“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Paul’s instruction to the church at Thessalonica to prove all things is at the heart of experimental Christianity. It is not enough to believe in God. A relationship with the divine is more than theoretical and never theatrical. It is designed to be experienced and anything less is either a shadow or a sham.
Scripture is first and foremost practical. As a prescription for a godly life, it takes you only to the threshold. You must choose to step through the door into an experience or cower in the safety of platitudes quoted from pulpits.
To prove something in the sense Paul uses is not to cite a reproducible, one-size-fits-all theorem ala Euclid. It is as David said to put on the armor and fight in it. You may remember that not having an opportunity to fight in Saul’s grand armor, David refused to wear it as unproven. Instead, he took into battle the weapons he had tested in a fight.
The first and great command is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. Both necessitate a positive action. For love is an action as much as an emotion.
Truth is where you find it, so I quote the Grateful Dead.
Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love Most of the time they're sittin' and cryin' at home One of these days they know they gotta get goin' Out of the door and down to the street all alone
Herein is the call to proof. Stop sittin’ and cryin’ at home or in church. Take your faith out into the arena and prove it by way of use. This is the way to unshakeable faith. What we have read and believe can be shaken—what we have lived and experienced cannot.
As long as our Christianity is theory and belief alone, it is not really ours. When we have put it to the test of experimental experience, none other can claim it. The good we have proven cannot be taken from us, our grip is fast upon it so that we wield it as a warrior.
The warrior first does battle with himself. In that battle, he proves both his weapons and himself in accord with scripture.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”