Because relationships aren't just information-based but also experience-based...

Faith is something that usually penetrates our only. We think of it as belief- as something that happens in the head. Perhaps that's why we make theological fences, counting some people "in" and other people "out" based on how well their beliefs (their logical framework) lines up with our own...

That's kinda odd, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong- I'm all for truth. But when the Bible speaks about truth it calls us NOT into a relationship with facts and figures and data... not even to a relationship with a book. Rather, it calls us into relationship with a person.

 

Are relationships information-based or experience-based?

Solomon was pretty clear that "without vision people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). 

Or, they "cast off restraint." 

Or, to say it another way, they lose heart, motivation, and drive...

The word Solomon uses for vision here isn't the word Hebrew people in his culture used for "ideas" (read: logic). Rather, he uses the word they used to denote the prophetic... that God is speaking to us constantly. 

Solomon says, in effect, that hearing the voice of God is the thing that drives us, that empowers us, that fuels us...

(So much for facts and figures only-we need more.)

In keeping with this, people who sought God in Solomon's day would have sought- and experienced- the Lord with their entire person. Sure, they encountered Him with their minds- they routinely thought about Him and mediated on His truths...

Get it- God wasn’t meant to be studied, He was meant to be encountered and experienced…

He didn’t reveal Himself (nor does He know) just so that we can intellectually comprehend some facet of Him (although we CAN understand Him with our minds- and should). He reveals Himself so that we might RELATE to Him…

When you and I relate to one another, we don’t just relate through data….

Through things like, 

*I’m 5’10” or so…

*I have a bunch of kids…

*I’m from Birmingham, Alabama

No. We encounter each other in the world of the senses. 

 

The 5 senses = gifts of a Good Creator

A lot of people (read: Christians) have the idea that the senses are bad. Even evil. That we shouldn’t lean into them. 

Whereas we don’t want to rely on our senses, they’ve been given to us by God. Remember, He’s the Creator. And He made all things for His glory. 

Even our physical bodies and the senses that go along with them.

  • This is why we’re told to TASTE and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
  • And to SEE the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 27:13).
  • And to HEAR the joyful sound of God’s voice (Psalm 89:15, John 10:27).
  • And to live as the SMELL of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15).
  • John was confident that they had SEEN, HEARD, and TOUCHED Jesus (1 John 1:1-4).

Worship was ALWAYS a five sense experience…

Because worship is relational and relationships are experience-based NOT just information-based.

 

Let's go old school- back to the Temple

Back in the Old Testament days, as people walked into the Temple, they encountered God with the entire person, in the same way that we encounter other relationships with everything that we are. In fact, you might say that God was MORE tangible than other relationships...

As they entered the Temple, they would smell the frankincense and the oils meandering through the air...

They would see a lavish display of artistic beauty. In fact, the Scripture says God had gifted artists to create in the same way He'd gifted others to teach. Moreover, the artists were the first ones we read that ARE anointed in the Bible (see Exodus 31:3). 

They would hear the sounds of the His truths reverberating the halls... and the echoes of singers and musicians who filled the atmosphere with their rich rhythms around the clock.

They touched the sacrifices. And the altar. And the laver. And the other items in the Temple...

And, of course, they tasted... many of the sacrifices were meant to be shared, to be eaten, in God's presence...

 

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You might also like the free online workshop- Revelation = Invitation: click here for more info.

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