Tanya Marlow was kind enough to allow me to post this email she sent me in response to my post about experiencing God. If you don’t already, follow her on Twitter.
OH wow. I don’t really know where to begin…I was so moved by this post. I think you’re right – at least in the Christian circle that I move in – we rarely speak of our experiences of God. It is safe and easy to talk of our thoughts about God and teach others of His Word – sharing our relationship with God is more vulnerable. It sounds emotive and emotional and open to question – unlike our apologetics and preaching which is intellectually robust. What if people are not on the same page as us? What if they dismiss it as over-emotional imaginings?I love that you described the morning you just had. I love the humility that comes from being swept away by the grace of God and experiencing the goodness of His presence and the power of His Spirit. This post was full of that humility and wonder at meeting with God.Last year I had the longest time of not hearing God speak or feeling His presence. I was resentful of those who claimed to hear God speak and looked on with cynicism. In the (mainly conservative evangelical) circles that I move in, I challenged every Christian I knew to tell me of the last time God had spoken to them – not just in a ‘general, this is what the BIble says’ way, but in a ‘God is speaking directly to my heart’ way. To my great surprise, almost all of them told me of a time recently that that had happened. In a way it was comforting – these people who rarely talked about their personal relationship with God did indeed commune with Him. But in another way it was hard to hear – why did God not speak to me?It was a long time and a lot of wrestling until I felt the presence of God again – on one amazing afternoon in the back garden. I hold onto and treasure that memory.Recently I have been feeling again a growing distance in my relationship with God.This morning I read 12 testimonies of people in our church who have become Christians in the past two years. I found myself moved to tears, and was also struck by how many of them, (some very young) were able to testify to the presence of God and baptism of the Spirit as their real experience.So it could be that, or it could just be coincidence – but for whatever reason, when I read your post today, and especially when I reached your challenge to pray for the Holy Spirit – I did. And for some unknown reason, I found myself unexpectedly flooded with a sense of God’s presence – and my eyes did a little flooding of their own.Thank you.