40 Days On the Edge (Day 23): An Amazing Condescension
40 Days On the Edge (Day 25): Small Graces From a Hand of Kindness

40 Days On the Edge (Day 24): Experiencing God

crowd Like most Christians, I have at times sought or longed for spiritual "experience."  I have heard of such things, even had good friends tell me such things as Jesus speaking audibly to them, being overwhelmed by a sense of His presence, and so on.  And yet that's not, by and large, my experience.  Nor does it seem normative.

What Moses and Elijah experienced on those mountains long ago was special to them --- hearing the whisper of God, seeing the back of God --- but is not to be sought after by me.  My experience is rooted in the Word of God.  And, really, what endured for Moses was the tablets of commandments, the moral law given to him by God, and for Elijah, the voice, the Word he heard.  That is what endured for generations after, even to us.

Yet, eyes wide open, we still ask for God to reveal Himself to us.  Though our seeing is bounded by and set free by the Word, we rightly look around at the world of the present, the Creation and the built environment, and ask that God speak, that He reveal Himself.  We look back in time, through corridors of memory, and see his providences.  We look ahead, through prophecy and promise, and see what might come.

In 1976, as a college freshman, I attended the Urbana Missions Conference in Illinois.  One night I was in the auditorium with over 10,000 people listening to Billy Graham speak on "Responding to His Glory."  I had an experience.  I felt like I had a glimpse of Heaven, the present reality of the "communion of the saints," a phrase I did not even know at that time.  Since then, I've had that experience many more times, not often but more than I can count, and always unbidden.  I look around in church and feel at home, among family, or I read about the life of some believer now gone, and I realize they are related to me.  I feel kinship.  I'm moved.

I'm glad for spiritual experiences.  But I'm more glad that I have a sure Word to hang onto.