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My friend wants to experience God, but can't

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Bloempje, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Bloempje

    Bloempje New Member

    2
    +3
    Netherlands
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Hello guys,
    I need your advice. I have a friend who gave his life to Christ in my church 3,5 years ago.
    But he says he has not experienced God for himself. He believes in God because of what he sees being done in the life of other church members. But he has not had a personal encounter with God and wants it to happen. He prays but doesn't hear from God and it seems like he's about to give up on Christianity. How can I help him? I have prayed for him and even fasted. I now suggested we fast together for him to have a personal encounter with God. I know there is nothing I can say or any work he can perform to receive genuine salvation. Because it's a free gift from God. But hasn't he received this gift, I don't know how else to help him.
     
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  2. Aussie Pete

    Aussie Pete Active Member Supporter

    436
    +374
    Australia
    Non-Denom
    Divorced
    I wonder what he means by experiencing God? There are many who "give their life to Christ" but with no understanding and no conviction of sin. I was one. I went out the front at a Billy Graham crusade. I came away with a certificate but not Lord Jesus. A friend of mine went forward at the same meeting. He was properly born again. I knew that he was a different person. About 5 years later, my boss preached the gospel to me. I realised that I was a sinner and I repented and received Christ. I knew then that something had happened. I knew that my sins were forgiven and the void in my life was filled. I was a different person too. Your friend needs to be sure that he has received Christ as Saviour. Lord Jesus is not going to come into a person that is not born again. If you need some help, show your friend the "Four Spiritual Laws". It's sound, simple and has been proven effective for years now.
     
  3. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,819
    Christian
    Married
    The call of the Christ follower is the walk of FAITH ... and the essence of FAITH is following without SEEING (i.e. having an identifiable encounter with God).

    I've been a Christ follower for over 50 years now, ... and I don't recall having any particularly "personal" encounters with God, other than what I typically experience in prayer, study of the Bible, and/or worship and fellowship with other believers.

    God sets forth how we "experience" Him. Moses had served God for several decades before God conceded to allow him to see His passing by. God had, previously, warned Moses that to see Him unfiltered (i.e. in all His glory) could be detrimental to Moses' health and life. As we live according to the way God has directed us, we will experience Him, though such experiences might not meet your own expectations.

    To be FAITHFUL is to accept God as He presents Himself, ... understanding that it is for the best.
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

    +20,892
    Anglican
    Married
    How many times I have heard a relatively new convert talk like that. I wish you could persuade him that to be a disciple of Christ is not about smoke and mirrors or some warm glow. It is in knowing the Savior of the world and believing in him to fulfill his promises.

    Yes, a few people have had remarkable experiences that are of the sort he is thinking about, but most have not, including most of the great saints of Christian history. Nor does salvation depend upon such things!
     
  5. Kris Jordan

    Kris Jordan Member

    138
    +153
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Christianity is a relationship with Jesus personally through faith in Him. It is not an "encounter" with God where something mystical happens, in that sense. Just like any other relationship in our lives, it must be nurtured and invested in by us (since Jesus is always invested on His end with us) where we're giving of ourselves and growing in Him as we get to know Him better. I don't know any earthly relationship where one person sits back and "takes" while the other person does all the work to "give" and it be a healthy, growing relationship. Instead, it takes two people who are fully invested in each other and who are working together toward closeness and "fellowship-intimacy" in the relationship. The same is true in our relationship with Jesus.

    I would try to help him have reasonable expectations of what the Christian life actually is, which is not chasing an experience, but loving and serving Jesus for what He's so graciously done for us.

    So my counsel to your friend would be for him to get into the Word of God daily. Have him begin reading a chapter or two a day, beginning in the book of John -- and when he finishes that book, have him start at the beginning of the New Testament in Matthew and go all the way through to Revelation, then repeat. He needs to understand who Jesus is, what He's truly done for him, who He is in Christ, what it all means, etc. He won't grow in his faith unless he's "fellowshipping" with Jesus through being in the word and talking to Jesus through prayer. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."

    As he does this consistently every day, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate the word to him before he reads, he will be amazed at his growth and understanding of what it means to be a Christian and what God's plan for him is.

    Hope that helps. :)
     
  6. FutureAndAHope

    FutureAndAHope Just me Supporter

    +988
    Christian
    Married
    The bible says "blessed is he who has not seen yet still believes". God does not always give people emotional experiences, I have only ever had one emotional experience with God, and that is when I was first saved. I have seen God do some miracles etc, yet I do not feel anything. With me as an example I feel very little, people I pray for often feel the Holy Spirit, but I feel nothing. It is not feeling that is important it is believing in Jesus and his death and resurrection.
     
  7. tturt

    tturt Senior Veteran

    +2,751
    Non-Denom
    Married
    Not sure what he's expecting but God is very active in his life
    God gives him each breath - "The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." Job 33:4
    He's become a new creature = "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." II Cor 5:17
    God has a plan for him:
    -“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jer 29:11
    -“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose,” Rom 8:28
    -“who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time eternal,” II Tim 1:9

    Encourage him to keep his focus on God. Suggest doing a study of God's names, titles, and attributes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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