Scripture over experience
4 mins read

Scripture over experience

For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,  for no prophecy was ever made by an wact of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

2 Peter 1:16-21

Here Peter says he was a witness to something very spectacular on top of a mountain – the Transfiguration where he along with James, and John saw Elijah and Moses appear. They also witnessed the Father speak from heaven saying “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” – referring to Jesus as he was revealed in all His glory right in front of them. What a magnificent experience this must have been!

As great as his experience might have been Peter goes on to say “So we have the prophetic word made more sure...” The Word of God is “more sure” than his mountain-top experience. In other words, the words of Scripture carry much more weight than anything we could experience – even seemingly spectacular heaven-like experiences such as the Transfiguration that Peter was privileged to witness. In essence, Peter is saying “look I had this great experience but my gosh you have the Word of God now! Take it seriously!”

I admit I’ve often sought out spiritual experiences, but such moments are fleeting and not as weighty as anything in Scripture where we have the very words of God written by “men moved by the Holy Spirit”. We often fall for great mountain-top experiences but as Peter says we have a “word made more sure”. Peter wants you to fall in love with the Scripture and to get to know it above any magnificent experience.

Some churches try to attract people with great experiences. They want you to witness something spectacular whether it be through mind-numbing worship music or charismatic personalities. Sometimes I have even felt like I was in the presence of God because the worship music and the atmosphere seemed to be so powerful and moving. However, these experiences can sometimes be manufactured just to give you some spiritual or emotional feeling. Your feelings should never be a substitute for what you can get from the Word of God. I am not saying these experiences are never real, but nothing can be more spiritual – more weighty, more real, or more alive than the Word of God – it is a “word made more sure” than anything you could ever experience. “The word of God is living and active” says the writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 4:12a). Don’t you know that God will speak directly to you through his Word? What could be more powerful than that? You can count on the Bible above fleeting moments of spiritual experiences. We often want God to “show up” but He shows up in the most powerful way through His Word. Don’t rely on experiences as great as they may seem. Instead, rely on the Scriptures.