When you encounter God…
A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend about the way youngsters who are Christians behave. She was lamenting the fact that they don’t really behave like Christians. The only thing that came to mind to tell her is that it’s because they haven’t encountered God for themselves yet. A few nights later as I knelt at my bedside praying, that same thought came to me: things will not change until you make it your duty to encounter God.
The Lord reminded me of Samuel. This was a young man who was dedicated to God by his parents from birth. He lived in the tabernacle with the priests and performed his assigned duties. He was Eli’s right hand but his purpose didn’t begin to come to fruition until that fateful day when the Lord called to him, he heard and acknowledged the voice and said the fateful words, “speak Lord, thy servant heareth.” You have to encounter God for yourself.
The Lord then showed me Saul. This young man followed the religion of his fathers. He was intelligent and well-versed in the Hebrew Scriptures. He went out and persecuted others for his faith. He was a seasoned follower! But he was missing one key ingredient, an encounter with God. When Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, his life and outlook change. He became Paul. You have to encounter God for yourself.
Jacob fell into the same boat. Although his parents knew God, he had no such accreditation. His name meant trickster and he spent most of his life playing and cheating his loved ones. This all changed when he encountered God one night. He realized then that though he was hurt, he needed God desperately and from this came his impassioned plea “I won’t let go until You bless me.” This realization and encounter changed his life and he became Israel the man who had wrestled with God face-to-face. He had an encounter.
I remember my first encounter with God. I had been baptised for over a year yet my habits hadn’t changed much inwardly. There came a time I was broken. I was beaten. I felt lost and alone. I was being attacked from every side until I had no one to turn to but God. In my distress, I cried unto the Lord and He heard me. As I stood in my favorite corner on the church grounds, crying my eyes out, I felt God wrap His arms around me and for the first time in months I felt truly at peace. I accepted God was truly in my corner. That was the night I received the Holy Ghost.
I don’t care what is going on in your life. I don’t care how empty you feel. You may be baptised but until you have an encounter with God, nothing will truly change. Your parents’ or pastor’s relationship with God can only do so much and no more on your behalf. You have to reach out and touch Him for yourself. Have an encounter, I promise you won’t regret it.
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I am a dynamic young lady who loves the Lord and seek to have a joy that no one can take away. My all-time favourite thing to do is gaining discoveries by design from My Father during our time each day. Reading, learning and trying new things falls behind in a close second place. My dream is to use my God-given talents to positively impact as many people as possible. As a proud Wolmerian, with a zest for life, I adhere to the “Age Quod Agis” motto in that whatsoever I do, I always do it to the best of my ability.
I’m a big believer in using examples of ladies in the Scripture to balance out those of men – but in thinking about Esther’s story I realized that she hadn’t ‘met’ God in the same way, yet He was at work through her and around her in every way. Deborah was God’s go-between for the Israelites and she served in that way for decades. Sarah laughed at the Lord. I think that we have to realize that we’re all different people and all our experiences will vary. Some will actually meet the Lord in their life-times, but for others the Lord will be at work through them and around them and they might not even know it. It doesn’t mean that they’re not a believer – but I would say that they have a right to be frustrated when God seems “at hand” for their friends and far away in their own lives.
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Hi Jamie, thank you for your input. When I speak of an encounter, I refer to experience that cause the individual to believe in God to the extent that they develop a relationship with him. Due to the fact that the Bible was written in a patriarchal society by patriarchs many times we don’t get the full story of the women. I believe Esther had a relationship with God which caused her to go down in fasting without her uncle having to tell her to do so. She initiated that step after Mordecai’s warning to her. To me that showed she encountered or believed in God for herself at some point. Deborah was God’s mouth-piece. She heard from God for herself, no one had to come to her with a message. She got it direct for the people. Again that showed me that she too must have had a relationship with God and encountered him at some point in her life. Sarah later acknowledged that she too had met the Lord and believed Him. This is why she named her son Isaac because she had met the Lord who made her laugh because of her disbelief in his prophecy. This post was not intended to mean that God doesn’t use individuals who doesn’t believe in Him. God can use anyone. I merely intended to point out that things change when you encounter God and believe in Him enough to develop a relationship.
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