How to differentiate a Godly Encounter versus Imagination

Shyju Mathew

"Experience the Word of God, in the power of the Spirit."

November 8, 2021

At this point of writing, we are entering Day 33 of our daily Jesus Revival services in Montreal.  During this season, people are experiencing hundreds of divine encounters with the Lord. From little children to grown adults, many are testifying and encountering Jesus, angels and walking through many parts of Heaven.

Visions have never been this plentiful, this deep, this glorious, in such a short period of time.  Therefore, it then becomes our responsibility to be conscious and alert of the schemes of the enemy in the midst of all things great. It is critical for us to be aware, to identify if the enemy can adulterate an encounter. 

An amazing phenomena that has taken place in these services is that many little children are seeing visions. A few times now, we have had adults coming to us, confirming what my nine and six year old have prophesied to them. At the same time, I govern and lead my six year old, that despite the amount of great visions he is having, there could be some visions that are a product of Superbook, those Christian animated videos that he loves watching. The truth of prophetic mentorship, accountability and humility will apply to him as well.

Prophetic encounters require accountability to a leader who can correct you when you are wrong. As deep and high as the encounters may be, you are still required to be mentored by one who has gone ahead of you in the same stream. (Remember, those who have never encountered the star can never give understanding for where you may find it. Hint: Wise Men.)

What grounds you in your encounter is the humility it takes to be corrected, led and molded.

A few years ago, I had to correct a young man, who at that time, had the most visions in the church. While listening to his visions, deep inside my spirit I realized while some of them were not wrong, the majority of his visions were due to his very colourful and creative parts of his brain. This, paired with his love for DisneyWorld was a recipe for disaster. Correcting him had caused a certain disappointment in his young Christian heart. Thankfully, unlike some others, rebellion was not the cup he wanted to drink from. After a week of crying and sulking, he returned back to me, with gratitude in his heart. Later on, he turned out to be a wonderful anointed leader.

This scenario is not limited to just him. This can happen to any of us who are not careful to weigh every vision and unction that we feel within us, while being careful to not do this to the point of unbelief.

Although there is always an unforeseen angle to why some people get it wrong, which can be different from individual to individual, I want to give you some gentle pointers, and I must stress, there could be more than this, depending on individual scenarios:

Monitoring the state of the spirit versus the soul

Even a well-versed minister of the Gospel needs to take into account that the gift must be continuously weighed and tested to stand the test of fire. Even a prophet that has been in the ministry for a long time can be brought down by the words of Jezebel, to the point of losing inspiration and unction and surrendering to the juniper tree. A constant observation and study of whether your soul is overpowering your spirit, and what state of your walk of God you are in, are critical measurements to test your encounters.

Please remember that even a murderous Saul encountered a glorious vision of Jesus. Though we cannot ignore an encounter by an unbeliever as non-authentic, we should still be wary of an unrepentant sinner who is now professing about glorious encounters.

You have to look into your soul and study to see: is it in a constant state of strife in your house? Is your conscience clear? Are there unrepentant sins? Is there unforgiveness? With all that condition of heart, if your imagination runs wild with images of Jesus, with Jesus dancing with you in the Garden, then the next obvious question is, how come Jesus has not convicted you of your sins?  We don’t have a problem with the encounter itself but the aftermath, the fruit of the encounter is of critical essence.

The Jolly Dreamer

Another possible trap of the enemy is when we start enjoying encounters so much that we now forget about how we had an encounter in the first place.

Slowly, we become familiar with the things of God. We subtract ourselves from true worship (see more about that here). We are found without a repentant heart yet, we still strive for encounters.  This leads to an exhausted spirit now being fuelled by an unrelenting soul. The encounters seem to grow without the God factor, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth, 2 Tim 3:7.

If you ever happen to have a human moment of catching yourself with such vain imaginations, be quick to pause, exit and repent. This will prepare you for a greater revival encounter from the Lord.

Hungry Ambitions

A competitive spirit is one of the most unhealthy elements that can be found in the church. To do one better, to do one up than the other, to have a greater, more deeper and more glorious encounter than your neighbour, is a false ambition that must be uprooted at all cost.  The only justifiable competition we can have is to linger a little longer at His Feet, and to love greater than these. 

What outcomes those encounters provide should not be up to us to formulate. You can pursue the Lord for very long and not have much encounters, while others may have great encounters but very short times of pursuit. All of this can only be determined by the Lord, Who is Judge of all.

It’s critical for us to maintain the purity of the pursuit of our Lord. Maintain the purity of the pursuit by pursuing the Lover of your soul for the right reasons. Out of that rest, (naturally and organically) will flow encounters of a lifetime.

Child of God, God desires for you to have encounters with Him far more than your desire to encounter Him. The posture of your heart, combined with the fellowship of the Spirit, will launch you to places of which you have never dreamt. I am praying for every Reader of this blog, that as you read this, your heart comes to perfect rest in fellowship of the sweet Holy Spirit. 

May the joy and peace of God overflow your heart even as you count one another as more significant than yourselves.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 

I will see you tonight at the Revival,
Greetings and Shalom.