In the the last post we looked at God encounters and talked about what they were and were not. So today we will start to look at how we recognize a God Encounter.
How do we do it? How do we live with an open heart? How do we have an encounter with the God of the universe that will change the trajectory of our lives? It is my desire that each one of you have an encounter with God that will be life changing and transforming. I pray that you will find direction, or peace, or personal revival, or conviction of sin and sinful attitudes – that God will do something powerful in your life. I truly believe that in order for this to happen we need to recognize some things. Let us look at these things the rest of the week.
The first thing to recognize is that God will intentionally meet you. When you are intentional in meeting and encountering God, God will meet with you. What we will see in the coming weeks is this – some encounters with God will happen when the person least expects it and at other times we will see when the person was so fervent in prayer that they will not back off and God comes to them and encounters them in a powerful way. It is about being intentional about meeting God and having His presence in your life in a powerful way.
Think about what Moses says – he does not want a mere angel to guide them into the promise land. Moses in Exodus 33:15 says “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here”. It was all about having the presence of God and that needs to be true of us if we wish to have an encounter with the God of the universe we need to desire His presence. If God’s presence is not going to be moving you in the encounter – you should not want to have it! When was the last time you felt the power and presence of God? We need to be passionate about having the presence and power of God in our lives. We need to be like Moses and not move until the presence of God is upon us and when it is we will shine like Moses shone! (Exodus 34:29-35)
Something else we should recognize is that an encounter with God many times will come at a time of great need. Ezekiel 34:11 – For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out.” God is looking for those wish to have an encounter with him and those who need to have an encounter with him. We will see later that Elijah meets Gods when he was in a time of great discouragement. Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel all encountered God when their country was falling down around them. We will see that Jacobs encounter comes when he was afraid to come face to face with a vengeful brother.
Here is the real deal, problems and stresses in life are many times motivators to seek out and search out God like we never have before. Sometimes terrible times in life are times that are a great catalyst to trusting and following of God. Sometimes even when we are not seeking God, God will come and encounter us. We will see this with Saul on the road to Damascus and Peter after he denies Jesus three times. When people need God and their heart is open even though it may not look like it on the outside – He will come to them. He will come to you!
When was the last time you really sensed the presence of God and what were the circumstances of it?
(This series of post has been inspired by the book – God Encounters by Elmer Towns)