With experience comes the need to be careful of three things: boxing God, allowing a past-driven present, and giving experiential counsel.
Experience is not the best teacher. You can read more about it here.
Experience helps us to be reminded of the faithfulness of God—how He reached out to us, how He carried us through tough seasons. It helps us continue to hope that the God who pulled us through yesterday will pull us through today. A lot of times the bible teaches us to remember how God worked in our lives.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
Psalm 77:11 ESV
With experience comes the need to be careful of three things: boxing God, allowing a past-driven present, and giving solely experiential counsel.
We can unintentionally put God in a box thinking He will work the same way. Yes He can, but he also can choose not to. We can become tamad to seek Him because we think we already know Him. When Elijah was told that God will pass by, he searched for God in the “usual” places, but instead found God in a gentle and quiet whisper.
Then he was told,
“Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God.
God will pass by.”
A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains
and shattered the rocks before God,
but God wasn’t to be found in the wind;
after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake;
and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire;
and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.
1 Kings 19:11-12 MSG
There was a time in my life when I felt that every time I asked God a question, I could really hear an answer from Him. I boxed God when I was praying and praying and when I couldn’t seem to hear Him like before, I felt like He wasn’t giving me any answer. Looking back, I guess God has taught me that He definitely speaks through His written word. It doesn’t always have to be goosebumpish for it to be His answer. It doesn’t have to be an audible voice. There’s so much life in the bible and we just need to read it.
Very much related to boxing God, we also need to be careful with relying on our past successes to determine our steps for today. It is possible that we turn to our experiences and use them as basis for our future. Instead of relying on God, we rely on past successes.
It will be well for us to be like David when he was leading his people in battles. The bible tells us that David would inquire of the Lord despite past God-given strategies and victories.
When the advice we give starts and ends with our experience, we have a problem. If you are a Christian, we have to be very cautious because that is not wise counsel. That is mere story telling. It is basically an opinion. How can we point people to the right direction when God is not in the picture? We want to teach people to rely on God, not on us. We want people to quote scripture, not us. We want people to go first to God, not us.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
May we all continue to know God anew every day. Wherever we are in our walk with Him, “parati Siyang nagpapakilala,” said a colleague sharing his story to the team. Let us allow ourselves to know Him how He wants us to know Him today.
May we all continue to seek God, inquire of Him daily, point people back to Him, and do everything for His glory. ??
I am the author of the book, When God Could’ve But He Didn’t. I am the happy wife of my happy husband, Pao. As I write this, both of us are happily hoping for at least two more children.