Have you ever heard the words, “Well, in my experience…” come from someone? They aren’t usually happy words. They’re never hope-filled, faith-filled words.
Maybe you shared a vision or dream you have for something, and they hear you out, think for a minute, and then start in with, “Well, in my experience, I’ve never seen anything like that. It can’t work.”
Maybe you were standing in faith for healing and someone came along and said, “Well, in my experience, not everyone gets healed, so it’s probably best not to even get your hopes up.”
Or, have you ever heard, “Well, in my experience, not every prayer gets answered, so it’s best just to leave it up to God to decide what I need.”
I’ve heard those words. A lot. And it brings to mind an old song.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
I don’t disagree that not everyone gets healed. That not every prayer gets answered. That there may be things God tells us to do that people have never seen before.
But when we put our faith in “in my experience” or in someone else’s experience, it’s like we’re building our house on quicksand. We’re setting ourselves up for failure.
Faith is the fuel that prayer runs on. Trust is what pulls answers from heaven to earth. And faith does not come by looking at someone’s failure experience. Doubt does. And we’re to guard our hearts against doubt.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing the Word of God.
I’m so glad when God told Moses to stand at the Red Sea with his staff raised he didn’t look at God and say, “Well, in my experience, we need to build a damn to hold back the water. Raising this stick will never work. Can you come up with another plan?”
I’m so glad when God told him to strike the rock with his staff to get water for the people to drink he didn’t look at God and say, “Well Lord, in my experience, we need to dig a well. That’s how you get water. Don’t you know anything? Water isn’t stored in rocks.”
I’m so glad Abraham didn’t look at God after years of waiting for the promise of his son and say, “Well God, if you were going to do this thing, you’d have done it by now. I’m changing my name back to Abram. Based on my experience, this clearly isn’t working.”
I’m so glad the three Hebrew children didn’t look at each other and say, “Well, in my experience no one comes out of the fiery furnace alive. We can bow to this idol on the outside and still love God in our hearts. Let’s just bow.”
I’m so glad the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 4 didn’t say, “Well, in my experience people with this disease die. Might as well not even try. I’ll just give up and die.”
No…I’m so glad she said, “People who have touched Him have gotten healed. I’m going to trust. I’m going to do it. I’m going to be healed.”
I don’t know why people with great faith and confidence in God have died of cancer. Or some other sickness. I don’t know why every prayer we pray doesn’t get answered.
But my faith and trust are not in my understanding. They aren’t in my experience. They’re not in your experience. My faith and trust are in the One who cannot lie.
I believe what Jesus said, “The believers will lay hands on the sick and they’ll recover.” I believe it even though some people I’ve prayed for haven’t been healed. Jesus cannot lie.
So I keep praying for the sick…and guess what? Thank God, some are healed. If I stopped praying because one wasn’t, then none would be. I’d rather have some than none…how about you?
When I first went to Bible School, I wanted to come home for my grandma’s 70th birthday party, but I couldn’t afford it. So I prayed and asked God to provide. And….no plane ticket.
Two years later, I needed another plane ticket. This time to go to Africa for a 6-week mission trip. I remembered the last time I prayed for a plane ticket. I remembered how I didn’t get to go. Yet I prayed and trusted my faithful God.
This time, I got to go on the trip. He answered my prayer. If I had based my faith on history, I wouldn’t have even asked the second time.
I refuse to let history dictate my future. I refuse to put my faith in “in my experience” and instead I choose to put it in Him.
And what I’ve noticed “in my experience” is that the more I abide in Him and the more His Words abide in me and the longer I walk with him and the more I trust Him instead of experience…the more my experience is healing. And provision. And answered prayer.
Don’t back away from asking and believing just because of history. Because of experience. Let’s be like Moses and Abraham and Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood. Let’s pray and obey and trust.
He can change experience and make the impossible possible. All things are possible for those who believe.