Experiencing God

What Does it Mean to “Experience” God?

Imagine a distant relative, say an uncle, whom you’ve seldom if ever met and with whom you’ve spent no significant time.  You are related to him, but you really don’t know him – you haven’t really experienced a relationship with him.  So it often is with God, in that as Christians we have a relationship with God through trusting Christ for our salvation, but we haven’t experienced an intimate relationship with him.

Another way of explaining this is to say we know about God, but often don’t really know God in the experiential dimension.  God is a person and therefore is capable of being known as we would know a human person.  We can talk to him, and more importantly, we can hear him speaking to us.  Granted, this “hearing” will not be audible, but it can actually be just as real  On a Personal Retreat, properly executed, you will walk and talk with him, just like he was your best friend standing next to you.

The “noise” and “busyness” of life prevent us from experiencing the presence of God.  Personal Retreats are the remedy.  When you experience God in this way, you are transformed by his peace, his love, his direction, and his comfort.  Prayer takes on a whole new dimension.

The Role of Journaling

The key to “experiencing God” on your Personal Retreat (or in your daily life) is journaling.  A journal is:

A recording of your ongoing relationship with God for the purpose of enhancing spiritual growth

A journal is not a diary, but a record of your spiritual journey – your struggles, defeats, prayers, provisions, and successes.  The best example of a great journal is the Psalms.  David, and some other authors, reveal the raw, unvarnished feelings of their hearts invaded by the reality of God and his promises.

On your Personal Retreat journaling will not merely record your experience of God, but will actually be a tool that will generate a lot of that experience.  Though you won’t audible “hear” God on your retreat, he can and will speak to you through what you write in your journal.

Solitude

A lot of the special experience of God that comes on a Personal Retreat results from solitude.  Being alone with no one but God lends itself to a deeper experience of his presence.  The numerous people we are normally in contact with tend to obscure deep communication with God.  Your Personal Retreat enables a focus that greatly enhances the reality of God’s presence.