Some thoughts from Pastor Winton Maki . . .
Go Beyond Belief to Biblical Experience!
I have been a pastor for more than 30 years, and in that time I have heard many people, almost out of obligation when they learn I am a pastor, proclaim, “I believe in God.” The question is not if one believes, but where does that belief take them.
God made us sensory beings. He gave us senses so we can experience things—see, hear, touch and feel, taste, and smell. John wrote in his letter to the churches, “That…which we have heard,…have seen,…and our hands have handled…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you…”
God was not an abstract concept or idea or a Being somewhere in the distant universe to John. He was a Person that John had met, seen, talked with, and touched. He had experienced God in the person of Jesus Christ. Those profound and powerful experiences compelled John to write about them so others would be sure to experience them also.
Many who have told me they believe have also told me that church is boring and it cannot get over quickly enough. When I spoke with them about feeling the presence of God, their facial expression said, “Yeah, right.” Somehow the understanding that it is illogical to believe that the God Who created the universe and then later came to Earth as a man Who healed the sick and raised the dead would be boring evades them. How can God be boring?
All of my life I have been privileged to attend churches where people came to feel God’s presence. I began to enjoy the presence of God while still in elementary school. In the summer between 5th and 6th grades He filled me with His Spirit just like in the Book of Acts on the Day of Pentecost. When God manifests or makes His presence felt, it changes the nature of one’s belief. Belief then goes beyond the intellectual. God uses experiencing His presence to put something undeniable in the depths of a person’s soul.
I invite you to go beyond intellectual belief into experiencing the dynamic, life-changing presence of Almighty God-Jesus Christ!