Listening to stories is a powerful tool for people. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you’re talking about, stories make complex subject easier to understand by making them more real.
Albert Einstein wrote a book called Relativity: The Special and General Theory. Given the author and the subject, you would imagine it to be a difficult read, but it’s not. Einstein wrote the book to explain his theory to high school students eager to understand more about physics, but who couldn’t possibly understand the complex (mind-numbing, really) math behind it. He uses many word-pictures and hypothetical illustrations to expertly explain his knowledge to readers. I don’t understand much at all about astrophysics and I found it to be a fascinating read because of how easy he made it for me to understand what he did.
Growing In Experience
Stories about our experience with God are equally as powerful. Whether we are studying the depths of the universe or the one who created it, there are many things too lofty for me to understand (Psalm 139:6). Examples from peoples’ lives make those things much more attainable for my small brain. When I hear someone else’s experience with God: how He spoke, healed, delivered, provided and acted on their behalf, my faith to ask for similar things is strengthened. It also gives me new insight into God’s Written Word.
When we have little experience with how God works, it can make understanding scripture much harder. When we have experienced God’s hand in our lives in various ways, it opens up our understanding of many things in His Word. That is why it is important to surround ourselves with people who have gone before us in their lives in God. People with more and varied experience than us. Again, this is true in any aspect of life, not just our spiritual lives, but how much greater our need in the spirit!
Take some steps this week to fill your mind with what God has done for other people by listening to and reading their stories. Here are three steps to get you on your way:
1. Listen to stories that will energize your faith to believe for great things. I encourage you to listen to Mike Bickle’s prophetic stories called “Encountering Jesus” here and his stories about supernatural finances here. There are many other people with varied experiences that will energize your spiritual life, but these are some of my favorites and I actually listen to them once a year or so.
2. Surround yourself with people whom are safe to share your stories with. It encourages us not only to hear others’ stories, but to tell ours as well. This can be a difficult thing, though. Not everyone wants to hear about your life in God, not even in the church. Having a home group or a Bible study where you can feel safe share your meaningful experiences is a must. If you don’t have that now, begin seeking it out today. It will propel you further along much quicker than you could imagine.
3. Engage in prayer meetings and activities. You won’t truly learn from other peoples’ stories if you don’t try to put them into practice. In our Christian walk we do that through prayer. Find people who hold prayer meetings where together you ask God to move in your life. If you can’t find one, start one and invite your friends. Fellowship is God’s way to give us strength in our asking!
I love listening to others’ stories about their experiences with God, but not so I can know cools stories. I use them. I use them to spur me on to ask God for the same things in my life. I think these three things will help you do the same.
I have heard from the Lord myself because I listened to others stories–and it’s why I published my book, A Diary of Dreams and Visions–to encourage you the same way I was encouraged. Because stories are powerful.