Many people believe they have had a direct experience of God. In other words they claim to “perceive” God.
William Alston explains:
Perceiving X simply consists in X’s appearing to a subject S, for example, or being presented to one, as so-and-so. That’s all there is to it, as far as what perception is, in contrast to its causes and effects. Where X is an external physical object like a book, to perceive the book is just for the book to appear to one in a certain way.– William Alston (2005). Religious experience as perception of God.
We usually take people’s direct experiences (or perceptions) at face value unless there is a good reason to think they are mistaken. What reason do we have to deny people’s direct experiences of God?