Experiencing God

Written by Jenny
Daily Time with the Lord
God is so much closer to us than we tend to think.  His presence is everywhere and the Holy Spirit lives inside of you from the moment you accept Jesus Christ as your savior and give your life to Him.  Not only is God close to you but He wants to share an intimate daily relationship with each one of us.  It’s pretty amazing if you think about that.  The Lord of the universe wants to share a personal relationship with you!  He longs to spend time with you, He longs to speak to you and have you speak to Him.  What a privilege!  Do you long to spend time with your Heavenly Father?  There are so many exciting ways to sit at the feet of your Savior. 

Using your whole brain (left and right sides) is the ideal way to study the Bible and experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  The left side of your brain is responsible for analytical tasks such as reasoning, written language and speech.  Activities such as studying the Bible, writing down what you learn and speaking about what you learn would be left brain ways to experience the Lord and his Word.  The right side of your brain is responsible for more creative activities such as music, art awareness, intuition and imagination.  There is a new trend called Bible journaling where people are drawing in their Bibles to create beautiful word pictures to go along with the scripture they read.  What a creative and fantastic new way to study the Bible!  Other right brain approaches to deepening your relationship with the Lord might be to create music, to ponder or reflect on scripture and to see dreams and visions from the Lord.  Since there are so many resources available to help us experience God with the left sides of our brains I want to focus on the activities that help us experience God with the right side of our brain.  By nature I am more of a left brain person and therefore it is absolutely thrilling to me to be able to deepen my relationship with Jesus with the right side (creative part) of my brain.

Our hearts all long to know God and be connected with our creator.  This connection comes through relationship and experience with our Heavenly Father.  Do you want to deepen your bond with the Lord?  He is always close to us but we need to do our part to draw closer to Him.  If you haven’t felt the touch of God lately and haven’t heard His voice then you are probably walking around like a thirsty man in the desert.  It’s fortunate that God has provided a spring in the desert and he wants you to come and drink deeply of His presence and His love for you.   

Visions and Pictures from the Lord
When you pray and close your eyes you can often see a picture in your mind.  This picture is quite possibly a vision from the Lord.  Try this tip to test and see if the vision is from the Lord.  As you look at the picture try to change it with your mind.  If you are able to manipulate the picture or change it with your own human mind then the picture is your own creation.  If you cannot change the picture and it instead becomes more solidified in the original way you saw it; then the picture is from God and we call that a vision from the Lord.

God gives us visions for lots of reasons 
  • He wants to show you something in the spiritual realm that you can’t see in the natural realm
  • He wants to reveal a new truth to you in a personal way
  • He wants to bless you with an experience that shows you how close you are to God’s heart
  • He wants to help someone else to see a spiritual truth by showing you a vision that you need to share
  • He wants to help someone else by showing you a vision that you need to use to minister to the person without actually sharing the vision with them (this usually is true when you see something negative, you are meant to keep the vision to yourself but let it spur you to minister to the other person)
  • He wants to encourage you, He wants to love you, God wants you to experience time with Him

Dreams can be Powerful
In a previous lesson I wrote about a powerful dream that my husband had regarding bringing our broken things to the surface so that God can heal our wounds.  I believe God wants to speak to all of us in the night if we will be open to remembering our dreams and then asking Him what He wants to tell us through them. This is a very biblical concept and the Bible is full of dreams and people acting on those dreams.  Joseph's dream that he should marry Mary and his dream to escape to Egypt are just a couple of examples of dreams we see in the Bible that came from the Lord.  I'm not sure if every dream has spiritual significance but we should be willing to look at each dream we recall and ask God what the picture was meant to tell us.  The most important thing to know about dream interpretation is that most dreams are symbolic and the symbols in the dream are specific to the dreamer.  For instance, a lake can symbolize peace to one person and danger to another.  Dreams are personal messages from God that are meant to move scriptural truth from our heads to our hearts.  The language of the heart is pictures and therefore these visions while we sleep are speaking to our hearts.  Since dreams and the pictures in them are personal to the person dreaming, the dreamer is the best interpreter of the dream.  A great tip for remembering your dreams is to keep a pen and paper by your bedside and write down some key words about your dream first thing when you wake up.  Also pray and ask God to give you dreams and to help you remember them. Once you have a dream written down these are the keys to dream interpretation:
  • What are the key actions in the dream?  What are you doing or what is happening in the dream?
  • What is happening in your life while you are awake?  What things are you praying about or dealing with at the time of the dream?
  • What are the symbols in the dream?  What do those symbols mean to you?
  • What are the key emotions in the dream?  How do you feel about what is happening in the dream?
  • Pray and ask God to reveal the meaning.  Use the hearing God’s voice techniques to help you listen to what God says about your dream.
  • When God gives you revelation and understanding be sure to ACT on what He tells you to do.
  
Once you have an interpretation for your dream check to see if it is consistent with Biblical principles.  Ask a mature Christian friend if they agree with your interpretation.  If the action required of you because of the dream involves a major life change like a new career or moving across the country you need to ask two or three mature Christian friends if they agree with your interpretation.  Proverbs 4:5&6 says, “Get wisdom; develop good judgment.  Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.  Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you.  Love her, and she will guard you.”​
Hearing the Voice of the Lord
Do you believe God speaks to us?  The Bible says He does.  “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit-he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you” John 14:26  The Bible says Holy Spirit will teach us and remind us, therefore, Holy Spirit must be able to speak to us.  Many people assume that if God speaks He will use an audible voice.  Of course God could speak in an audible voice but most often God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us.  He speaks from the inside out and we hear him in our soul (our mind is part of our soul).  So if we know God speaks from the inside of us, how can we learn to listen? I think that hearing the voice of God is a lot like tuning in to a radio station.  God’s voice is a calm flow of thoughts that come to you throughout the day.  The main thing that hinders us from paying attention to the voice of God is the over-stimulation in our current culture that constantly bombards us.  The noise of our culture drowns out those quiet thoughts that come from God.  So your first key to hearing God’s voice is to settle yourself down.  That time as you drift off to sleep and have a moment of peace is a wonderful time to hear messages from God.  Have you ever had a wonderful thought or idea just as you drift off to sleep?  Those thoughts feel supernatural because they are.  Holy Spirit is always speaking to us and if we quiet ourselves and listen we can hear the voice of the Lord.  Quiet doesn’t always mean absent of noise, in fact, many people find it helpful to listen to a few songs of worship music to quiet their spirits.  You need a quiet spirit to hear from the Lord so get away from distractions and the usual noise of our everyday lives.  After you are still and quiet you begin to tune-in to the Holy Spirit.  Become aware of those thoughts and pictures that seem to spontaneously pop into your mind.  If you feel nothing coming to you, try meditating on scripture that touches your heart or think about a great sermon you have heard.  The key here is to tune-in to the right station because the enemy has a voice too and the bad thoughts that he tries to throw at us can snuff out our ability to hear from the Lord.  This is also a good time to ask the Lord if there is anyone in your life that you need to forgive because unforgiveness can be a blockage to hearing from the Lord.  If a person or situation pops into your mind you can quickly say, “I forgive ______ for ______.  Lord, please take these negative feelings from me and heal my soul.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.”  Once you have forgiven and tuned in to the flow of thoughts from the Lord you pick up a pen and start to write down the thoughts that come to you.  Don’t worry about if everything makes sense to you right away or if it is or isn’t from the Lord.  Just write down what the Lord is telling you and wait to evaluate what you have written later on.  Once you feel you have written down everything the Lord is telling you then you can go back and read your journaling.  As you read you can pray and evaluate what you have written.  Check to see if what you have written is consistent with Biblical truth.  You can ask a mature Christian friend to read your journal entry and ask if they believe it is from the Lord.  These little checks and balances will help you be sure you are on the right path.  Hearing from the Lord can be an incredible experience and it will help you realize how much God loves you and desires to communicate with you each and every day.
  
Journaling with the Lord
You can write down everything the Lord is teaching you and turn it into a powerful record of how you are growing in your relationship with Him and how He is answering your prayers.  You can journal in a notebook or type your entries on the computer.  You can mix it up and do a combination of typing and writing on paper.  The possibilities for time spent with the Lord are endless.  When you have a powerful experience with the Lord through listening to His voice, getting a picture or vision from Him or a dream where God speaks to you it is important to write it down and keep a record.  That way you can go back and reread what God is doing and He will touch you again as you go back and read through past experiences.  Be sure to thank the Lord for all He is showing you and all of the ways He is working in your life.  Praising God through all we do is essential.

God wants to communicate to us often and in a personal way.  He wants to speak to us spirit-to-spirit day and night so don't delay.  Try some of these ideas right away and experience God in a powerful and personal way. If your time with the Lord seems dry like a desert then you are not tapping into real communion with the Lord who is the lover of your soul.  Father God delights in you and He wants you to delight in Him.  If you only know about God but you are not in daily communion with Him then you are like a man walking around on ½ formed legs.  Those legs might get you somewhere but they won’t get you there quickly or effectively.  Do you want to experience all that God has for you?  Papa God wants to speak to you and commune with you daily.  He wants to speak truth about who you are and reveal great mysteries to you.  Do not let doubt or fear rob you of the greatest joy in life, a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord.