According to some polls, as many as half of all people alive today claim to have experienced some sort of interaction with the Divine during the course of their lives. While some may scoff and suggest that such things run contrary to logic or science, true scientists readily acknowledge that there is far more to the universe than their experiments and instruments can ever hope to understand. If you’ve ever felt that you’ve had spiritual experiences with God, there are ways to confirm it.
You should first understand that there are nefarious spirits in the world, so not every supernatural encounter is necessarily from the Creator of the universe. This belief is confirmed by the major Western faith systems, which all attest to the fact that evil spirits often contact people to tempt them and sway them from the paths that they should be following.
That’s why it is important to consider the nature of any encounter of this type. Many times, spirits such as this leave the human participants distraught, filled with hurtful thoughts, and feeling unloved and cast adrift. Those are good signs that the encounters were not from the Creator, since His goals are always those things that improve people and fill us with greater love for our fellow man.
At the same time, the opposite is generally true for people who have turned from faith. Evil spirits will often tempt those people to justify their misdeeds through excuses rather than take responsibility for their own sins. God’s Spirit, on the other hand, will speak to the person’s conscience so that his own heart convicts him and drives him to seek forgiveness.
Ignatius once described perhaps the most important step to discerning spirits when he wrote about knowing and recognizing your own current state of spirituality. If you’re a believer striving to please your Creator, no encounter of this kind will ever leave you feeling any separation from Him. Instead, His presence is always a consoling and reaffirming one that provides comfort and security in your life.
The Scripture is the best benchmark for such judgments, since those encounters cannot run contrary to the Word. When someone lays claim to an encounter that contradicts those things taught by Scripture, the spirit involved was most definitely not of a divine nature. The fact is that all encounters of this kind must not contradict the Word if they are truly from the Creator of the universe.
Skeptics, of course, would have us believe that all of these claims are merely delusional rants from people who have become too invested in ancient mythologies. Those arguments fall flat for most believers, since they are never supported by objective evidence or anything remotely resembling rational consideration of those things that continue to remain unknown to science.
Regardless, even serious people of faith can face difficulty discerning such encounters. By considering their own state of belief, the results of that encounter, and its fealty to the revealed Word of God, however, any believer can better determine the likelihood of his having been contacted by God’s presence.