I want to employ my senses to experience God. I want to touch His face, smell His presence, and hear His whisper. I want to feel His arms wrap around me and His breath warm on my neck when I’m alone. I want to see the colors of the sunset or sunrise with eyes created for glory; I want a peek of the living colors of heaven.
Is it possible to experience such things? Is it possible to spiritually fly up to the throne while my feet are still in this dust?
It is biblical.
Men of the Bible knew such experiences. David experienced encounters with the Living God. He writes in Psalm 63 (Our Bite of Bread for the week), “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.” This vision is so tangible to David he writes, “My soul will be satisfied as with the riches of foods.”
Paul speaks of being caught up into the “third heaven”! (2 Corinthians 12:2). I’ve not experienced such marvels, but I do not doubt its possibility. I don’t want to live only for these moments–that isn’t the point. But I don’t want to miss anything available to me either.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “A day is coming when the true worshiper will worship in Spirit and in Truth.” Many of us worship with our minds, the Truth we can understand, but we don’t employ our spirits with the Spirit in our worship. I have been known to stretch people a little too far past their comfort zone when teaching on praise and worship. I have read books that give us permission to worship the Lord with no outward demonstration of love (if that is your personality.) I’m all about personality, but I also know what a joy it is to worship my God with the arms and hands and lips, and feet He gave me. It helps me “feel” Him. I believe He created us with such body parts to glorify Him but also to experience His pleasure.
There have been times when I haven’t been able to feel His Presence–times when I desperately needed Him. In those days of grief, I would run outside to see the sunset. That was where I could find Him.
But there was one specific time, long ago, when His Presence was tangible, and it’s carried me through the days when I had to walk by faith and not by feeling or sight.
When my kids were small, Mike was deployed to Kosovo for five months on a peace-keeping mission. After a few weeks of his absence, we fell into our routine. I got my “marching rhythm” as I called it. Most days were filled with activity and most nights I fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. But one night when I crawled into my empty bed, that lonely feeling crept in, and I missed my man.
I remember praying, “God, I know you are my source, and Mike and the kids are the icing on the top, but I miss him. I can’t feel your arms around me like I can feel his when he is home.”
I turned on my side facing the dark wall. Tears trickled down my face, and invisible, tangible arms wrapped around me. I closed my eyes and fell asleep in the arms of God.
Have you experienced the Holy Spirit in such a way? If you have please leave a comment. Your testimony of His tangible reality encourages others.God doesn't have favorites. He wants all to know His Presence and how much He loves them. Click To Tweet
Let’s pray. Grab my hand:
Dear Father, the God who came incarnate so that we could know you, reveal yourself to us more and more each day. Help us find the still, quiet places where we can wait for your tangible presence. Whether we experience your presence as you lead us to a certain Bible passage or book sitting on our coffee table that answers our questions we just prayed, or we literally feel arms around us, or experience tears as we watch the sunrise. . . make yourself known to us as we trust you. Spirit talks to spirit. Open ours to yours. Clean out our receptors and silence our doubts. May we not only worship by Truth but also by Spirit. Amen.”
Finding Purpose Aware of His Spirit