailing from one wave of confusion to another, with this doctrine and that doctrine but to know Him. I went to bed and continued to pray but to my shame I fell asleep at some point. I had cried a lot the night before and I hoped a miracle would happen and I'd wake up 'different' but I'm just the same. My doubts are still the same, my fears and confusions. Maybe I'm expecting something that isn't going to happen the way I imagine it. IT's just that when I read the accounts in the NT, I get the impression that the Holy Spirit's baptism is a dynamic, powerful 'experience'. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits, He is the Comforter. He can bring peace that is beyond all understanding. I have had a 'spiritual experience' as described in another post on this site, but a 'power' experience, is not the same as a 'person' experience surely? I've felt a tremendous power outside of me and then in me, but I don't know for sure what or where that power came from. If I'd felt the 'peace that goes beyond all understanding, coupled with an assurance that Jesus is real and has forgiven me, then that would be amazing and I'd say , yes, that's the Holy Spirit doing His work. I believe 'feelings' are an essential part of human experience and although I'd agree they are not the foundation of our faith, or the most important aspect of faith, but I think it would be impossible to not include 'feelings' here, because even some of the fruits of the spirit are 'feelings' to some extent e.g 'joy', 'peace'. I'm not trying to compare 'joy' of the Spirit, with 'happiness' which is a more carnal reaction. I can 'feel' happy because I'm about to have my favourite dinner, but the 'joy' I feel when I hold my grandson is a different thing all together. I hope you can see where I'm coming from here. If I were to 'know' that I am saved and that Jesus really is real, then that knowledge would cause 'joy', 'gratitude', 'love', 'relief' etc. to be born in my spirit.
Hi Catherine,

Don't so much look for feeling as a sign but rather towards God's Nurturing and Fostering to begin now. You made your first step as a new born in Christ, now comes the nurture as like how you feel when holding your grandson is how the Lord feels holding you. It takes time to learn and grow into recognizing the nurturing begun.

When I first prayed my heart out to be saved - I felt numb and it wasn't till a few days later that I began to sense something new, that this newness was a sense of cleanness. It took me a few days to realize to make sense of what I was sensing - cleanness. It wasn't until I became baptized that any full feelings came but I had to grow a bit — gain some strength and nourishment from the Lord.

Everyone is different. So don't look so much for signs but rather toward the Lord beginning to Nurture you into the Kingdom. It takes time; Feeling will in all likelihood come later but now rest. You placed your faith in the Lord and He does have you now and he will not let you go.

You may feel like you have let go — but he will not. You may soon discover that your mind will drift toward the Lord and wanting to know him better or you may begin reading the bible and new insight is granted you have never seen before. Many things may happen so become aware you the newness of life you will grow into.

When you hold your grandson think how the Lord holds you. If your grandson is anything like my 15 month old grandniece, notice how they squirm and can't settle in. There is always something in the room that distracts, another lap beckons, another toy, another book, and they slide out of your lap and off they go exploring the room. Are they alone? They may think so because they only can see what is in front of them and haven't come into awareness that we see them scampering about keeping a watchful / helpful eye on them!

You're like that little 15 month old child who can't sit still for a moment, slides off Papa's lap and runs into the room. What, where's papa — I can't see him? Then turning around — ah there's papa! There's grandma! Slowly you learn: They don't disappear when you can't see them - they are behind me, in the same room, when I cry — there they are! Next time you hold your grandson — remember this.

You have become born again — I think when we all became born again we are like little 15 and 16 month old children who just can't sit in Papa's lap for very long. So we slide off and pick up the book babbling then, jump right back into the arms of our heavenly Father, and as soon as He begins to read a few verses, we see something else and slide back out of his lap. He watches our frolicking about. You are in the same room. He see's — that how nurturing begins…

God bless and welcome into the Kingdom of God!

y@};-
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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#8

Post by Gman » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:40 pm

I've always liked this verse... Although we may have the spirit indwelling within us, we still need to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds which happens through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

All the best... ;)
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: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#9

Post by B. W. » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:06 am

Gman wrote:I've always liked this verse... Although we may have the spirit indwelling within us, we still need to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds which happens through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

All the best... ;)
This is what happens when a little 15 month old child carries his/her favorite book to you to read, settles in, and then after a few seconds, squirms off your lap onto something else and then returns repeatedly with book in hand. After time, they learn to sit still long enough to have their minds renewed. We are like that. Take to the word of God and read. Begin in the New Testament!

God Bless!
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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#10

Post by catherine » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:38 pm

Thanks guys for all your encouragement and help. I'll wait on God now and trust 'He will not let (me) go' (I hope with all my heart you are right B.W- I do feel like I've let go most of the time).

I've had some negative experiences at 'churches' and so I'll pray that God will lead me to a body of believers that is as balanced as possible. I used to go to a 'good' church which does great things in the community and has vibrant worship etc, but I was put off by some things there. I did an Alpha course there last year and I had loads of questions which no one could or would answer. Their eyes glazed over. (and no, I wasn't hogging the sessions or posing too many questions. We didn't really get many chances to 'discuss' things properly.) I began to view the Sunday service as the weekly 'pep talk' that keeps you going til next time. Some of the 'gimmicks' were not to my liking (we had Bobby Ball visit us one time- sorry to non UK members who don't know him. He's quite famous and was on telly at Christmas although I didn't watch him). I didn't feel what they were feeling and I couldn't join in with the enthusiasm etc, because having got up to various altar calls for prayer, I never 'felt' any different. And of course seeing how people 'didn't get healed when they went up for prayer, although they did fall back easy enough, didn't fill me with confidence either. Anyhow, I'll take it one step at a time. Say a prayer for me guys. y@};-

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#11

Post by Gman » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:37 pm

Catherine, I don't think you will always find God in Church or in healings.. I think the important thing to remember is that God wants you to be free.. John 8:32 John 8:36 Galatians 5:1.

Blessings to you.. y@};-
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: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#12

Post by B. W. » Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:08 pm

Hi Catherine,

Sounds like you been to a show man church. I feel sad that you were exposed to such church expereince in the past. Many people leave such disenchanted. If Bobby Ball is who I think he is - he's a comedian - correct?

I'll post a link below and hope you can access it. It is for Bible Study Fellowship International woman's classes in in the UK. The classes are winding down only 4 weeks left. You could try finding one near you and contacting the contact person and ask them you would like to check out a class before these end. These classes only have one night a month for this called Intro nights where new people can check out if this is something they like. I think you missed April's but the UK maybe different. Let them know you are trying to find a solid church to check out and see if someone maybe able to help point you to one.

http://www.bsfinternational.org/Classes ... fault.aspx

People in the UK tell me, it is pretty hard to find Churches there - so we'll be keeping you in our prayers. Also please keep pluged in here and ask all the questions you like! We'll try to be a fellowship for you as best we can across the pond!
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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#13

Post by Gman » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:09 pm

Luke 15:23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

:D
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: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#14

Post by catherine » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:02 am

B. W. wrote:Hi Catherine,

Sounds like you been to a show man church. I feel sad that you were exposed to such church expereince in the past. Many people leave such disenchanted. If Bobby Ball is who I think he is - he's a comedian - correct?

I'll post a link below and hope you can access it. It is for Bible Study Fellowship International woman's classes in in the UK. The classes are winding down only 4 weeks left. You could try finding one near you and contacting the contact person and ask them you would like to check out a class before these end. These classes only have one night a month for this called Intro nights where new people can check out if this is something they like. I think you missed April's but the UK maybe different. Let them know you are trying to find a solid church to check out and see if someone maybe able to help point you to one.

http://www.bsfinternational.org/Classes ... fault.aspx

People in the UK tell me, it is pretty hard to find Churches there - so we'll be keeping you in our prayers. Also please keep pluged in here and ask all the questions you like! We'll try to be a fellowship for you as best we can across the pond!
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Yes, Bobby Ball is a comedian (Canon and Ball).
I checked out the link. Thank you for sending it. There are no classes near me. They are all a few hours away. :(

I'll continue to pray about it. y[-o<

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Re: Coming to Christ: What to make of no spiritual experienc

#15

Post by catherine » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:08 am

Gman wrote:Catherine, I don't think you will always find God in Church or in healings.. I think the important thing to remember is that God wants you to be free.. John 8:32 John 8:36 Galatians 5:1.

Blessings to you.. y@};-

I'm sure you're right Gman and I'm sure there is a 'church' out there that God will direct me to. :ebiggrin:

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