Thursday, 13 January 2011

Are you experiencing God?

"Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, 'You are the God who sees me.'" Genesis 16:13 (NLT)

God's purpose in Christ was to restore man to Himself so that man could know his Creator, personally and intimately! God reveals Himself to mankind not only so that man can know about Him but to invite man to enter into intimate knowledge and experience of Him. Sadly many believers are satisfied with knowing about God and don't pursue an experiential knowledge of God. Simply depending on knowledge about God can however be perilous. Jesus says,

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

The truth is that we can know someone's name without actually knowing the person. Hagar used another name for God because she experienced an aspect of who He is - El-Roi, "The God who sees me." The name she used for God was an expression of her relationship and experience with God.

Jesus came to reveal the Father so that those who believe would enter into the knowledge of God. Jesus prays,

"I have manifested Your Name [I have revealed Your very Self, Your real Self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world." John 17:6 (AMP)

The manifestation of God's Name is an invitation to enter into the experience of that Name. For example, God invites man to know Him and experience Him as "Our Father." God wants us to call Him "Father" because we experience His Fatherhood and not just because He has revealed His Name as such. Likewise, those who call Jesus, "Lord," must understand that to call Him by that Name must be out of their experience of Him as Lord. That is why Jesus reprimands those who call Him, "Lord, Lord," and yet don't live in the experience of that Name by living in submission to Him.

We must ask ourselves, "Am I experiencing God according to the name that I address Him with?" Do you call God your "Father" because you are living as a child of God and experiencing His Fatherhood? Do you call Jesus, "Lord" because you live in submission to His lordship? Do you call God, "Almighty" because you believe in, and experience His supremacy?

God is inviting you to know Him more. Every name of God in Scripture is an invitation for you to know Him and experience Him according to that name. What name will you use to refer to God because of your knowledge and experience of Him today?

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