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amazingme's avatar

Have you ever felt the presence of God?

Asked by amazingme (1850points) July 25th, 2010

I recently got back from the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. And being 17 and all, I never really took God and religion seriously-even a few days into the PYT- however I still wanted to feel God. When the band during worship started to play a cover of Amazing Grace/My chains are gone, I felt it- Him. I had never experienced this in my life and it was so amazing to feel his presence. So amazing that I started crying. But apparently I was not the only one, after the song ended I looked around at the other 5,000 youth and saw others crying and I knew then that He really is real. And I had never felt so happy in my life until that moment.

So, I am wondering if you have felt God? Was it a happy moment for you? Do you hope to feel God one day?
Please, no stabs or rude comments about God and/or any religion.

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45 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Nope, never.

ragingloli's avatar

Nope. Not even when I was drunk.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No and don’t need to.

evandad's avatar

I’m sure we both find common joy in many things. I choose not to speculate on their origin though.

Aethelwine's avatar

The only thing I hope for is health and happiness.

The only person responsible for that is myself.

I’m happy you have found happiness and joy in your life.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t believe I ever really have. However, after my grandmother died, my mom had a moment in church where she said the presence of God was never so strong. This was a couple months after her death too. My mom said her mind was suddenly flooded with images of my grandmother during her prime (she died of Alzheimer’s and so had declined quite a bit toward the end) and my mom described it as feeling the presence of God. I haven’t had such an experience, however.

JLeslie's avatar

No, never. But, sometimes I feel very connected to the people and nature around me. I agree with @jonsblond that we have to rely on ourselves to find happiness and our place in life. It seems many people find great comfort in the belief in God, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, as long as they don’t stop thinking for themselves. There is a saying pray to God like everything depends on Him, and take action in your life like everything depends on you. You didn’t ask for advice, but if you do believe in God and feel connected to Him, I hope you spend a moment thinking about that phrase.

YARNLADY's avatar

No. My whole family was very religious, and I was often present when people I respect very much had tears in their eyes, and later said they felt the presence of god. I never felt a thing, although I did all the things I was told would lead to receiving God (and Jesus) in my heart.

It never happened to me.

perspicacious's avatar

My girls attended PYT as well as the summer youth Montreat conferences. I know they are very spiritually fulfilling. Thanks for sharing your experience.

ETpro's avatar

Yes, I have. And then after that, I got involved in a cult and “felt” the power of my own spirit being able to do the supernatural and connect with the universe beyond my physical reach. Fortunately, after I was able to see the cult leader’s feet were made of clay and crumbling before my eyes, I realized that the human brain is capable of producing what absolutely feels like supernatural experiences. Shaman, cult leaders, and fiery evangelists of every creed are experts at manipulating believers’ minds to produce these experiences, and a healthy income from the showmanship involved. That’s not to say that someone else’s experience is necessarily false, just that it is entirely possible it is. .

Berserker's avatar

As surprising as it may come from me, I do have this belief that something superior to us exists and is aware of our existence, whether it has anything to do with or not, but I personally wouldn’t call it ’‘God’’.
I’m often thinking though, that this perception I harbour merely stems from things I don’t comprehend and attempt to put a meaning to.

Piper's avatar

There were times when I really felt that God was present with me. I was born with a congenital disease and other complications and spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was younger. There were just a few times when I was really terrified for the future and I really felt like God was there with me. I know I can’t prove anything, it’s just what it felt like to me and it felt very real to me.

I’m a Presbyterian too. :)

perspicacious's avatar

@Piper That’s three of us.

happy123's avatar

i havent had tht experience with god but sometimes i do feel he is watching over me and my family for example my mom was feeling lonely since me and my bro were growing up and she was praying to find a new friend since we moved to a different place. so the next night we went to walmart and she bumped into someone and have been friends ever since. i thought it was crazy and amazing:)

Facade's avatar

I have. Although I’ve felt him outside of a church service, it’s one of the things I miss about going to church. I miss my youth group, even though it’s been over 10 years. Enjoy your experiences, and enjoy God. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Austinlad's avatar

I never thought about the incident I’m about to relate in God terms, but it may be the closest I’ve ever come. When I was living in Phoenix I took a few days off one weekend, drove to Sedona and stayed in a cabin. The first night I couldn’t sleep so I decided to drive to Flagstaff on the back road. That narrow road winds through thick pines on either side, then up into the mountains through a series of switchbacks. I was about halfway through the mountain stretch when I got the urge to pull over and look at the sky. I turned off my lights and stepped out of the car. All I could see was the jet-black sky and millions of stars, more stars than I had seen in my whole life. They were all around me, not just above, and they and the sky were pressing down and around on me, and the pressure was unbelievably intense. I couldn’t see the road or even my own car just behind my back, just stars, and it was so disorienting that I stumbled back against the car for support. I felt frightened and got back into the car. Later, I described the feeling as vertigo, but who knows … maybe it was God saying hello.

ucme's avatar

Good God no, heaven forbid….

Aster's avatar

@Austinlad That was great !
Once I watched a religious show on tv and the minister (a guest) was describing a young boy , what he was wearing, and what he was troubled about. I’ve seen this sort of thing a hundred times. But this time when it was over I felt like I was on a drug of some sort and floating. I’ve never had that happen since but it was – other worldly. I almost felt like I could fly. I wish it would happen again.
I believe some people are “open” to religious experiences and some are not but I have no idea why this may be true.

Seek's avatar

I thought I did – for a long time.

It’s amazing how the brain responds to the power of suggestion. I’d really like to study the psychosomatics involved in the “presence of god” phenomenon.

jazmina88's avatar

yes, I have felt God. When I was young, I was very active in my church group and we went on many trips. There was this night in the Bahamas when we were praying in a circle with a storm coming in.

There are not a ton of Christians on fluther. But without my faith i wouldnt be here today.

CMaz's avatar

You can feel, see and taste God. Just by stepping out your front door.

Feelings of fondness or intensity can give you a “feeling” that you can interpret as there being someone or something else with you.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr You probably know that scientists have located a part of the brain they call the God center or something like that. I think some people really experience something different than people like you and me who just don’t get it.

ETpro's avatar

@Austinlad I still feel that sense of incredible, overwhelming awe when I can see the milky way and realize that’s my galaxy, not a faint fog bet billions of stars like our sun and bigger; and all those other points of light out there are mostly other distant galaxies, some more massive than ours. I feel it when I see the aurora borealis

And for what it’s worth, I am an agnostic but was raised Presbyterian..

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, I have a few times. =0)

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie

Once upon a time, I was a wholehearted member of a Christian cult – one of the rolling on the floor, speaking in tongues types.

I felt all kinds of crazy stuff back then. I remember waking up on Monday mornings with almost a mental hangover on top of the puffy, teary eyes and sore throat from hours of screaming. It feels a lot like being in the middle of a mosh pit at your favorite band’s show… or like being a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

There’s also the times that you feel like God is reprimanding you directly. That’s just the oppression of guilt being driven to you from the person standing 2½ feet higher than you in the room.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I didn’t know. That seems hard to believe knowing you all of these months, very interesting. How did you get out?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I believe so.

CMaz's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – Being involved in the “Christian Cult” aspect for a long time. Personally and professionally.
You get to see how intimidation works, epically NICE intimidation. A whole other side to how the world spins.

“Oppression of guilt.” Good choice of words. :-)

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ChazMaz and @Seek_Kolinahr This is exactly the reason why I don’t go to church or worship with other people. I have reason to believe in God (higher being) but I don’t want to be influenced by other people and their beliefs/experiences. I developed my belief over a few years having never been influenced or encouraged by my parents. My grandmother has quite a strong faith but she doesn’t care about everyone elses beliefs and so, doesn’t preach or anything like that. I think it could be very easy to be drawn in by other peoples beliefs and use that to jusify your own and I don’t want to fall into that trap. The only justification I want for my beliefs are my own personal feelings and experiences.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie
Well, the answer is long and convoluted, but the shortest way I can put it is:

I married the guy the pastor’s daughter had a crush on. Pastor didn’t like that too much. So, when my mom and I had a falling out (read: she beat me up) he spun it to the entire congregation that I was the one at fault for various reasons both personal and “spiritual”. I didn’t go back.

It was almost a year of soul searching before I admitted to myself that I was an atheist.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Wow. When you look back are you glad in the end that you were shunned basically. Got you out of the chaos.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie

I’m still pretty bitter about it, to be honest. I gave almost 15 years of my life to that church. I was a Sunday School teacher, a youth leader, set up A/V equipment, led the drama group… It was my only extracurricular activity all through my childhood. I gave up hobbies, interests, writing – there are years of work on my fantasy stories that are lost for all time. All in the name of “walking the straight and narrow”.

When I think of everything I missed out on in my life – friends, high school parties, prom, sleepovers… I’m pissed.

I think I would be less disappointed in my son if he became a drug addict than if he became a Christian.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I see. Perfectly understandable. If I had children I would be pretty freaked out if they became holy roller Christians.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Do you blame your dislike or hatred of the faith on the pastor’s despicable actions and actions against you?

downtide's avatar

The nearest I’ve got to that feeling is being in some wild and beautiful place, and feeling the wonder and divinity of this Earth that we live on. I’ll believe in magic before I believe in god.

ragingloli's avatar

I have a correction to make.
I felt god when I watched this video

And lo, god’s voice sounds like an Audi quad turbo 1200 HP 8l W16 engine going 431 km/h.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Isn’t it amazing what a decent car you can pick up these days for a mere $2,400,000. I wonder what the comprehensive insurance costs?

Seek's avatar

Do you blame your dislike or hatred of the faith on the pastor’s despicable actions and actions against you?

That’s kind of hard to answer.

My history with the church is long and convoluted. I was actually related to the pastor – he was my step-uncle.

I became involved with the church when my mother and stepfather got together. I was nine at the time. I never even considered there not being a god at that point. Though my mother wasn’t religious, my father grew up in a devoutly Catholic household. We were just the “heathens” that hadn’t been christened.

After putting my foot down about the abuse situation with my mother, and leaving the church, the plan was for my husband and I to simply attend another church. Turned out our “story” had beat us to every church in the area that followed our denomination.

So we were Christians without a home. That was when I decided to read the Bible objectively for the first time. Our denomination was made up of Bible literalists – God wrote it through man, and it was the Perfect Word of God. So surely, if I stepped back and read it, it would lead me right back to where the church wanted me to be. Right? Wrong.

In seeking the truth of the Gospel, I discovered:
– God treats people he likes worse than his enemies – Job vs. Cain, for example. God killed Job’s entire family because of a bet with Lucifer, and protected the world’s first murderer from any harm whatsoever!
– Jesus was a dick. He cursed a tree for not bearing fruit in the off-season, drowned a group of pigs after cursing them with demons he could just as easily have sent away without injury to anyone, and consistently told people who didn’t believe his message that they were going to burn in hell. He took back blessings if the receivers didn’t fall to their knees in reverence to him immediately afterward.
– David, the “man after God’s own heart”, was an adulterous murderer.
– and of course there’s the whole racism, orders for genocide, women are only worth what someone will pay for them, etc.

I decided that if that were all true, that wasn’t a god I was going to attach my name to.

And later, I went on a search of all the historical and scientific contradictions of the Bible. Pi = 3, the sky is a solid dome holding up an ocean, Jericho was destroyed by Joshua 700 years before it was founded, talking snakes, Jonah living three days inside a fish at the bottom of the ocean… and thought “I am an intelligent, rational being. Why did I ever buy into this shit?”

So… if nothing else, I am glad that the horrendous treatment by my family (through blood, marriage, and church) was so rotten that I forced myself to realise all this. I just cannot help also being disgusted at how much of my own only life I wasted in devotion to a god that does not exist.

ETpro's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I too had a brief encounter with fundamentalist Christianity before finally leaving the church in disillusionment. The pastor was wildly successful, self declared Bishop John Gimeniez who founded Rock Church in Virginia Beach and expanded it int Rock Ministries International. He passed away suddenly in 2008.

He was a gifted orator, but it quickly became obvious that his interest was not in saving souls or caring for people, but in milking as much money as he possibly could out of his congregation. He drove a fancy car, wore massive gold rings with huge diamonds, had gold neclaces. He struted in peacock fashion when preaching, pride oozing from every pore. The end came for me when the church decided to make its church school free to tithing members. We had been paying for our youngster to attend 1st grade, and I had been tithing. But because I was slef employed and couldn’t come up with proof fast enough when this decision came down, they threw him out even though I had given far in excess of $10,000 that year.

Like you, I then began to study the Bible for myself, and even attended a Bible College. Just like your experience, the deeper I delved into the Bible, the more I saw that the Idol’s feet were of clay, and were riven through with cracks. There were contradiction upon contradiction, and the God revealed all too often was not one of love but of vengeance, revenge and cruelty.

I now see that most of the people preaching the Word of god are truly worshiping the God of Power and Money, and have done enormous harm. War after war, persecutions and injustices almost to hideous to recount have all been done in His name.

And certainly, when we look at other religions, many aren’t any better. Islam has more blood on its hands than the Judeo–Christian Religions. Hinduism was perverted by the later Vedic teachers to establish and maintain themselves in a elite Brahmin caste.

ragingloli's avatar

@ETpro
If you have the cash to buy a Veyron, you do not care about insurance or fuel efficiency. Even a set of tyres costs 20000 pounds. And they still lose millions with every car they sell. When you let engineers go wild, and do not have to care about money, you get engineering perfection.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli I gotta admit it was love at first sight! The race with the fighter jet taking off had me sold.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr What dreadful experiences! Seek, there is SO much fable and myth in the Bible that I cannot see how people can take it literally. If one does that, takes the “intellectual approach” their faith is doomed, IMO. Aster

espearite's avatar

After I was going through a very hard time at school. Math and history just took up the majority of my time during the day. It was so awful I didn’t have time to breathe. I had made plans to fix up the house and buy stuff I needed, but didn’t know how I would get the money. As soon as those classes were over, and I had more time, about two weeks later we were put on over time at work. How convenient, but I’m thankful.

ETpro's avatar

Careful what you answer. See this.

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