Religious ExperienceQUESTION: What is a religious experience?
First, let us define these terms “religious” and “experience.” The term religious can refer to divinity, something holy or sacred. This can include believing or reverencing a higher being or power. Religion can also refer to a set of beliefs.
An experience is something that we go through, something that occurs in our life. An experience is often subjective in nature. This makes it difficult to be objective about personal experiences since they involve feelings and thoughts instead of entirely being based on fact or evidence.
Many people point to legitimate experiences from God as proof that He exists! People around the world claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. They claim divine healing, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena!
So how do I know whether an event in my life came from God? Consider these points:
Does the experience line up with God’s Word? An experience from God will never contradict the Bible. God is unable to contradict Himself.
Was the experience induced by exterior forces? If drugs, hypnotism, or other inducers were used, reconsider if the experience was truly from God.
Was the experience induced by psychological or emotional feelings? Often, this is done by repetition of words or another form of manipulation.
Do you need to return to that experience to feel close to God? Is there is an emptiness if you don’t go back to be emotionally fulfilled again? This can be a vicious cycle. God is omnipresent and is with you at all times!
A genuine religious experience that happens is the born-again experience. This is an experience that we can know mentally and emotionally. This relationship includes receiving Jesus Christ into one’s life, being forgiven, and having a sense of value, meaning, and purpose. He brings unquenchable joy!
This religious experience is a life-changing, ongoing experience and relationship (Philippians 1:6). It is a transformation (Romans 12:1-3) where the Holy Spirit dwells within and brings a sense of peace.