‘They drew back and fell to the ground.’ John 18.6
Physical manifestations of a religious experience are fascinating. Some people testify to significant moments when their bodies have physically manifested something of the presence of God. It may be falling over, shaking, laughing, crying, exuberant praise or a variety of other actions. What this particular verse highlights to us is that there can be a marked difference between what is going on with our bodies and in our hearts.
The soldiers who went to arrest Jesus certainly experienced the presence of God – he was standing right in front of them! Their bodies reacted to his presence as they fell down without any prompting. What did not seem to happen, or at least we are not told about it, was any spiritual transformation in their hearts.
This is not in any way making a judgment about physical manifestations – they may happen or they may not. However, if you sense the presence of God in some physical way, let it be an indication that he is nudging you and be quick to open your heart to him as well. If you don’t sense his presence in this way, and many people do not, the truth still stands – God loves you with an unending love and is present with you in every part of your life. Whatever you might be feeling right now, sit with him and enjoy his company.
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