Judges 2:7 – “So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.”  NKJV

There was an old country preacher I knew who often said regarding the presence of God, “It is better felt than telt….”  I love feeling the presence of God and basking in the sunlight of His presence, power, and love.  And, as I reflect on that preacher’s words, I find something worthy of consideration regarding experience.  I never want to reach where I base my relationship with God on an emotional experience, but I never want to discount or discontinue that.  I long to make my permeant residence In His Presence here and eternity.

In this particular passage, there is a realization that is important in life.  I have heard about some of the great revivals of days gone by but did not experience them.  However, I have been in the presence of God and had some incredible experiences. I witnessed some powerful moves of God’s Spirit that lasted long in churches, communities, and people.  I treasure those. 

Who among us is not cognizant that historical experiences we did not participate in do not captivate us as those we did?  This passage reveals that so long as Joshua, the Moses mentored leader who led the nation into the Promised Land, and the elders who were eyewitnesses lived, Gog Reigned in people’s hearts.  When they died, there were no longer those who had experiential first-hand knowledge of God’s mighty deliverance and fulfilling His promise to bring them to the Land of Milk and Honey.  When experience died, there was a gradual erosion of commitment and a turning away or growing cold in dedication.

Every revival of the church often lasted until the generation that witnessed and experienced it died, and then it began to wane.  The fervor and fire of that revival kept the Church on track pursuing the truth that revival revealed and restored. Still, when none had experienced it, those who had heard about it could not embrace it with the same devotion nor feel the same compulsion to comply with the directives of the Spirit of God.  It was, to them, theoretical rather than experiential. 

Sadly, many identify themselves as Christians in much the same way, theoretical rather than experiential.  We talk about God being able to “do all things,” but if we have not witnessed or experienced His miraculous, it is, to us, theory, and when the chips are down, we cannot stand on the promise with confidence.

I know some who grew up in churches and homes with a fervent dedication to God; prayer was a staple, and the Bible was the guide.  They heard about it from their parents and grandparents but have yet to experience it for themselves truly. As those who had the experience received their eternal promotion, the devotion and practices that kept the fire burning waned and diminished.  That reminds me of the truth: “You cannot get to heaven on Mama or Papa’s faith or experience.” 

Christianity is a personal experience and relationship, not something inherited like property.  Growing up, attending church may help you establish some important moral principles and ethics but will not save your soul.  The fact that Mama or Papa had their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life does not automatically inscribe yours there.  It is an individual and personal experience.  “If we (each individual) confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” 

Experience or having a spiritual encounter with God is incredibly valuable in helping us resist temptation and maintain our dedication as we “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.”   If you do not personally know Jesus, I urge you to go into your prayer closet, call upon Him in repentance, and receive His pardon and grace t, transforming you from darkness to light.  Jesus has promised that if Anyone calls upon Him, He will not reject us.  Today is the day of salvation and now is the accepted time.  Experience God for yourself; the Bible will no longer be a theory but a reality.

God bless you as you open the door to today with all its problems, promises, and potential.  Have a Great Day!

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