lonely prayer 

I Have Never Experienced God Personally. What am I Doing Wrong?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

The emails go something like this. "I have been a Christian for x years, but I have never felt like I have a personal relationship with Him. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?" Is it even possible to experience God personally?

Does God speak today?

There are a number of Christians today who say that God has ceased to communicate with mankind. Although the Bible suggests that the canon of scripture is closed, it is also clear that the Holy Spirit indwells and speaks to the believer. The instances in which the Holy Spirit speaks to believers in the New Testament are not usually described as a audible form of communication. So, how does one hear the Holy Spirit?

Personal experience

From my personal experience, the Holy Spirit speaks to me through thoughts that pop into my mind. How do I know it is the Holy Spirit and not just my brain randomly spewing forth thoughts? Usually my first reaction is "You’ve got to be kidding," since the ideas highly conflict with my naturally introverted personality. However, these ideas usually involve helping someone or providing a witness. The Holy Spirit would never command something against scripture, so the believer needs to know his Bible well.

Leading the spiritual life

What tends to characterize Christians who write saying they are not personally experiencing God is that they lack any corporate spiritual life. They tend not to attend church or any kind of Bible study. The Bible is clear that the Christians of the early Church engaged in corporate worship. In fact, we are commanded not to forsake assembling together with fellow believers. So, a Christian who is worshiping only on his own is being disobedient to scripture. The body of Christ was never intended to consist of a person watching some worship program on television. Yes, there are hypocrites in the Church. However, if you are one who does not attend a local congregation, you can be counted among them, so you you might as well join them!

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          I Have Never Experienced God Personally. What am I Doing Wrong?