Maybe in your yearning for the spiritual you are driven by the thirst for experience. Sadly many forms of spirituality that ‘thirst for experience’ hold any experience as ultimate. Thus experience because authoritative in their quest for spirituality.
Of course there is nothing wrong with thirsting for experience in your relationship with God. The phenomenal growth of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements all over the world is due to a major emphasis on experience. As one theologian who has analysed the core values of Pentecostalism says, “nothing matters more to Pentecostals than their own experience with God. The measure of genuineness of an encounter with God is the tangible, conspicuous presences of deep feeling”.
Today’s seekers are looking for an encounter with God that goes beyond the mind and touches the heart, the emotions and the deep recesses of the soul.
So here is the challenge. To remain faithful to the word of God, in the words of Romans 12:2, to be transformed by the “renewing of you mind” but also not to be dry and detached in your reading of the word but to have a real, genuine and authentic relationship with God.
There are plenty of times that I am choked up by what I read, understand and absorb into my heart from God’s word. The incredible majesty of our God, his love for us, the length that he would go to redeem us, my own sinfulness before my gracious Lord and Saviour. There are many times I have marvelled at sunsets or at the beauty of his creation … giving thanks to God. The plight of the lost has often brought me to tears and the joy of the saved has been a great reason to rejoice.
Your relationship with God was never meant to be dry and barren but neither was it meant to be driven by experience over and above the Word. So be people who soak yourself in the Word, so that you are transformed by the renewing of your mind, but also be people who allow the written word of God to penetrate to your heart and transform you. This sort of ‘spiritual experience’ is what we see in the Psalms (see Psalm 19 or 119).
As a church our mission statement is to be growing under the Word and yet we also want to allow the word of God to change us or “build us to serve him”. So as you yearn for spiritual experience, ensure that this experience of God is shaped by God’s Word.