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The God ‘Experience’

I picked up a new book recently (nothing new there!) by a missionary to the Congo, Helen Roseveare (1925-2016) titled ‘ENOUGH’ 1. Helen strived in her work to serve her Lord every day, through many trials, and encouraging others to do the same. The book cover says this of ‘Enough’ (highlights are mine) –

What is our motivation for serving Jesus? Is it so that we might have good health and be wealthy? Galatians 1 tells us that presently the wealth and health prosperity gospel is no gospel at all! However what we can find is fullness in Christ and in him we find that indeed God is enough for us! … It teaches that contentment cannot be found in earthly possession, achievement or position, outside of God but can only be found in the fullness of Christ for every believer. We find in Christ that we have fullness and purpose.

As we settle into 2018 I wonder what we are all expecting, hoping and praying for? Is it wealth and gain, perhaps improving or continued health, or even just to get through another year?

Whatever it is, ‘Enough’ tells us that in God we have enough of everything, that He really is enough. Pauls letter to the Ephesian Church in chapter 3, verse 17b-19 says this;

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I wonder do we really grasp the immensity of Christ? Paul writes that may we have the power to grasp how wide, how long, how high and how deep is God’s love. In a sense we find this impossible because our minds, no matter how great, how educated, how scientific, how modern—we are incapable of really understanding the mystery that is God. Let’s face it, we really don’t understand all the complexities of the place upon which we live—the earth.

I know new discoveries are made regularly—in medicine, in astronomy, physics—in fact in many areas of human activity and exploration. I read recently that geologists from the US Geological Survey have been collecting lava samples from inside live volcanoes on Hawaii—a dangerous job! They have done this in order to deeper understand the pattern of volcanic activity within magma chambers. I also read that the rare 1300 year old gold and garnet ‘Trumpington’ cross has gone on display. This was discovered in a burial plot of a 14-18 year old girl back in 2011 and is believed to be one of the oldest Christian burials in Britain.

Yes, we humans make amazing discoveries all the time—both looking back in time, in the present day and attempting to make future predictions. Yet I wonder how much time and effort do we really put into knowing God, into discovering how wide and long, how high and deep His love is?

Perhaps it is an oxymoron that I am saying on one hand we need to search and discover the immensity of his love, and then also say that we are incapable of understanding this ‘love that surpasses knowledge’.

Yet, we can know this love through the person of Christ—through a living relationship with Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The New Living Translation says it this way:

‘May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully’.

The Christian faith is not solely one of cerebral engagement – learning through reading scripture and Christian writings, (though to daily devote yourself to Christian reading is important). The Christian faith is also about experiencing God. Experiencing Him in all His majesty through creation, though acts of compassion, love, and humble service to others, and receiving service from others.

God is enough — for all our endeavours. He is sufficient. Helen Roseveare writes in the prologue to Enough:

There is a wonderful truth that God had enough to supply all our needs. Enough for salvation, enough for forgiveness, enough to overcome temptations, enough to persevere in adversities, enough to calm our fear and anxieties. Enough grace, enough love, enough power.

This is summed up in the promise: ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ (2Cor 12:9)

May you ‘experience’ God in all His fullness, through a relationship with Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yours in Christ, Lord and Saviour

Pastor Mike

  1. Helen Roseveare: Enough. 2011. Christian Focus Publishing, Ross-Shire


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