Over the last several years I’ve noticed many people have never tasted the goodness of God. Many of these people are Christians who have a great intellectual knowledge of God through the scripture. While I never want to diminish the importance of reading and understanding scripture, we are called to have more than just an intellectual knowledge of Jesus. God wants us to have an experiential knowledge of Jesus where we taste of His goodness. The word experience means to have practical contact with or participate in events. Our intellectual understanding of scripture should lead us to the experience the scripture describes. Look at this verse:
Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
David wrote that we are to taste God’s goodness. Taste means the sensation of flavor perceived in the mouth and throat on contact with a substance. Taste is an experience! If you think about it, there is a difference between hearing me describe what it is like to eat a filet mignon as compared to eating one yourself. As well as I try to describe what a file mignon tastes like, your understanding will be limited until you actually taste one yourself.
So how do we practically taste God’s goodness? We are to act on the scripture and expect results. For example, John 16:24 says Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. This means when we ask something from God www should expect to receive because the result is our joy is full. Joy is an experience! Praying for the sake of praying without expecting to get results is formulaic and religious at best. It doesn’t lead to the experiential knowledge of answered prayers which creates joy and knits our heart closer to God.
Another way to experience God is to learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Look at John 10:
2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
These verses say Jesus, who is the shepherd of the sheep, literally knows us by name. He calls out to us and leads. These are awesome verses to read, but even better when they are experienced.
For example, Jesus spoke to me in my heart in 2018 about believing Him to buy a church building. We were a church plant with 90-100 people coming regularly that only had less than $50,000 in the bank. I believed I had heard God and told some of my key leaders. When I told them, I didn’t know how Jesus was going to make it happen, I just knew that He would.
A few months later He made a great building come available in one of the best locations in Greensboro. On paper we couldn’t pay for it, but as I prayed I sensed we were supposed to move forward and try to purchase the property. Through my act of obedience, God made numerous financial miracles happen and we ended up purchasing a property valued at 1 million dollars for less than half of that amount. Jesus then gave us the $150,000 we needed to renovate it over the next few months. When we moved in on July 21st, 2019. It was absolutely miraculous! And it was an experience! I tasted God’s goodness!
Experiences with God woo our heart and cause us to fall in love with Him. He becomes a real Father I do life with now, not just an abstract idea of the big guy up in the sky I will meet one day. I personally believe no one will have true biblical contentment in this life until they begin to experience Him in practical ways now.
I do want clarify that I am not against having an intellectual knowledge of God. It is vital we understand scripture and develop good theology. When we do this, good theology should cause our experiences with Jesus to become transcendent. Good theology is the platform to develop great experiences.
I hope you have an amazing rest of your week! If you’d like to learn more about experiencing God, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.