Scriptural or Experiential: Can the Categories Never Coexist?

“She’s (he’s) gone over to the experiential side.”


I’ve been accustomed to that terminology since my first Bible doctrine class at 27 years old. The language might be dated for many of you but you get the gist. My teacher (in the presence of the Lord now) whom I loved and whose passion lit a fire in my own bones often used the delineation. Something was either “Scriptural” or “experiential” and ne’er the two could meet. It made perfect sense to me.


For a little while.


I’ve never lost my esteem for my teacher. I could get tears in my eyes just thinking about him. He taught under a powerful unction of the Holy Spirit and with a love for the Bible that I had never seen. I suppose some 90 percent of what he taught me I still believe with all my heart. No one made a deeper investment in my love for the Word of God.


But I’ll share with you the teaching in that first Bible doctrine class that I couldn’t accept for long. I couldn’t accept that a believer must fall cleanly into one category or the other: the Scriptural or the experiential. Of course, that’s why I had critics counting me among the experiential crowd 15 years ago but I’ll be forthright with you. The criticism, no matter how mean-spirited it got, was worth enduring because I was not about to let somebody convince me that Scripture and experience were always mutually exclusive. I wanted them both. I wanted to thrill to the Word of God with everything in me AND I wanted to experience the presence of Christ as palpably as He’d permit me.


I would not deny for a moment that there are people in the wide stretch of Christendom who rely strictly on experience and rarely if ever open their Bibles. I also have no doubt that many study their Bibles but never have what they’d qualify as an “experiential” encounter with the Holy Spirit. But there is another category and it is chock full of people who have devoted their entire lives to the study of Scripture and could also testify to rich experiential encounters with Christ. They are not the either-or’s. They have known both.


They are people who would not dream of giving their experience the same weight as the Scriptures. They know full well that it doesn’t mean everything. But must it mean nothing??


Does the Word of God itself not validate experiencing the presence of God?


Every time the living words of Scripture seem to leap off the page into the reality of our present challenge, are we not experiencing God?


Every time our pastors or teachers bring a word that causes the blood to flow hot through our veins –  in the terminology of 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” – are we not experiencing God?


Every time we are overwhelmed with fresh conviction and we experience true repentance, are we not experiencing God?


In those moments when we’re brokenhearted and bewildered and we suddenly feel embraced by His love and assured of our chosenness, are we not experiencing God?


In our worship when we feel moved inside with the sense that His thick presence around us in that place is a greater reality than anything we can see or touch, are we not experiencing God?


When, after striving and seeking and praying, we suddenly know with astounding clarity what God wants us to do in a situation or relationship, are we not experiencing God?


When we have encounters with people that only God could have ordained and had appointed conversations that become pivotal to our callings, are we not experiencing God?


Was the Holy Spirit Himself not given to us so that we could continue to experience the presence of Jesus on this earth??


And do we not keep our Bibles wide open and study them all our lives and every day so that we can even recognize what could be a valid Holy Spirit experience?


No story I’ve ever told publicly has gotten me in more trouble than the one that occurred in an airport many years ago when I felt a profuse stirring of the Holy Spirit to go over to an old man in a wheelchair and brush his tangled, matted hair. Nothing has thrown me into the “experiential” category with my critics more than that story. But here’s the ironic part: I had my Bible wide open in my lap actively memorizing John 1 at the exact moment the Holy Spirit moved on me to stand up and walk over to that man. In fact, I was nearly annoyed by the inconvenience of having to get up and go serve somebody while I was busy with my memory work. They weren’t two separate things. They were happening simultaneously.


Despite the discouragement that being stereotyped can bring, if I thought I’d “experienced” God for the last time, I’d be ready to pack up this whole earthly existence and go home. I live to experience God – in my Bible study, my worship, my restoration, my personal revival, in the laughter of my family that has endured against all odds, in the burst of color in an autumn sunset, in a praise song blaring from the speakers in my car, in church service after church service, in the love I still feel for one man after 36 years, and in a walk all by myself in the country.


I write these words to you today who have devoted your lives to the study of God’s inspired Word and make it your daily bread. You don’t have to choose between the Scriptural and the “experiential.” You can have a devout study life and esteem the Bible more than any other tangible possession on this earth and you can also validly experience the presence and palpable activity of the Holy Spirit. You don’t need human permission to do so. You have the Bible’s permission.


Don’t let anybody take that right from you.


239 Responses to “Scriptural or Experiential: Can the Categories Never Coexist?”

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  1. 101
    Helen says:

    Thank you so much for a very timely word. . . I also began my journey with the Lord with either/or, and have come to realize, just as you shared, in order to be alive and life-giving it has to be both!! Thank you!

  2. 102
    Dolly King says:

    Oh, they both exist cohesively. It was during the study of the tabernacle that I realized I wanted that intimate relationship with God that I saw that you had with him. I’ve grown closer and closer to the Lord because of that. Today I am doing Priscilla Shirer’s study of Jonah and am resisting the change of calling he has on my life, as did Jonah. God is speaking to me through the study in such a personal way. God is calling me away from foreign missions to a domestic field, the opposite of what he did with Jonah. Yes, the Word and personal experience just have to be mutual, don’t they?

  3. 103
    Ann Unruh says:

    Thank you, Beth. Just thank you. So. Much.

  4. 104
    KMSmom86 says:

    My BFF and I have talked about this for years. At the beginning of my career as a public school teacher, I had a very difficult principal. I was very discouraged for many reasons. One morning I was getting ready for work, crying and talking to the Lord about the situation. He spoke “Trust Me, for I am faithful” to my heart. It has become my “motto” in a way. His Voice was not audible, but I HEARD HIM IN MY HEART. This has happened countless times in the last ten years. I should say that I love to study God’s Word and have been involved in many studies over the years. Scripture is so very important in my life.

    My BFF often comments that she wishes she could hear God’s voice like I do. She has shared that she does not “hear His Voice” like I do. But my friend knows the Word of God and shares His promises with others. I am amazed by the way she goes to Scripture in times of trouble, seeking to find out what God says. She also quotes Scripture in happy, joyful times – not as a know-it-all but as a follower of Jesus. When we pray together, it is so humbling to hear her claim God’s Word and His promises as she talks to the Father.

    Thanks for letting me share my experience.

  5. 105
    eva in tennessee says:

    I definitely agree with all you wrote, clearly you can have both because it is what it is….both!! When His Word is alive and active in us, we are experiencing Him. He lives in us and we do life together…every bit of it…we experience it together. Through SMV discipline, I see both of these as I incorporate Scripture into my experiences daily.

  6. 106
    DeborahMott says:

    Totally agree! Living to KNOW CHRIST is to experience Him and LOVE HIM! Paul lived CHRIST and I believe Damascus Road was not the only time his theology was turned over by his experience! His experience with greater than his theology. Sometimes our experience trumps our theology!!! Look at LAZARUS…four days later Martha and Mary and all that were onlookers got to experience something that they may not have had in their theology!
    2 Thes 1:11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The GRACE OF GOD brings forth experiences of God that Rahabs like me are testimony that he saves to the uttermost!!!! Operation Resurrection! CPR CHRIST PURCHASED REDEMPTION!
    JESUS is salvation!
    Thanks for the blog! Your words and life testify that He is alive and active in HIS WORD AND IN YOUR LIFE BY EXPERIENCE and you help so many learn to experience CHRIST and really know Him and love Him!
    Thank you, honored to know you through this blog and CHRIST ministry THROUGH you!

    • 106.1
      Deborahmott says:

      Been thinking so much more about this subject. Seems closer to JESUS we get the more we understand or can experience firsthand the Presence and Power of God and know CHRIST experientially. Yet like John the Baptist and Mary and Martha and Paul and the 11 apostles there are key times in their lives that it looked like God abandoned them or did not do what He could have done and in these times doubt and disillusionment threatened their core faith! JESUS answered John’s question with BLESSED ARE THOSE NOT OFFENDED WITH ME! It’s hard not to take offense at times with what the LORD allows in our lives! When we know He is capable of using His power and doesn’t and instead allows the “defeat” or prison or what appears a disaster or death… to continue… Yet in those places we are often more a victor than we feel? JESUS spoke so highly of John the Baptist! JESUS himself was a SACRIFICE… He took the place we deserved! He looked a victim yet was the greatest Victor! He won the greatest victory looking like the greatest victim! How can it be that Christ would die for me? What a Savior!
      O Lord, help us be HEROES OF FAITH! To live through acts of faith to topple kingdoms, make justice work and take promises for ourselves… Turn disadvantage to advantage… Win battles…route alien armies… Under torture, refuse to give in… Prefer something better: resurrection!!!! …. Hebrews 11:32-38 Msg. Paraphrasing prayers… Thx so much Beth and LPM FOR THIS blog… And true ministry of Gospel!

  7. 107
    Susan sarver says:

    Hallelujah! You worded this perfectly. I am a “recovering legalist” and it was through your studies (Breaking Free) that I first learned what a personal,loving,exciting God we have! I can never go back…but it is often hard to find “kindred spirits”.

  8. 108
    Lia says:

    Honestly, I never realized there WAS a perceived delineation, and the very idea seems foreign and unnatural to me. Scriptural relationship informs my experiential relationship. It gives language to the otherwise incomprehensible and unutterable response of my spirit with His Spirit. To suggest I might have only one or the other attempts to rob me of 50% of my relationship with God, suggesting that 50% of my knowledge of Him is not as vital to my existence as one in communion with the Holy Spirit as oxygen is to my existence on the planet.

  9. 109
    Esther Burroughs says:

    Totally agree and have experienced both many many times.

  10. 110
    Janice Pitchford says:

    Oh, Beth! That airport story has stayed with me over the years. I am in total agreement with your post. The two go hand in hand. Thank you for being willing to stand strong in what you know to be true. God bless you, Susta!

  11. 111
    Crystal says:

    Beth, I thank God that I get to experience both. I think the old man in the aiport story is one of the most endearing stores you have ever told and the Holy Spirit prompted you to serve that man so he could be presentable to his bride. That’s our God. I know it must be hard to get critized for every word that comes out of your mouth. I pray that you know that so many of us love you and don’t critize you and only thank Jesus for you.

  12. 112
    Kathy says:

    Amen Sister, well said!!! Thank you.

  13. 113
    Gloria Hartman says:

    Well said, Beth. You’re right on! Don’t give up, and thanks for encouraging us to keep learning and enjoying Jesus, too!

  14. 114
    Angie says:

    I loved this post on so many levels…I get you.

    And this post is very tender to my heart.

    From someone who did a lot of searching for the right church; I learned when I came to the church I have been at now three years what I was really yearning for was not so much “greek and Hebrew” or big church words but that was to truly experience the Spirit, I mean fully experience Him…and its funny, because it was not something I thought I really wanted, and thought it was weird to raise my hands or dance( Which If you know me I cannot stop moving during praise and worship.) because I grew up learning to not be a “distraction,” which is well and good, but quenching the Spirit happens when we allow fear from keeping us from fully experiencing Him.
    You should know Beth, I learned how to praise Him watching you in 2007 during ” In Christ Alone.” I never raised my hands before that, and I never swayed or moved…but you did…:) You led me to love Him, to know Him and to worship Him as He deserves from me.
    One day I hope to sit down and share my experience w you ladies, or a letter in the mail soon…and oh the stories I have at the joy and love and the challenge God has given I have from my church…that is, but the other side of this is knowing TRUTH…to NEVER allow ourselves to get caught up in the experience that we miss experiencing Jesus…That we miss the whole point of it all. That we always SEEK Him first and not the experience. Something kind of cool about 1 Thess 1:5….In prayer it came to my heart and then I brought it to my prayer pastor and he said, ” This is interesting as this is what I wanted to preach on tonight.”..because y’all, that is what it is to seek truth in the experience, it is always, always looking for Him where He is found…right back in His Word. It is the greatest joy of my life, so much so that the things of this earth that are temporary do not even bother me that I don’t have…I know Him, and knowing that is the most thrilling thing to my heart.
    I know this was long, but I had to pour my heart out.
    Love you all 🙂

  15. 115
    lynda rickey says:

    My sweet Beth,
    Well said! Love Ya babe.

  16. 116
    Laura says:

    Thank you Beth, for taking time to write and share with us on this blog. So grateful for your gift of writing and speaking. Things to ponder and marvel at.

  17. 117
    Allison Ashton says:

    Oh Beth! Those silly people! You helped a man in need, doing God’s bidding…well, well.

    I see it all in one. To me they go hand-in-hand. I think too it depends on the person, how God created each of us. If I draw near to Him, I believe He will show up in a way I will know. When, I do my art work, and gaze on His creation my mind reels and sparks fly. And, those certain verses stirring me up, confirms or not.

    Maybe out of a need I see in me, I need an experience. And want one TOO. And, wonder if, one can get to a place they don’t need the experentially as much if they are deeply satisfied and trusted in His goodness and love for them? Maybe it can become an easy caring ride with wonderful soft highs and not shooting up like a rocket? if the Word is not top then no experience will suffice.

  18. 118
    Joyce Watson says:

    Thank you so much, Beth. I always loved the story of the man you helped in the wheel chair. It was such a humble, loving and kind thing to do.
    I really grew to love God’s Word in Sunday School too. I had a wonderful teacher and I loved it so much one Saturday I got up to get ready to go to church thinking it was Sunday. It was after I took a bath and washed my hair that I realized it was Saturday. I could not wait to hear more of His Word.
    I love your Bible studies and have shared them with the ladies at my church when I could and I have all your hard back books as well. Thank you for helping me and others grow in the Lord. God bless you!

  19. 119
    Connie Brice says:

    Dr. Joseph Parker once said: “If we do not get back to visions, peeps into heaven, consciousness of the higher glory and the larger life, we shall lose our religion; our altar will become a bare stone, unblessed by visitant from Heaven.” Here is the world’s need today–men who have seen their Lord.
    –The Lost Art of Meditation
    Come close to Him! He may take you today up into the mountain top, for where He took Peter with his blundering, and James and John, those sons of thunder who again and again so utterly misunderstood their Master and His mission, there is no reason why He should not take you. So don’t shut yourself out of it and say, “Ah, these wonderful visions and revelations of the Lord are for choice spirits!” They may be for you!
    –John McNeill
    This is from today’s streams in the desert.

    May it Be. Connie

  20. 120
    Peggy says:

    Thank you, Beth! Thanks for modelling how the Word of God is alive and active in our lives! The story of the man in the airport was such a blessing to me – a picture of the tender love of our Savior. Praising Jesus with you! I love you, sister!

  21. 121
    Heidi says:

    It hurts me to think that you are criticized for being excited and enthusiastic about your walk with The Lord. I had never heard those specific terms before, but it seems that the two go together like a hand in a glove. It is through the scriptures and a knowledge of the person and character of God, that the Holy Spirit is able to converse, convict, comfort, and correct us. It is not either or. I loved your story about combing the older man’s hair. It touched my heart deeply and moved me to tears. If the Holy Spirit weren’t able to prompt our minds and move in our hearts and guide us to obedient actions, how would His love ever be shared here on earth? Actions speak loudly, and were more effective in that case than if you had walked over to that man and spouted John 1. You walked out the scriptures in a way that not only touched that man, but thousands of others were blessed, too! You go, girl! I love you and look forward to meeting you one day in glory. I just know we will be BFF’s forever!

  22. 122
    Peggy says:

    Thank you, Beth, for modelling so well how the Word of God is alive and active in us. The story of the man in the airport blesses me every time I read it – a wonderful picture of God’s tender love for us. Praising Jesus with you! I love you. Sister

  23. 123
    Linda Smith says:

    Thank you so much, Beth. I totally agree with you and praise God that you have written this to encourage us. I will tell you that I was ushered into the kingdom accompanied by an experience that was not like everyone else. It has been looked at as not scriptural but just as an experience not in scripture, and has caused me not to share it very often. My life has never been the same since that day. The Word instantly became my guide and my constant companion, and my Lord became the One steady love of my life. Could that have been just an experience… not in my book. His presence continues to guide me and give me assurance of His love. And as I read His Word, it leaps off the page to comfort, correct, instruct,train, and assure me of His So great a salvation in me.

  24. 124

    “Does the Word of God itself not validate experiencing the presence of God?”

    Yes, it does: “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.”

    “They are people who would not dream of giving their experience the same weight as the Scriptures. They know full well that it doesn’t mean everything. But must it mean nothing??”

    I need the Scriptures to make sense spiritually, logically, emotionally and experientially.
    If Scripture doesn’t make sense logically, I dig deeper, ask the Spirit to explain it to me. Often the translation is a bit faulty.
    If it doesn’t ring true emotionally, I dig deeper, ask the Spirit to show me where my heart is deceiving me.
    If the Spirit in me is not shouting, “Yeehaw!”, I dig deeper, because when the message hits the nail squarely on the head, the Spirit in me always yells, “Yeehaw!”
    If the message doesn’t line up with what the Spirit is saying, I dig deeper. And often discover that the message is merely a teaching of men. Yeast of the Pharisees.

    And the answer to all of your questions, of course, is Yes!

  25. 125

    Beth! Oh Beth! Thank you for sharing your heart on this. I’ve read the reviews of your critics and prayed for them and you as I read. I’ve felt the sting of others saying that my experience is just an emotional response and not valid because “everyone” has not experienced it. But, I’ve also seen my cessation roots begin to wither and die not only with me, but in my parents, too.

    I’d rolled my ankle at a women’s retreat a few weeks back, and by the time I got my shoe off was discouraged as I realized I was set for a pomegranate color foot and ankle swelling the size of a grapefruit by morning. I’d done it before… Still I prayed, “God would you undo any internal damage that bobble created in my foot and heal it while I lay and sleep tonight? Thank you for providing healing for my body.”

    The faint bruising that I had seen coming up in my foot the night before was gone, I walked on hard earth and uneven ground from nearly 5:30 am until we left the place at 9:00 pm that Saturday traipsing all over God’s green earth in Glen Rose, TX and had not one bit of pain. By the time I got home there was a dull ache and a noticed knot on the side of my foot that I was sure was a hairline fracture. I put ice on it, took ibuprofen and settled down to sleep. By morning all the traces of swelling and injury were completely gone. HEALED. That very afternoon God gave me Psalm 62 asking me to wait before Him, anticipating His deliverance. How true it became in those hours that followed. He heals… Still.

    A number of years back, I served on an intercessory team and we had prayed in “pillars’ for the conference where I served that year. My pillar was Freedom, and I had prayed Daniel 9 for weeks as God had driven me to consider the Aurora Borealis lights again and again in my prayers. I studied that natural phenomena and learned many amazing things. And as the conference approached I felt like God whispered to this front row – soak it all in Church Girl – “I want you to sit in the back and watch for two things. Watch for the atmosphere to change and watch for the lights to dance.”

    I had no clue if this was my vivid imagination or truly the voice of God, but I sat as the opening worship began with great anticipation. And that night… Nothing remarkable along those lines cropped up. I went home, still anticipating but a bit more convinced that my study of the Aurora lights had given me delusions. As I returned the next morning I committed my heart to obedience to observe and notice anything and everything that would explain this repeating thought, “Watch for two things. Watch for the atmosphere to change and watch for the lights to dance.”

    After the session following lunch, a team of women took the stage to speak words in due season to the conference attendees. All of a sudden the room went black. The power to the entire building went out. Within a few minutes the back up power illuminated the room in a bright fluorescent glow. As the lights came back up, our Senior Pastor’s wife came to the stage and said in her loudest voice – let’s all just take some time to pray. As we prayed one voice in the back of the room broke out in spontaneous worship and the praise fell across the room like a group doing the wave at the Super Bowl. You could “feel” the atmosphere shift in the room. As the song rose from the hearts of the women all the little monitors, and lights along the ceiling of the room began to dance in various colors as the power they needed to operate came back to them.

    The leaders elected to dismiss so the facilities crew could get to work bringing the power back up.

    I went home and rested, got dressed and gathered my youngest daughter to my side. She attended the conference with me that night. By the time I returned I was swooped into the auditorium by my intercessors leader and told that there was still no power to the building so while we waited we needed to pray. I stood with my daughter, smiling and enjoying her company while praying with my mind like Nehemiah. The intercessors gathered in the auditorium and took our seats. We positioned our “PILLARS” of prayer in the room like David’s temple in Jerusalem. Four on each corner of the room and one in the middle. My lead came to me and said, “You pray in the middle.”

    We anointed our spot with oil. Knelt a few minutes before the women were allowed to enter and prayed from our hearts for the needed power to deliver God’s message that evening. Kari Jobe walked out onto the platform and did worship “unplugged.” The presence of God became so thick in the room I could not bear it. I went down on my hands and knees and began to tremble and shake uncontrollably. I felt undone by God.

    Just then, the passage from Daniel 9 I had been praying popped into my head. So I turned back to my Bible sitting in my seat and flipped furiously to the page so familiar to my eyes. I scanned to the Scripture and something new jumped right off the page at me: “I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.”

    I reread it again realizing that the very thing I read was much how I had felt through the last few minutes. As I read tears fell from my eyes at my utter awareness that God had chosen to reveal Himself to me in a deeply personal way. For, I had mistakenly turned to Daniel 10, not Daniel 9…

    My daughter leaned down and asked, “Momma are you okay?”

    I nodded and pointed to verses 10 & 11 for her to read. She looked as enlightened as I felt – she said, “That is exactly what is happening to you.”

    I nodded my head, stood in all that trembling reality and worshipped from my heart as I never had before. At the end of the service we prayed with ladies at the altar and some of us moved into a room reserved for longer prayer off to the side. I was with the woman I prayed with for 30 minutes. But when I walked out into the lobby I felt a soft breeze brush past me as I looked down the long corridor to the chat room area that had been transformed into a tent flowing with linens down the walls, pillar candles in hurricane glass lit the way dotting the long lobby to the after party already in full swing. The soft linen fabrics danced and swayed in the most romantic and intimate environment that had not been planned, but instead was improvised due to the power outage.

    The atmosphere had completely changed. I gushed my revelation to my prayer partners who looked at me in dismay. Then they laughed… My experience was not their experience but it meant everything to me in that moment as God emphatically answered yes to me about this question that you posed…

    “Does the Word of God itself not validate experiencing the presence of God?”

    Love you so much, you are a Momma in the faith to me. I share often with others how your ministry and affirmation have been stepping stones for God to bring me where I am today in my relationship with Him and the ministry He has called me, too. Thank you again for sharing your heart with us.


    • 125.1
      Mary says:

      Thank you so much for this testimony – it means so much to me right now … “I, Daniel, was the only one who…” and “My experience was not their experience but it meant everything to me…”
      Alone, but not alone … because God is with us always.
      God bless you.

  26. 126
    valerie says:

    that is a good and sound word, well said.

  27. 127
    Julie Reynolds says:

    Thank you. I so needed this. To read this and be reminded of why I love His Word and His Spirit so much, to ask Him to show me His face again today and stir up the gift that is within me. Thank you.

  28. 128
    sharon J says:

    Hello Miss Beth!
    So sad people find need to label you
    So glad you kept going anyway!
    The Spirit speaks and I am glad you listened and brushed that mans hair so long ago!
    Praise God I can’t separate the two! Scripture leads me into my experience with God. It is awesome what He can do through us when we listen to that still small voice.
    Thank you!

  29. 129
    Debbie in CA says:

    God Bless Buddy who set a spark off in you that sent a flame all around the world and into this little heart of mine that I have been able to let shine let it shine let it shine!

    I grew up all about the experience as I got older I learned about His Word but not until seeing your heart for His Word in your studies did the spark really catch fire. I could go on and on about the healing God has done in my heart through His word using you as His tool.

    Thank you Beth,
    love ya girl!

  30. 130
    Kathy says:

    All I can say is AMEN AND AMEN!!! Keep preaching it sister. I love how God speaks through you to me. I will never tire of it. You cause me to hunger after God. 😉

  31. 131
    Linda says:

    Thank you for this!! I believe experiencing God and scripture go together..
    It’s happened too any times to deny it.

    Thank you for your faithfulness to Jesus
    It blesses us all!!

  32. 132
    Susan B, TX says:

    Thank You!! For always speaking the truth; I long to always hear it. I so remember the story and it has resonated in me because of a time in my life when we would be out on the streets with some people to share. I have been given back lash for stepping out but as long as God is okay with it then that is what matters. Sometimes people just don’t understand God is not in a box; he can do anything anywhere and you prove it so much. Thank you Our Sister Loved By GOD.
    Enjoy your teaching, sharing so much.

  33. 133
  34. 134
    Mary Lou Smith says:

    I wish I was eloquent with words but all I know is I have experienced God’s presence with my adopted daughter’s hugs (she’s 39 but I still crave those hugs), with my husband affirming me when my Mom won’t, and especially when I read the Bible and know He wrote it for us to encourage us, and to help us help others. My friend’s Dad this week died because a woman ran a red light, another friend is waiting for a judge to give her son permanent custody of his 2 daughters (wife had an abortion weekend before she filed for divorce), I’m believing God gave us His Holy Spirit so we can experience His love and guidance while on this earth. We are not alone. Praise Him!!

  35. 135
    Deborah S says:

    Amen and AMEN!!!! That’s been my desire and pursuit and my JOY too!!!

  36. 136
  37. 137
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Greetings to you Beth. Reading this I can tell you are passionate about this topic…To experience God here means everything to me as well. I could be ready to pack up and “head home” too if I had to spend the rest of my days not being able to experience Him here. I want Him near me everyday…and especially when I feel like I’ve blown it because of any number of things I’ve done wrong whether it was my heart attitude or my actions that were sinful. To confess it, receive forgiveness, and be reassured of His love and to be again filled with His Spirit…I understand what you are saying…I want to encourage you as my teacher, but I do not know what to say…to be a teacher is a serious role that makes you accountable to God most of all. This awesome responsibility must weigh on your mind everyday…I know you want to rightly divide His Word…I am praying for you. God has used you much to encourage me…much love to you Siesta Mama Beth.

  38. 138
    Andrea Henley says:

    Whhhhaaaattt? You have critics? Aren’t they generally negative by nature anyway? (Kidding. Critics and negativity hurt.)

    But I’m willing to bet that that sweet man (and his wife, if I’m recalling the story correctly) have no doubt that you were heaven sent.

    And isn’t it supposed to be all about the person served anyway? I mean, if we study and memorize but never serve and never break strongholds and never pray our ways into (and out of…and out of) a lion’s den, aren’t we just flat missing the boat we were meant to step out of in the middle of a stormy sea?

    Trust me I struggle doing all the stuff I just mentioned, but at least if I’m wallowing In self-something I can go back to service. It’s like my “start here” square on my game of Life (or Monopoly. You pick.)

    And by service I mean disinfecting a toy that ended up in the trash by my hyper-organizational one year old. You can think world missions if you want, but I’m referring to the day in and day out small stuff that counts. Yes, it certainly counts.

  39. 139
    Susan Green says:

    Dearest Beth, Your story of the gentleman in the wheelchair has remained with me for year. My friends and I have used it in bible study groups to illustrate experiencing God’s voice on more than one occasion. Those who do not believe in hearing God’s voice are certainly limiting their walk with the Lord. Never limit sharing your experiences of the Lord with us. They inspire us all to turn to Him for every aspect of our lives as we know with certainty He is with us and guiding our every step when we trust Him

  40. 140
    jana says:

    Aggghhhh! Thank you for addressing this. This blog is at the heart of the first Bible study the Lord ever had me write. Is not the God of the Bible real to the people in the Bible? Did they not experience Him? Why then, would we not be able to?! The very definition of the Greek word for “knowing” God lists experiential knowledge as one of the main parts of the definition. Will it ever look like anything outside of what God has revealed to us in His Word? Never. But He is just as real and available to you and I as He was to anyone you read about. Please don’t let anyone, for one minute, take that sweet intimacy away from you. It is what Jesus died to give us on this side of heaven.

  41. 141
    Puzzlepiecesista-Angela Larson says:


    WHOO-HOO!!!!! Preach it siesta, preach it!!!

    “Let us TASTE and SEE that the LORD, HE IS GOOD”!!!!

    That’s as personal an invitation in the “SCRIPTURE” to “EXPERIENCE” our GREAT GOD then just about any and oh there is many!!!!

    I wanna TASTE….I wanna SEE…..and, I wanna FEEL, I wanna FEEL EVERYTHING there is to FEEL, ALL the days of my life….I just plain wanna “EXPERIENCE” every moment I can with the LIVING GOD!!!

    Only then can I KNOW that I have lived with NO REGRETS!!!

    If that qualify’s me as a “flip-flopper”….than by GOD I AM QUALIFIED!!!!!


    P.S. Thank GOD for your HAIRBRUSH!!!!! Lol!!!!! XO!!

  42. 142
    Lora says:

    Yes and Amen!

  43. 143
    amybhill says:

    Wow – I read this blog post and then, the next day, started reading Tim Keller’s new book, “Prayer.” He discusses this VERY thing in the first chapter 🙂

    • 143.1
      amybhill says:

      Also, your airport story is my all-time fav. I’ve shared it on Facebook multiple times. “I am your witness! I am your witness!” I laugh every time 🙂 love you! xoxox

  44. 144
    Diginee says:

    Well said – well said.

  45. 145
    Maria says:

    I totally agree, but I think it’s important to emphasize the point that if experience differs from the Word, the Word must be the final authority. As an example – Once I had a friend tell me that she had prayed and found peace about living with her boyfriend before they were married; she thought she had heard God speaking to her and saying that it was ok since they planned to get married.

    I think that God can and does make himself known to us in other ways, but those other ways can never override the truth of his Word.

    Thanks, Beth, for inspiring us all to know the Word better!

  46. 146
    Martha Salters says:

    Amen Beth Amen!!! My prayers for you, your family and your ministry continue.. you are such a gift to us!! Our group finishes up COTD tomorrow night 🙂 love you!

  47. 147
    Charlotte Farr says:

    thank you Beth for the study we just finished! “Children of the Day” has been a true blessing for each of us!!
    We would love to share our pictures with you from our study…”TRA” and “hand” writing pics with you, I’m just not sure how to load those.

    Thank you
    Central Baptist church
    Owasso, Ok

  48. 148
    Amanda says:

    I’m so glad you clearly made this connection. The scriptures teach of all God is and does through Jesus. But then he’s called us to be His living servants daily filled with the Spirit to get in on what Jesus is doing in and around us to carry out His purposes. Thank you Jesus for allowing us to know your scriptures AND to experience you working through our lives. I pray you will keep me alert to what You are about doing so I Can be a part of it. Thank you Beth for sharing this with us.

  49. 149
    Lynne says:

    I was in my 40’s before I heard that we could have a personal relationship with Jesus. What a mind-boggling possibility! And I was 50 before I attended my first Bible study. (I’ve probably done 7 or 8 Beth Moore studies since then… maybe more.) Fortunately, I never knew we weren’t supposed to experience God! I’m obviously a very slow learner, but I’m pleased I missed that “lesson”. It seems inconceivable to me by now. And I thank our awesome Savior that I know it is not true. Thank you, Beth, for your passion to share the life-giving Word with us and your encouragement to memorize Scripture. Now may the Lord of Peace Himself give you (and yours) peace at all times and in every way!

  50. 150
    Michele says:

    How very encouraging, I could not imagine not experiencing the presence of God, this should never even be a topic for debate, how can someone believe and not experience? I once had a pastor say to me if I experienced the power of God then how could he tell me it was not real.

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