Man in fog

Why do I not experience Jesus?

This is a personal question and even though I do not know the particular circumstances or expectations of the person who asked this question, I think that many people wrestle with this.

What is your expectation?

First of all, anyone who wrestles with this issue: try to answer a few questions for yourself. What exactly do you mean when you say that you do not or cannot experience Jesus? What are your expectations for a relationship with Him? It might be that you hope for an audible voice from heaven, or clear tokens of His presence in your life. If this is your hope, then you will probably be disappointed.

Spending time with Jesus

One way in which Jesus wants to communicate with you, is through His word. If you feel He is distant, set aside time in which you can focus on the Bible. Cancel appointments or tasks and take your time. Not just once, but regularly. If you love listening to music, look for songs in which truths about Jesus are communicated. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13) – He will help you to understand the Bible and find Jesus in it.

Look at the example of Mary. Jesus was invited in the house by Maria’s sister, Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Mary then sits down at Jesus’ feet and listens to Him. Martha wants Jesus to command Mary to help her prepare the food. But Jesus’ answer is nothing what Martha expected: He says that Mary has chosen the best part, which will not be taken away from her. Spending time with Jesus is valued by the Lord Jesus Himself over doing things for Jesus!

Invite Jesus in your life!

Read the accounts in the Gospels of how Jesus related to people. Read the Calling of Levi, Luke 5:27-32. Levi was a tax collector, a person who probably earned a lot of money. When Jesus walked by and called him to follow Him, Levi left everything and followed Jesus, just like that. And he immediately threw a party in Jesus’ honour, and invited all his buddies. So he invited Jesus into his life!

Do you follow Jesus wholeheartedly? Or are there still sins in your life that you cling to, that prevent you from experiencing Jesus’ presence in your life? Do you invite Jesus into your life without reserve, or is He only getting access to a small portion of it? There is a beautiful verse in the Bible: “Here I am! (Jesus says) I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). If you open the door widely, then Jesus is able to come in. Note: Jesus never forces Himself on you. He knocks, he calls – but He waits for your response.

Take a moment to look back on your life since the time that you started to follow Jesus. Have things changed since then? How has your walk with Jesus been? Have you tried to obey Him, to follow in His footsteps? Has there been a movement away from a sinful life towards a life that is bearing spiritual fruit, as described in Galatians 5: 19-26? If that is the case, then you can conclude that Jesus really is present in your life.

Also read: How can you experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit?

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Esther Visser

Esther Visser

Esther Visser (1972) was raised in Waddinxveen. She did a 2-year masters degree at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Badhoevedorp, to prepare for the mission field. In 2000 her husband and she were sent to Thailand as church planters, in cooperation with OMF and GZB. They lived and worked there for 15 years, together with their two children. At this time Esther is editor-in-chief for De Waarheidsvriend, the house magazine of the Gereformeerde Bond. She is also active in church life, as a youth worker, and as an artist.

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Why do I not experience Jesus?