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The Formula for Experiencing God

By Justin Johnson

Everyone has emotions. Even people who appear emotionless have emotions. Emotions are what we feel. They are generated by our bodily senses interacting with everyday circumstances.

It is easy to manipulate our emotions based on our circumstances. Entertainers know how to do this with lighting, music, and smells. This is why our feelings cannot be trusted. They are circumstantial.

Unfortunately, it is easy to confuse our emotions with spirituality. The outcome is a pseudo-experience that is generated through soft music, dim lighting, and sweet words.

This is not experiencing God. This is emotional manipulation of the same sort that the world experiences in music concerts or in the movies.

This has become so common in churches that the goal of gathering together is to “feel the Spirit move” and “feel the power of God”.

The counterpart to emotion is doctrine: what we know. We may feel a certain way, but if we know something else then our experience can change.

This is how truth works. We feel one way; truth tells us something else. If we believe the truth, our life experience is changed.

Paul describes this in Romans 5:2-4. Naturally tribulation is a bad thing that produces bad experiences.

But when the doctrine of Romans 5:1 and 2 are applied to the bad circumstance then we gain a beneficial experience that we can glory in.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” – Romans 5:3-4

Our emotion changes from distress to hope!

Sound doctrine from the Bible rightly divided is vitally important for you to experience the life-changing work of God in your life. Without it, we are simply following our circumstances, slaves to our emotions and our flesh.

Churches are filled with people with little to no doctrinal understanding. It is even worse when they have a wrong doctrinal understanding. As a result, the only way to generate the joy, hope, and love that the Bible talks about is with better musicians, more intimate lyrics, and more visual effects.

There is a better way.

The formula for experiencing God is as simple as applying sound doctrine to the circumstances of our lives. When this happens we will experience God and generate emotions that are subject to our mind in Christ.

For you mathematical wizards here is a formula:

Doctrine + Circumstance = Experience + Emotion

Do your homework! (2 Tim 2:15)

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Published: May 23, 2009
Last Modified: June 11, 2016
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