Experiences beyond explanation - Hope 103.2

Experiences beyond explanation

By David ReayFriday 30 Jan 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-4

1 This boasting will do no good,but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body,I don’t know-only God knows. 3 Yes,only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words,things no human is allowed to tell. (NLT)

It is sometimes said that we ought not to argue from experience but from the Bible. This is only partly true. We must submit our private experiences to the truths expressed in the Bible. Our experiences can be mistakenly interpreted.

Then again,whenever we read and interpret the Bible we are doing so with our emotions as well as our minds engaged. Bible reading itself is experiential. And it can be sadly true that some who caution against relying on personal experiences of God are speaking as those who haven’t had such experiences. It could be argued that they,too,are speaking from ‘experience’-or rather lack of it.

Paul gives us a good perspective on the subject. He is not going to use his own wonderful private experiences as a bit of spiritual one-upmanship. He does not see them as some sort of reward for being an extra-good apostle. And yet he is happy enough to own them,to recall them with thanksgiving. Here is a man who was a scholar of Scripture who yet had profound,inexplicable experiences of God.

We dare not depend on such experiences,but we dare not despise them either.

David Reay