Experiencing God = Knowing God

When it comes to our relationship with God we overvalue intellect and we undervalue experience. Why is this?

To Know God Is To Experience God

When the Bible says to “know God” (i.e. Ephesians 1:17) it does not mean to know him with the mind only. The word “know” means to know by experience. In fact, it’s the same root word as when Adam “knew” Eve. The point is, this “knowing” is rooted in experience.

Experience is a verb not just a noun. It means to encounter, feel, touch, see, hear etc. and it’s meant to be a big part of knowing God.

Somewhere along the way we have divorced “experience” from “knowledge”. Why?

If the Bible says that we are to know God with only the mind then I suppose He would of created each of us as one big brain and two legs. That would be pretty ugly.

Truth is, He’s given more than five senses to experience Him with. According to John Hopkins University, there are at least nine senses and others say more.

We Know People By Experiencing Them

To know anyone is to experience them. Knowing about them is not personally knowing them at all. You just have a bunch of information on them.

How would you like to intellectually know your spouse, your best friends and/or your children? Ludicrous.

As ridiculous as this is, believers tend to frown on people who have deep experiences with God. Dreams, visions, falling, shaking, laughing, dancing, shouting etc. are thrown into the experiential realm and are not considered a big part of knowing God. I would argue that it is!

By Faith We Understand

Far too often we see experience as weak and intellect as strong. We give more credence to what is understood than to what is experienced.

I think many are so afraid of error that fear trumps the weight of the encounter. But experience is what gives truth its substance.

The Bible says, that it’s “by faith we understand…” (Hebrews 11:3). That verse does not say that faith follows our understanding.

So we would prefer to read the Word of God without too much consideration to experiencing the God of the Word.

Knowing God

Just read the Gospels or the Book of Acts and you’ll discover people encountering angels and seeing visions, crippled people walking, dead people rising, demons fleeing, fevers leaving, prison cells opening and the anointing flowing. People are experiencing God and the realm of heaven, His Kingdom. It’s all a part of knowing God.

Growing in the knowledge of God has everything to do with experiencing God. I believe knowledge is experience and experience is knowledge.

Experiencing God is an invitation into a supernatural experiential realm which we are all born for.

God loves our minds and has made the mind to love Him but there is so much more! When we experience God fully we will know God supremely.

Question: How have you grown in the knowledge of God through your own experiences?

Comments

  1. says

    I think that in order to experience God we must connect our theology and study of God’s Word with our real life experiences. I think a great example of this is the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 6. He knew about God but he hadn’t really experienced God until he saw God on his throne. It was an overwhelming experience as all of a sudden Isaiah’s theology was right before his own eyes!

    • says

      Hi Caleb. Great example! I always say we are one encounter away from good theology. Don’t get me wrong, experience never trumps the Word but I’ve realized how my theology has changed over time as a result of God encounters that I discovered were in the Word of God after all.

    • says

      Hi David. Glad you stumbled on the blog! Haven’t read Religious Affections but I do like Edwards. Nice to be compared to his passion and thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Come by again. Blessings!

  2. says

    Thanks for this article. I have grown in the knowledge of God through my own experience of prayer and worship and Meditation of God’s word. I truly believe that as a believer in Christ we tend to box God in a corner and put limits on him. However what I have experienced in the last year of seeing answer to prayers and experiencing his presence has truly spiritually formed me to be more Christlike and experience his sovereignty.

    • says

      Hi Ryan. Welcome to the blog. What a great testimony. No more boxes, I agree.

      I am so glad to read about your breakthrough. I partner with you to as we have the privilege of going from “glory to glory” experiencing greater love and revelation as we continue to draw near to the living God!

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