Is God real or is he an illusion? Everything in our life depends on the answer to this question. If God is real, then our life is meaningful because he obviously created us with a purpose. And if there is a God, we should be able to connect with him and experience him in a real way. If God is however nothing more than a fairy tale for grown ups, we will always be left searching for the meaning of life and answers to our deepest questions. Because if there is no God, then we are indeed the result of blind chance as the theory of evolution claims. That’s why the answer to this question is a matter of life and death.
If there is a God, then he is the most powerful reality there is and therefore we should be able to experience him in a very powerful way. After all, he is the creator of the heavens and the earth, the one who gives life to all of us. So, if he is real, we should be able to encounter him.
Are there examples of people who have real life experiences with God? Yes, I experience God in ways that often blow my mind. Since I encountered God for the first time, he has turned my life upside down and he has led me on an intense adventure of discovering him. The more I see of God, the more he absolutely blows me away, again and again. He is so incredibly beautiful, loving and powerful.
I promise you that nothing I will describe here has been made up. These are real experiences I had with God, in the real world. It’s with a reason I say God is the most powerful REALITY I know…
My first encounter with God happened after years of running away from him. Although I believed in God, when I was a child, I turned my back on him when I became an adult. Several hardships in my life had made me bitter and as a result I wanted to have nothing to do with God or religion anymore. In order to fill the deep gap inside my heart, I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. I longed for God without knowing it. My heart yearned for a love greater than what my parents or girlfriend could give me, but I could not find it.
One day I ended up in hospital after I had taken an overdose of LSD. This shook me to the core. When I was back home I had the worst nightmare of my life and I was awake! What happened? The remains of hard drugs in my brain were suddenly released and I had a so-called ‘flash-back.’ All of a sudden, my brains started going crazy again. I was engulfed with fear. That night my mother stood before me, looked me in the eyes and said,
It was as if lightning struck me. Although I had been resisting God for the last years, everything inside of me knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, she was right. I could no longer run from God. I knelt down in the middle of the night, and gave my heart back to God.
A couple of weeks later I had an overwhelming experience. I lay on my bed listening to some Christian music a friend had given me. In the song I heard a purity, a tenderness and a love I had not known before. Suddenly I felt God speak to my heart very clearly. He showed me I had become too tough. I had built walls around my heart in order to survive in this cruel world. God said,
‘As a child you were tender, open and vulnerable. I want to make you tender and pure again…’
So I knelt down on the floor and started praying. I broke into tears as I realized how I had been lying to myself for the last years and how I had become such a ‘tough guy’, while deep inside I just longed for true love.
That very moment something happened that I can hardly describe in words. It was as if the heavens opened and I experienced an indescribable majesty. I saw God in all his glory, greater than the universe itself. I have no words to say what I saw. He is so awesome and majestic! Out of this indescribably majesty and greatness, I saw two hands reaching down towards me and embracing me.
I had never ever experienced anything like this and it radically transformed me. I came home. This encounter with God radically transformed me. When my friends saw me, a few months later, they said, ‘David, you have changed from a devil into an angel.’ I started seeing people through God’s eyes of love. Before this experience, when I saw ‘x-large’ people I thought, ‘you are fat and ugly.’ Now I found myself thinking,
‘You are precious and beautiful and I love you because God so deeply loves you.’
A few years after this first encounter with God, and being transformed by his love, I had a second life changing experience, that ignited my love for God even more. A fellow student told me about the Holy Spirit. He explained to me, from the Bible, that we must not only believe in Jesus Christ and turn from our sinful life towards God, but we should also be filled with the Spirit of God, who helps us know God in a very real way, in our daily life. I took some months to study the several scriptures he had given me and then opened my heart to receive prayer from other christians, who layed hands on me to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
At first I was a bit uncomfortable, to receive prayer through the laying on of hands. I had never experenced this before. But my hunger to know more of this amazing God that I had come to know so far, was greater than my fear. So I surrendered and opened my innermost being for all God had for me.
I started praising and worshipping God in a language that I had not learned. My friends said it sounded like Hebrew. This is the gift of speaking in tongues, mentioned in the Bible.
The entire room was filled with the incredible presence of God and my body was buzzing with an intense supernatural power. I suddenly saw a person walk toward me, dressed in a long white robe. I knew immediately it was Jesus Christ. He came close to me and spoke to me. The only words He said were: ‘David, I am Jewish’. That changed my image of Jesus Christ, because I had seen paintings of Him in childrens Bibles, where He was pictured with blond hair, like some western European. But Jesus told me: I am a Jew!
This experience was absolutely breathtaking. Since that day, the tangible presence of God has never left me. Whenever I prayed, I felt this same presence of God filling my heart.
Although I had these powerful encounters with God, I still suffered from a terrible handicap: I stammered – r-r-r-r-really b-b-b-b-b-bad! Sometimes I could not even buy what I needed in a shop, because I wasn’t able to say the right w-w-w-w-w-w-word. I had times when I called somebody on the phone and when they picked up, I was silent………………….. Words just didn’t come out.
When I had just given my life to Jesus Christ, I went to a church that had no experience with the Holy Spirit. They had been taught Christians who experience gifts of the Spirit were deceived. There was no power of God there, only words about God, but the people loved God and tried to serve him the best they could. Once a month they had a ‘testimonial service’ where those who wanted to share something encouraging could do so. One day I thought, ‘I want to tell the people about God and what I have been experiencing from him!’ So I went forward in the church on a testimony-Sunday and got the microphone. After my testimony, a lady came to my mother saying with an angry voice,
After a couple of years, I started going to a new church where people are open for the power of God. To my utter amazement something strange began to happen. In almost every service I suddenly had the strong inner feeling that God spoke to me and gave me an encouraging message I had to share with the church. But, I stammered! I could not speak! I thought,
But in the end, I did it anyway. I took the terrifying steps to the platform, got the microphone, and to my amazement… the words came out like a river! I felt the peace and power of God come over me and the words just flooded right out of my mouth, without any hesitation! Afterwards people came to me, saying how the Lord had touched them, and how thankful they were. To my even greater amazement, churches began inviting me to share all I have experienced with God. I remember the very first time I had to preach in a church. I sat in the back of the room, continually thinking, ‘I can run out the door! I can escape from here! I still have time…’ However, when the pastor introduced me, I felt this power starting to flow in my body again. And when I got the microphone, the same happened: God took over and the words flowed fluently.
I can assure you: if you cannot speak and you feel this power flow through you and, at the same moment, you stand preaching like a well-trained preacher, then you are shocked to the core of your being. You know this is God! It’s incredible. For many years I had done everything I could, to get healed from this horrible handicap. I went to a psychologist, a psychiatrist and I took many lessons with several speech therapists. Nothing helped. I was doomed to be a silly stammerer, for the rest of my life.
Sometimes I hit the wall with my fists and even bumped my head against the wall, in frustration, not understanding why my throat would not produce the words that I wanted to say. Now I was being invited by youth groups, organizations and churches, and whenever I had to speak, I felt this supernatural power begin to flow through me, and the words came out like a river of love and life. And always people told me they had been touched in the depths of their heart.
Now my speech is completely healed. Not through all the psycholigical treatments or the many tricks I learned from the therapists, but through the power of God, that worked in me.
After experiencing the healing power of God in my own life, I began to see how God healed others through me. Once I spoke at a youth meeting and the leaders asked me if I could pray for a young lady. I had no clue she was ill, and simply prayed as the Holy Spirit led me. The next day this lady came to the front of the meeting and said she had a testimony, she wanted to share.
‘Yesterday when David prayed for me, I felt a burning heat in my body on the exact spot where I had a tumor. I was scheduled next week to have surgery. ‘I went to the bathroom yesterday to check myself and felt the tumor had completely disappeared!’
She was radiant with joy and relief. When the weekend was over, I asked the youthleaders to follow up on her, and later they confirmed me she was indeed healed!
Sometime later I held a meeting where the Lord started touching people with his healing power. We had no instruments and I lead everyone to worship God with only their voice. We didn’t even have songbooks, sheets or any other help. I simply led them in spontanuous singing from the heart. It was an amazing time, as people fully surrendered their entire being in abandoned worship to God. We felt like heaven broke loose in our midst. The next day I received an email from a mother who wrote,
‘I have to tell you this, my youngest son had many warts covering his face. We had surgery planned soon to have the warts removed. Yesterday in your meeting, the Lord touched his face and before my eyes the warts started to disappear. Now his face is as clean as the face of a baby!’
She also told me her faith had received a huge boost, through this incredible miracle. Nobody had even prayed for this young man. He simply was in a place where the presence of God was so strong, because people worshipped God straight from their heart, and his entire face was completely healed!
In another meeting I was asked to help with prayer for a lady who had cancer. I prayed with all my heart and I felt God flowing through me, with his power. Some weeks later the lady gave a testimony in the church that the cancer had completely dissapeared.
One day my mother told me the daughter of her best friend could not have a baby. She and her husband had been trying for many years, and nothing helped. They were desperate. I said: ‘Why don’t we pray and ask God to give them a baby?’ My mother replied: ‘Well, we can pray and then hope God will answer…’ I was filled with faith, given by the Holy Spirit, and replied: ‘No, we must not hope, but believe that God will do it!’ I went to my room, kneeled down and prayed with all my heart. Four weeks later we heard the news: the lady was pregnant.
I also started experiencing God in many other ways. Once I visited a man who was involved in the occult. He was a Reiki master and had been in paranormal ministry for twenty years, trying to help people with his supernatural powers. He had seen my wife on TV testify about Jesus and sent us an invitation to come and tell him more about Jesus Christ.
In the car I was praying in tongues and asked God to come with his mighty power. When we sat in the man’s living room, he looked at us with wide-open eyes and said these words, that I will never forget:
‘All my life I have been the one who does the talking, I always helped people with my powers. But I am telling you, my body is on fire, my back is burning from top to bottom, I feel a power I have never felt in my life. And when you walked through the door, I felt a whirlwind sweep through my house. I will shut up and listen to what you have to say.’
The reality of God was so strong, he gave his life to Jesus Christ on the spot. God touched his wife and she was healed from a mental condition that had tormented her for many years. The man was flabbergasted, ‘For twenty years I have tried to heal her and you guys come in here and she is healed right away!’
It is absolutely breathtaking to experience the reality of God in such a way…
Once we were at an paranormal fair to tell fortunetellers, magicians and witches about Jesus Christ. We joined a session on modern day witchcraft and saw the chief witch doing all sorts of rituals with swords, candles, spells, etc. My wife and I prayed silently in tongues and invited the Holy Spirit into that place. God came in like a rushing wind and we noticed that several people in the room sensed something special was happening. They suddenly turned around and looked in our direction. After the session, several people came to us and asked, ‘Who are you? What are you doing?’ They were amazed at what they felt and we explained it was the presence of Jesus Christ. Then we went to talk to the chief witch. My wife felt so much of the love of Jesus for her, that she embraced and hugged her.
She felt the power of God that was on me at that moment and she was shocked. We explained to her that she had felt the power of the Holy Spirit who shows us Jesus is real. She said, ‘I have studied the Bible for nine years.’ I answered, ‘Yes, but you have never encountered God. Studying the Bible is not enough. You must encounter God personally!’ I explained her that Jesus Christ gives us the Holy Spirit, who makes God very real and personal to us. Because she had felt the power of God so strongly, she knew what we were saying is no nonsense but reality!
Remember how I started praying in tongues when I was filled with the Holy Spirit and my friends said it sounded like Hebrew? Well, something astonishing happened a few years later. I was visited by a young Jewish man from Russia who was involved with New Age. For three hours I tried to convince him about the importance of the Bible. He laughed at me and said, ‘I am much more spiritually elevated than you are. I don’t need the Bible to find God.’ Tired from the discussion, I finally suggested we should pray and ask God to show us the truth. He agreed and started praying from a Jewish book with prayers for the Sabbath (it was Friday). Then I started praying. First I spoke in my own words, but I felt the Spirit of God move through me, encouraging me to be bold and start speaking in tongues out loud. I lifted my hands and started speaking in tongues.
When I felt I had prayed enough, I stopped. Immediately he asked me, ‘Have you got any idea what you just said?’ ‘No, I prayed in tongues. That is a supernatural prayer language God gives so our spirit can talk to God directly.’ He said, and now I was astounded, ‘You spoke 80-90% in old Hebrew, a holy language only the Rabbis in Israel know and they only use that language when they talk about God.’
His pride had vanished! He was suddenly completely open for anything I had to say. So I confidently told him about Jesus Christ. When he left, he thanked me with all his heart and said he hoped to reach the same ‘heights in the spiritual realm’ as where I was. I corrected him, saying the key to know God is to become like a little child.
When I was at Art University, I explained to a friend who Jesus Christ is. He started believing and became hungry to be filled with the Holy Spirit as well. He came to my home, and I began praying for him.
He felt power come from my hand as a blazing fire to him. That young man was dramatically transformed that night as he repented from his evil ways and completely surrendered his life to Jesus Christ.
On a summer sailing camp I met a young man who was suffering from a severe whiplash, after he had been involved in a bad car accident. Although he was a christian he had never been filled with the Holy Spirit and didn’t know God could heal people. Some months after the sailing camp, he visited me and asked me to pray for him, to receive the Holy Spirit. While I was praying he looked at me and gasped, ‘What is this?’ I asked him what was going on.
Two weeks later, he wrote me an email, telling me God had completely healed his condition and he was able to fully enjoy life again. He also said he had started speaking in tongues and how wonderful this gift from God was. He was very excited!
The Bible also speaks about Jesus Christ who felt the power of God flow through him to heal people. There is a story in the Bible where a sick lady touches the clothes of Jesus Christ without Jesus knowing it. But he felt the power of God go from him to touch the lady. She was healed on the spot (Mark 5:30).
The power of God is so real, the Bible says people even were healed when they touched handkerchiefs from the apostle Paul (Acts 19:12).
Besides healing miracles, speaking in tongues and experiences with the tangible power of God, I began to experience God in another amazing way: he spoke to me through supernatural dreams and visions. One day I had a dream in which I saw the pastor of a church in England. He looked very old and I saw a dog next to him. I woke up with the words in my heart,
‘Go to this man and tell him: YOU ARE NOT AN OLD DOG!’
Although I found it very strange, I knew this was a message from God for this pastor. Two weeks later I was able to see him and I said God had given me a message for him. He asked his wife to stand next to him and they listened, as I said,
‘I had a dream about you and God wants me to tell you, ‘YOU ARE NOT AN OLD DOG!’
His wife started jumping up and down, shouting, ‘Ooooooo, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus!!!’ The man had tears in his eyes, and asked, ‘When did you have this dream?’ I answered, ‘Two weeks ago on Saturday night.’ He explained, ‘David, exactly two weeks ago on Saturday I had a reunion with my old friends from thirty years ago. They all looked so old. It deeply disturbed me and I realized I had become an old dog. It made me very depressed. My wife tried to talk me out of it, but she couldn’t. And now God speaks to me through you, setting me free.’ His wife kept dancing and shouting and the pastor took me in his arms and hugged me, with tears flowing over his face.
It changed his life. Now this pastor looks like a rock star. He is hosting radio shows, TV-shows. He plays in music bands and is living his life to the full. His name is Dave Markee. God gave him a second youth, through a dream at a crucial moment in his life.
I once had a dream about a leader of a large network of churches, called Ashley McGuicken. I saw how the leader was driving a car, but suddenly the car stopped, the door opened and the man stumbled out of the car, with tremendous pain in his stomach. He grabbed his belly and fell down on the floor. Young men who had been in the car with him, tried to pick him up, but they couldn’t. I saw how men in white suites came (representing other christian leaders), who tried to ‘fix’ him. It didn’t work and they began yelling to everyone: ‘It’s over! He’s dead! He’s dead! He’s dead!’
I woke up and had no clue what this dream meant. The next day I had a phone call from a pastor of one of the churches in the network of the man I dreamed about. He told me this leader was going through a marriage crisis and was divorcing his wife. There were all kinds of rumours of moral failures, and the pastor said the other leaders in the network believed the ministry of their leader was over. In their eyes, he was finished. Right away I remembered the dream. I had seen the leader with tremendous pain, he fell down and the other leaders said, ‘He is finished! It is over. He is dead.’ That is exactly what happened. The marriage crisis and divorce was the pain of the man. He fell down and everybody said he was finished as a man of God. But in the dream I cried out, ‘No, he is not dead, he will live!’
So I told my dream to this pastor and together we prayed for the leader of this network. Whenever I heard other people tell me this well known leader was ‘dead’, I said: ‘No, he will live. God told me so!’ And indeed, a few years later on, the man travels in full time ministry and many lives are being changed. The presence of God is amazingly strong in his meetings and he continues to be a faithful and fruitful servant of Jesus Christ. We have become good friends, because I was one of the few who believed in him, after he had gone through this crisis.
We had a dear friend who had helped my wife and I to grow in our calling as worship leaders. We organize conferences where we help people enter into the life changing presence of God, where people get healed, set free, and experience the love of God. We never program any meeting. We don’t prepare songs or sermons, but only sing and say what the God gives us at that moment.
One man had helped us in several conferences with musical support. His name was Paulus Hinoke. One day I had a dream about him… I saw him in his bed and he looked very ill. He was dying. He looked at me and said ‘David, my mission is accomplished.’ I had no clue why I had this dream. Would our friend die? No, impossible! I didn’t kow what this dream meant…
We were shocked…. No, this can’t be… And then I remembered the dream… God had told me! I knew… I had seen him sick, on his deathbed. And his last words in my dream were ‘my mission is accomplished’. So God told me it was OK, I need not worry, God had taken him home, his job was done. This was extremely comforting for us. Without this dream, we would have been shocked and terrified by the sudden death of our friend.
But the miracle of this dream became even greater: we heard from somebody who was with our friend on his deathbed, that his very last words were ‘my mission is accomplished.’ The exact words he had said in my dream were indeed the words he had uttered on his deathbed.
Recently I had a dream about a young couple I only know from Facebook. I never met them in real life and knew hardly anything about them. In the dream I saw several details about their life, and specific sins and bondages they were struggling with.
Because I saw these very sensitive and personal details in the dream, I was afraid to share it with them. What if I was wrong? What if this dream wasn’t from God? I prayed about it for several months, until I felt God encourage me to be bold and share it. To my amazement and relief, they responded very thankful, saying all the details were true! Later they told me the dream had been a tremendous help for them, to overcome darkness in their lives. They were so thankful, they became faithful supporters of my ministry.
These are just a few examples of how God has been speaking to me and my wife in supernatural dreams. He also often gives us dreams to warn us for betrayal, deception and other dangers. He even gives us dreams that bring healing to our hearts and give us answers to our deepest needs. And in some dreams he speaks about our own weaknesses to help us overcome them.
And God loves you. He so deeply loves you. He knows all about you, your deepest thoughts, your fears, your shame, your sins, your dreams, and he loves you.
Being pasionate about something is wonderful, but it can also become a danger. It can cause you to work too hard, and run too fast and not rest enough. That’s what I had to learn the hard way. I was so excited about God and what I experienced from him, and I felt so much of his love for the people who didn’t know him, that I didn’t respect my own boundaries and began to exhaust myself, trying to show the world how loving God is and how they can know him through Jesus Christ.
I became overstrained and developed a sleeping disorder. I struggled with this for two years and these years were very difficult. One day I called a healing evangelist, named Graham Jones, and asked him to pray for me for healing. I met him before he had to minister in a church. We sat outside, alone.
At that time my wife was also sick. She had suffered from sinusitis for the last three months. She had suffered a lot from this disease and was not able to do her work properly. I did not tell this evangelist about my wife’s condition. When he started praying for me, he suddenly paused and asked me, ‘Are you married?’ I confirmed. Then he said, ‘OK, well, I hear God say your wife is ill at this moment. When you go home you will find her healed and her healing will be a sign to you that you have been healed as well. You will not be able to sleep perfect for the first period, but God says that it is OK. You are healed and the healing of your wife is a sign you are going to be OK as well.’ I thanked him and went home. In the car, I called my wife. She sounded very excited and said,
I told her the evangelist said God would indeed heal her and her healing would be a sign for me that I was going to be OK as well. No words can describe what we felt, at that moment. Seldom had we seen God work in such a powerful way…
One morning some months later, my wife said to me, ‘You know David, I feel that I have a lot of faith to pray for healing for other people who suffer from sinusitis. God healed me in such an amazing way. I believe he wants to heal more people from this sickness.’ She had no idea what God had in mind for her that same day!
A few hours later a friend of ours came by and she was terribly sick. She had been in the hospital to receive surgery for a very serious sinusitis, the condition my wife talked about that very morning! Her face was swollen, her eyes purple, and she was in terrible pain. Every move she made was hurting her. My wife said, ‘Let me pray for you! I believe Jesus will heal you!’ When we prayed for our friend, she said, ‘It feels as if the sun is shining on the inside of me! Everything feels so light and so warm!’ Then she said, ‘I feel something is happening. I have no more pain!!!’
The amazement on her face was absolutely priceless. She could not believe it. She pressed her face, she bent over, she jumped up and down and she laughed out loud, ‘The pain is gone, gone, gone!’ Two weeks later we saw her again and she had more news for us. She said, ‘Not only has God healed my head, but I hadn’t told you, I also suffered from ulcers in my abdomen, that caused problems with my stool. It was always very difficult for me to go to the toilet. When I left your home I felt an urge to go, you know. And that was impossible! I had the doctor take photos and all growths were gone. God healed me completely! Even what you didn’t know about.’ She was so happy, so happy
God is real and he is doing amazing miracles in our lives and in the people around us. And we are not the only ones – thousands upon thousands of people experience this all over the world
In one of our conferences, I was praying for the sick, and I asked God ‘who do you want me to pray for?’ I felt directed towards a lady at the left of the crowd. She had her eyes closed in worship. I walked over to her, and what happened terrified me. I stretched out my hand… and the lady seemed to be struck by lightning and crashed violently to the floor. I was shocked. I had not even touched her! She just fell down as if being hit by an invisible hammer.
She told me how she had been suffering from intense pain for many years, how she could not function, how she took cocktails of the strongest painkillers every day… Her friend said he could not believe in God because of her suffering. She said: ‘the moment you prayed for me, I felt all pain flow out of my body!’ She was dancing around… Weeks later she wrote me an email and said: ‘My friend has given his life to the Lord and he now says:
God had touched her in a dramatic way and what no doctor could do, Jesus Christ did in a split second.
These things should be prime news, don’t you think? It is a major crime against humanity that the media refuses to broadcast these miracles, but when they can broadcast something against God, they do it. I believe this is because of what the Bible says:
I see this very clearly in the media. It seems they do everything they can to fight against God and keep people away from him. But he still loves us and he does all he can to reach out to our hearts and show us that he wants to save us from our rebellion and sin. I want to encourage you to seek God with all your heart and surrender yourself to him.
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