Experiencing God's Wonder
25 March 2017
Reading: Joshua 21-22; Psalm 47; 1 Corinthians 10
But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased. (1 Corinthians 10:5 MSG)
People are hungry for experiences of God’s wonder and grace! “If only I could see a miracle. I just want to feel God’s presence! I need something tangible to get hold of.”
I agree wholeheartedly. I believe we should desire not only to know about God but to know God. I believe we should not only read about what God has done in the Bible or hear it in stories from other people, but we should be eager to experience the reality of God’s power and God’s presence in our lives.
Here’s something we need to be careful about. We think, “If only I could see a miracle or experience some tangible sign of God’s power and presence, then everything would be different!” Actually, everything won’t be different. At least not for very long! We’ll still be who we are and we’ll still be where we are and still be doing what we’ve been doing. It’s absolutely wonderful to experience God’s wonder. But soon, in the ordinariness of life, we forget how we felt, the thoughts we were thinking, and how determined we were that it would all be different from now on.
It takes more than occasional experiences. The vibrant life of a Christ-follower also includes growing daily in grace, in faith, and in the steady practice of living what we believe on days that don’t seem wonderful! If I let go of the daily disciplines that nourish my soul and strengthen my faith, then just as the Israelites were defeated by the testing they experienced in the wilderness, I will stumble and fall.
It’s not Either/Or, friends, it’s Both/And!
Father, I pray for experiences of your wonder and grace and for the foundation of a growing and disciplined faith. I know that discipline without experience becomes legalism and experience without discipline is only fleeting. Please help me build a life pattern that is steady and disciplined, and as you see fit, please bless me with experiences of your power and grace. Amen.