How To Use The Bible To Experience God
The Bible Not Only Shares God’s Truth It Can Help Us Experience His Life and Reality
If you want more than knowing about God, you want to experience His presence and reality, using the Bible well does that.
God Wants Us to Have Abundant, Eternal Life
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy; I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.”
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
It doesn’t take much to see that killing, stealing, destruction, and death happen all the time in our world. Jesus said all of that is a result of us rejecting God’s love and words, opening us up spiritually to the power of sin and Satan.
Jesus came to change that. He demonstrated perfectly what God is like in human form. His character, quality of life, words, power, and ultimately His willingness to sacrifice Himself for every single one of our sins, then rise from the dead released new life-giving possibilities for all of us.
Not only does God want us to have overflowing lives and lives that last forever (eternal), the Bible says God wants us to experience His very nature.
The Apostle Peter wrote, “so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature…” (2 Peter 1:4b)
I know this sounds incredible, but Peter wrote these words at the end of his life after decades of following the risen Jesus. He wrote that God-given truth, “partakers of the divine nature.”
In other words, it is God’s will that we humans experience life at the highest level, God’s nature. Not that we will be God, He is the Creator and we are the created; but it is possible to experience ever-increasing measures of the quality of life He has.
Eternal Life, Abundant Life Comes Only Through Relationship With Jesus, Not Just Knowledge About Jesus
Eternal life, abundant life, the divine nature all speak of the same thing. A life connected with God in such a way that God’s nature is gradually imparted to us, grows in us, and fills us is God’s desire for all of us.
This life does not come through knowing doctrine or doing the right things, though right doctrine and good works are important. The life comes through a relationship with God.
John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Christianity was never intended to be a bunch of rules or traditions or disciplines to live a good life. The Bible is so clear that in our own ability we can never live good, holy, fruitful lives: it is impossible.
Christianity is instead designed to be a living, love relationship with God in which His holiness and righteousness is given to us as a gift (2 Corinthians 5:17) allowing us to experience a spiritual new birth (John 3:3) and then gradually be filled more and more with the very life of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
The only way to receive God’s life is from God Himself.
An ongoing relationship with Jesus is the only way to be filled with the life of God.
How Do We Experience God and His Life?
So, the big question is once we have received the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus, how do we then experience this incredible life the Bible promises?
One of the biggest and best ways is through the written words of God, the Bible.
Remember, 2 Peter 1:4 that speaks of us being partakers of the divine nature? (see above). Here are the words that directly precede that phrase, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that BY THEM you may become partakers of the divine nature…”
If that is not yet your experience, stay with me because in just a minute I’m going to share with you how to use the written words of God to experience the Living Word of God.
I’m going to give you 3 things to know about God’s word and then 3 things you can do to experience more of God.
- The Bible not only carries God’s truth, it carries God’s life. “For the word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12a)
“If you abide in My word then you are truly my disciple; and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31–32)
“He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” (Psalm 107:20)
When you interact with the written words of God the right way, God imparts His life to you.
2. God and His Word are One. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
The more you interact with the written word of God the right way, the more you interact with God Himself.
3. The Holy Spirit will help you understand and receive God’s word and life, and He lives in you.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.” (1 Corinthians 2:12)
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
No one, without the Holy Spirit, can correctly interpret Scripture and no one without the Holy Spirit can receive eternal, abundant life. But those who have received Jesus and His Spirit can know and experience God’s nature.
3 Things To Do
- Consciously interact with Jesus when you interact with the Bible.
Just like with prayer, the goal is not to simply pray or read the Bible, the goal is interaction with the person of Jesus. The written words are a great means of fellowshipping with Jesus who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
All you need to do is take a moment to consciously step into the presence of Christ by faith, talk to Him, and then make the reading and study of His word interactive.
Talk to Him as you read, and then pay attention to what comes to your mind and heart.
Jesus wants to communicate with you. He wants to teach you, empower you, heal you and set you free and He will often use His words to do that.
2. Take time to soak in God’s words and presence.
This is one of the most enjoyable and empowering things a believer can do.
When you soak in the tub or in the lake or the sun, you relax and let the water or the sun do it’s work on your body. When you soak in God’s presence with His words you simply take a word or phrase and pray it back to God letting it work in your soul.
“Jesus, thank you that your truth sets me free. Your truth is life, Your truth is freeing. Thank you that your truth is working in me right now. I receive your truth, I receive your freedom.” Then soak in it, let it work, relax in the love and presence of Jesus.
Just go with whatever the Holy Spirit is inspiring you to do during that time.
3. When you study a topic or a passage, also make that interactive. Study the words of the Bible with the Author of the Bible.
“Jesus, this is what I’m seeing as I dig into this passage. What else do I need to see? What else should I look at?”
Pay attention to what comes to mind and stay with that topic or passage until you get an inner release to move on. In the Exodus the children of Israel followed the cloud and fire. They moved when the cloud/fire moved. Do the same with your Bible study.
BIG BONUS STEP
Here’s one more extremely powerful way to experience God through the Bible. Simply pray His words back to Him. This may sound strange at first, but to a great extent God has chosen to work through our prayers.
God only answers prayers that are good and wise and in alignment with His purposes and what is a better way to pray those kinds of prayers than using His inspired words. His written word is His expressed will.
1 John 5:14–15 tells us that when we pray according to His will, then we know He hears us and He will grant what we’ve asked.
We still need the help of the Holy Spirit because the Bible is filled with all kinds of awesome truths and promises, but not each promise is right for each situation. The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and He will help us know what to pray, which Scriptures to use. (Romans 8:28–29)
Use those 4 practices based on the knowledge that God wants us to experience Him and abundant life and you’ll experience God through His words.
If you want more free resources to help you live the Jesus-centered, Jesus-empoweree life visit www.TruVineMission.com
Want help and resources to know and accomplish your God-given purposes check out www.MarkFurlongCoaching.com