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Experiences with God
- Jacob Ninan
One of the great things about God is His diversity. No two things He has created are identical, and He also employs variety in dealing with people. We people tend to think that the way we have experienced God is the right way and that everyone should conform to it. We also expect that God should deal with us in the same way He has dealt with someone we admire. God surprises us both ways, and continues to be sovereign!
The Bible mentions those who experienced great miracles from His hands through faith, and others who did not receive the miracles they hoped for but held on to God in faith in spite of that (He.11). Which group was greater? I believe it was a sovereign choice of God and neither group had anything to boast about. It is natural that those who have experienced miracles tend to look down on others who have 'not been so favoured!' But that is a misunderstanding of God's ways.
Those who speak in tongues, those who have seen visions or dreams or received miraculous answers to prayer or supernatural guidance, those who have been miraculously healed, etc. - all tend to look down on those who have not had such experiences. God may speak to us through a vision or dream, but He may also speak to us though His word or directly in our heart. Can we choose which way we would like to hear Him?
Coming to personal experiences with God, have we all had similar experiences? Not at all! Some have come to know God after terrible bondages of sin, and others have come to know their sinfulness in a slower manner. Some have had dramatic conversions and others seem to have had a comparatively smooth walk into God's kingdom. Some have been drawn to God after experiencing miracles, and others have come to Him because they are convinced of His truths. Some have learned to lean on God because of their problems, and others have so much time and opportunity to travel around and minister to others. Some have learned wisdom through study, and others through their mistakes. Some have received miraculous intervention from God in their problems, and others are struggling without being able to see the end ahead.
Those who are in a relatively comfortable position tend to judge those who are having problems as those who do not have enough faith, who must be having some secret sin in their lives or those who have some generational (or ancestral) curses on them! How mean! If we can't help them, at least let's stop making things more difficult for them.
O that we had a larger heart, to understand more of God's diversity and to be more compassionate and accepting towards people who are different from us and whose lot in life is different from ours! (Ep.1:18,19).