What is a spiritual experience anyway? What theologians come up with as a most agreed upon definition would be “a concurrence or encounter with someone or something that would not be considered a material experience.” Now these “experiences” usually will leave a perception of God or some other religious explanation. It would be something that the person would experience by hearing, seeing or just an overwhelming perception of something powerful.
In all honesty, sometimes the experiences can be overly subjective. I have had a couple of “experiences” that could have material explanations however I feel strongly that the experiences I had were not “material” even though one or two could be explained materially.
So how would you know if the said experience is indeed a legitimate Spiritual or Religious event by definition? You must see if that experience stands up to scripture. It cannot contradict the Word of God. That would be the acid test. There are visions from Satan as well, designed to trick you into believing something that defies the Lord. In my opinion, such visions of UFO’s, Ghosts of loved ones and many so-called paranormal activities, including the Marion apparitions are a directly demonic and set to trick you and take you away from the Lord.
God warns us about such demonic activity and deception from Satan. We are to stand up against it in Spiritual Warfare.
Ephesians 6: 10-18 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.