Whit’s End: Experiencing God

**Psalm 71.1???6**

1In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

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2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me and save me.

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3Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

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4Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

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5For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.

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6Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother???s womb. My praise is continually of you.

This is the kind of scripture you need to turn to, almost daily, but especially in your hour of need. ??It is this kind of from-the-heart prayer that we should have ready and accessible. ??Whether it is illness, finances, relationships, or doubt, these verses reflect the kind of connection we are chasing after with God. ??What scriptures do you rely upon in our hour of need?

Look at the words used here: refuge, deliver, rescue, save, rock, fortress, hope, trust, leaned, praise. ??These are words that should paint a picture for you of how David sees God. ??Given his long history with God and the roller coaster life David lived, it is revealing to see how David has experienced God. ??God is truly all of these things we read here but he is also many more. ??As you have leaned on God, what words come to mind?

For the majority of the world, they wonder what it is that the religious see in God, Jesus, and the Church. ??But their answers never come or seem to fall short because they never move out of the realm of ???wonder??? and into the realm of experience. ??One of my favorite testimonies comes from a youth pastor up North who challenged a disbelieving teenager to commit to a year of service in the youth ministry. ??The teen was a complete sceptic but took the bet, only to find that he would be a dedicated member of that ministry with strong faith after 6 months. ??What is something that you've done or something that has happened for you that moved your faith from ???wondering about God??? to "experiencing God?"

These verses are a reflection of David???s relationship with God. ??The challenge for us today is to search our hearts and minds for how we reflect God and how we experience him. ??Have we simply wondered about God or have we experienced him? ??Have we been far from God or are we close? ??Here???s your closing question this morning: What will you do to experience God more, deeper, closer in the coming days or months? ??Your assignment this week is to ask the question daily, How will I experience God today? ??I???ll give you a little hint: with your Bible, some quiet time to pray, conversation with others about faith and scripture, or even a study you???ve never attended or taken before, you can experience God more fully. ??There are many, many more ways, but taking up those things will depend upon you. ??Take those steps today and experience God anew.??

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