Summary: Many are asking the question today, “How do you experience God?” The simple answer to this question is “You embrace Jesus and His message and then God provides the experience.” In other words open up the door to your heart and ask God to come in so you ca
Series: We are here!
Summary of Series: This series is all about our 7 core values
at Christian Hills Church.
Sermon 8: Experiencing God
Thesis: Many are asking the question today, “How do you experience God?” The simple answer to this question is “You embrace Jesus and His message and then God provides the experience.” In other words open up the door to your heart and ask God to come in so you can experience Him personally and intimately. The key link to experiencing God is in Jesus!
What would you say to a person who ran up to you after a prayer meeting and said, “How do you experience God? What does that look like? What does it feel like?” How would you have responded to these questions?
In the world of today I am told that there is a great hunger for the spiritual dimensions of life, for spiritual things, for something which is beyond our current reality.
In our Wednesday night life group, that I have been teaching, we have been dealing with this question. “How do you experience God?” To clarify it’s not about knowing of God but actually experiencing Him. I first want to say that the best book I ever read on this subject is Blackaby’s book Experiencing God. This is the book we have been exploring on Wednesday night and it’s been a great spiritual work which answers this question. The class has been I think for most of us a great spiritual journey and also very revelatory about this subject.
Throughout History there have been those heroes of the faith who share with others how they are experiencing God. One of those stories is about a woman named Joan of Arc.
History of Joan of Arc:
Joan of Arc (French) [Born 1412 – died 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" is a folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. She was born a peasant girl in what is now eastern France. Claiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France. She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon for charges of "insubordination and heterodoxy", and was burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old. Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr for the Christian Church (http://en.wikipedia.org).
The following history of her provides some insight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Messenger:_The_Story_of_Joan_of_Arc
In this movie:
Joan is shown being burned at the stake; however, it happens fast, as the flames quickly engulf her and she disappears. The plotline then tells the story of how she came to this. Ten years earlier, Joan, as a little girl, confesses her sins in church two or three times a day. The priest asks after her family; concluding all is well at home, he decides she is only unusually religious. She skips out of the church, glad to be forgiven by God and Jesus. Wandering away from her village, she has a somewhat violent and supernatural vision. She returns to find her village burning. Her sister, Catherine tries to protect her by hiding her inside a closet before the English arrive at their house. The Englishman sees Catherine and forces himself on her but she valiantly fights him off. Frustrated he takes out his sword and stabs her in her stomach, pinning her to the wall. Catherine's now lifeless body is further desecrated and raped repeatedly as Joan watches in horror. She survives the attack, and goes to live with her distant relatives; she confesses to the priest that she wants to forgive her enemies, as the Bible teaches, but she cannot.
She receives visions, she calls instructions and personal messages from the Lord (The English church calls them voices and pronounces her a heretic) to lead a French army to do battle against the English – she does and they free Orleans and eventually total victory comes to France and Charles Vii is made King as she prophesied it would. Her bravery and supernatural leadings of the Spirit prove her connection with God. He prophetic visions does come to pass in history but during this time of war she is captured and martyred. In the scene we are about to watch she is being tried by England and the Church Bishop and she is being told that she did not hear from God by these church leaders. They are telling her that she has not experienced His divine direction or revelations it’s been the Devil instead. She denies that claim and pays with her life at age 19.