Spiritual Relationship with God and Spiritual Experiences
Table of Contents
- Spiritual Axioms
- Evidence of the Spiritual
- Humanities Relationship with God
- Believers Relationship with God
The most important axiom or self evident truth in a believers life is their personal relationship with God. The facts that their own personal experience and relationship with God bring fourth fruit in their own heart. This in turn causing them to continually, passionately pursue God because they have a real loving relationship with Him is the most real experience they will ever have in their life. Something that no one can take away, in the same way that a son known his father loves him, and no one can take that out of his life.
To preface the facts given below, it’s important to understand that for believers and unbelievers this axiom will be different. As the regenerate and unregenerate will interpret spiritual experiences in different ways.
The spiritual is not logic, intellect or emotion. The spirit is meant to be greater than or govern both our mind (logic) and heart (emotion) Rom 8.6-11. We can see in Eph 1.18 the spirit governing and revealing spiritual things to the heart and 1 Corin 4.4 to the mind.
However for the unregenerate, that connection is broken, and they can only interpret spiritual things carnally, thus obscuring the interpretation of those spiritual things (2 Corin 4.4).
Evidence of the Spiritual
The attributes and concept of the spiritual are evident all around us, in the same way that the evidence for God and His handiwork are evident all around us. The heavens declare the glory of God and bear witness to Him and His creation. We can understand that all of creation is pointing to something greater or higher then itself, that of the spiritual.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands– Psalms 19.1
Our conscience also bears witness there is a moral law, a law that exists in the universe given by a higher power. God has written upon our hearts, a witness (our conscience) that He expects us to follow. This set of rules that He gave to us, our own conscience bears witness to, and accuses us every time we go against it.
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them– Romans 2.15
Creation and our conscience give all of mankind a sense of the spiritual, and therefore we all indirectly understand the eternal (Ecc 3.11). By this, all men know there is a creator God of the universe, even if they don’t know him personally. All people have a sense of the spiritual.
God is evident to all people. All of civilization through all of time has acknowledged a higher power, even if they admit that they do not know or understand who it is. Even in today’s highly advance civilization, humanity looks for an answer to this sense of the divine. Beliefs in simulated realities, alternate universe, etc, all to explain their own personal existence and the internal sense of something spiritual. These religious ideas have just evolved to a new standard of deception in today’s age, however, reflects exactly what God tells us in Romans:
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Rom 1.21
Humanities Relationship with God
Canal man (or unregenerate sinful man) is dead spiritually. Spiritual death is not the lack of a spirit, as the spirit is eternal. But the spirit of the carnal man is dead towards God because of the original sin, meaning they do not have the relationship or communication with God.
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned– 1 Corin 2.14
The spirit of man knows that things of man. However, a man that is not regenerated is still carnal and of a worldly and natural mind. They cannot discern or understand the things of the spirit because they are spiritually dead. This doesn’t mean they don’t have a sense of spiritual things. This death leaves people lacking and looking for something to fulfill that part of their life with some type of meaning. This lack often is what causes people to fall into the occult or other false religions. The spirit of man has a longing that cannot be fulfilled without returning to the original creator by being born again.
This concept that humanity has built into them a longing for something spiritual is an intangible fact that has to be acknowledged.
For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.1 Corin 2.11
Believers Relationship with God
For the believer, we experience God all the time in our lives. Our relationship is ever growing and fulfills us every day. Even in difficult time we know through faith that God is with us and we experience his presence and help in our lives. Once a person has been regenerated, they will experience life very differently, because the Spirit of God dwells within them. They are born again and their heart is truly changed.
I tell you the truth; no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit– John 3. 5-6
The act of coming to God is also a spiritual experience. As it is the drawing of God, and the pulling on the human soul from God that makes a person believe in Him. You cannot experience God until he draws you. The act of seeking after God and desiring to know Him IS His draw upon your heart. It’s in these moments we understand how a part of the spirit works, a conjunction of God will with our own will in the spirit that brings a person to Him.
It is the spirit of God that draws people to Himself. It is not based on human will but on the will of God (John 1.13).
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day– John 6.44
No eye has seen; no hear has heard no mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.– 1 Corin 2.9-10
The believer is convicted of sin in their life that they need to turn from, even if they don’t want to listen to it at first, they will have the spirit prompt them and tell them what they are doing is wrong. God will lead his children and impress on their hearts what they need to correct.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.– Heb 12.6
Our spiritual relationship with God is not dependent solely on human will, emotion, understanding or intellect; it is beyond these internal mechanisms, it is spiritual. Just as a relationship between father and son depends on both of them being there for each other, God our father is the one who moves and acts and participates to make our relationship real and effectual. It is our part to be the obedient children to his words and trust Him. God is always faithful, and when we are obedient to Him, we get to experience His purpose that deeps our faith and relationship with Him.
Believers have a peace and joy that passes all logical understanding, which they experience in their faith, as they face difficulties in their life.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Philippians 4. 6-7
It is only by the Holy Spirit that a believer can confess and truly believe in their heart that Jesus is the Lord. This is a very personal, spiritual experience that believers find to be true in their lives and walks with Him.
Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.– Matthew 16.17
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.– 1 Corin 1.12-13
The spiritual experiences of believers are unique to them, as we learn that only the children of God experience a spiritual relationship with God in their lives. As believers are born again, they are born of God. Believers experience God in their spiritual relationship, and in a spiritually driven act they call out to Him as their Father.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.– Rom 8.15