In this video, Fr. Philip Hall shares profound insights on what a spiritual experience entails, shedding light on the belief that God doesn’t micromanage us but embraces us as His own. Fr. Philip beautifully describes spiritual experiences as those first hesitant, wobbly steps we take, resembling a process of falling and getting up, persistently moving forward. Much like learning to walk, our spiritual legs strengthen through this journey, guiding us towards an upright spiritual path leading to Christ.
This is a sermon recorded on August 13th, 2023 at the All Saints of Lincolnshire Orthodox Christian Church, Lincoln, England.
Watch the full sermon on Fr. Philip’s channel.
You might think, “Okay, I have become a member of the Church to have these rich spiritual experiences where the entire place is filled with light, it is wonderful. I have an incredible feeling in my heart, it stays there for the whole of my life…” Well, you might just get that on occasion, but that isn’t really the way a spiritual experience is.
St. Paul, the great Apostle and Saint, what was his spiritual experiences like? Well, he tells us, he says, “Well my experience with God is this: I hunger, I thirst, I’m badly dressed, I’m buffeted, I’m homeless, I’m reviled, persecuted and I’m slandered…”
And that that was his experience of being a Christian and eventually, of course, he added to all of those things being beheaded after a period in prison.
Now, the disciples were shocked when the Lord went away from them, He didn’t micromanage them. He left them to get on with what they’re meant to do, just like he doesn’t micromanage us, we are left to get on with what we need to do. He doesn’t solve all of our problems. He tells us, “follow Me” and then we follow Him and things come at us from right and left, good things and bad things and our job is to navigate towards Him.
We become His… We decide that actually He’s our everything so it doesn’t matter terribly if we hunger and thirst, it doesn’t matter terribly if we’re badly dressed, it doesn’t matter terribly if people shout out rude things to you, it doesn’t matter terribly if you have no permanent home, it doesn’t matter terribly if you are persecuted or slandered. We’re His. It happened to Him, it happened to you.
And by degrees, like that child learning to crawl, learning to pull themselves up on the sofa, learning to take the first hesitant wobbly step then play another step in front, maybe crashing down, having another go and so on, gradually, gradually, our spiritual legs are strengthened and we can begin to walk upright spiritually towards Christ, dealing with, confronting, all the problems that come at us in the power of the Holy Spirit, but we ourselves do it, filled with faith. This is what spiritual experiences really are about. If you want to know what they’re about, fast. If you want to know what they’re about, pray. And this will be your spiritual experience and as you do so, so you will become stronger in faith and move mountains.
Your prayers! God bless you! Amen.