In the Beginning is the Word
Our beginning point for encounter with Jesus is the Word.
Jesus, when He started His ministry, went to the synagogue, opened up the scrolls and read about Himself in Isaiah 61. Jesus finished with, “Today, the Scriptures are being fulfilled before you” (Luke 4:16-22).
Like our Lord Jesus, encounter begins with the Scriptures. We find God’s grace, our destiny in Him and our calling in the Word.
When we encounter God in the Scriptures, we then discover our identity, our reality in the Lord. As we align with the Word in every part of our lives, we begin a journey to become one with the Word.
Encounter starts here.
Don’t Strive: Rest in His Love
The Lord longs to encounter His Beloveds. When we become lost in Jesus, just gazing in His eyes, surrendered in love to our God, from that place, encounters are possible. (For more on this truth, click here.)
Truly, the Lord desires to encounter us even more than we want to encounter Him!
We must refuse then, to strive for encounter. When we trust His deep abiding love, in His perfect time, we will be found in Him. From this place of surrendered rest, as we seek Him, we will certainly find Him.
Maintain our Gaze 24/7
Encounters with the Lord require a steady gaze. Like the virgins who maintained their lamps, long after the sun set, far past the expected time of arrival by the Bridegroom, (Mathew 25) our steady expectation for God is demonstrated by daily pursuit of our King.Constancy is critical in the Kingdom of God; we can’t quit the pursuit!
As we daily draw near to the One who loves us, staying sensitive and attentive to our King, we kick the world’s distractions to the curb, and place great value on our relationship with King Jesus. When we keep reaching with desperation for the Lover of our Soul, day and night, He is certain to encounter us.
Respond with Substance
In reverence, we can’t appear before King Jesus empty-handed. Like David at the threshing floor in great need for his nation (2 Sam 24) and Mary on her knees, with costly perfume (John 12), when we bring our offering of substance to the Lord, we glorify the Presence of our King. When we receive and respond to the Lord with our substance, (not just words), our hearts are defined by gratitude, not demand. When we build intentional altars of thanksgiving, with this posture of gratitude, we are sure to encounter more. (For more on this subject by Pastor Stephen, click here).
Stay Consecrated: Sin Separates
Encounter with God is costly.
“God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7) Jesus secured our peace with the Father by HIs Blood. (For more on this theme, click here). Given this exquisite sacrifice, every part of our lives must be surrendered to God.
As we discover the great gift of encounter with God, holiness is non-negotiable. Sin must be exposed, repented and overcome that we can grow closer to God. Since the wages of sin are death, and Jesus is life, without holiness, none of us can encounter God (Hebrews 12:4). (For a powerful Word on escaping sin by Mama Tiny, click here.)
When encounters occurs, worldly friendships soon fade, casual words will be stilled, and habits we enjoyed will expire. Every part of our life must be vetted when Heaven collides with our earthly lives and puts demand on us to become fully His. Yet as we embrace the change, our elevation is certain. Encounter will become our habitation if we can ensure our place of visitation is consecrated before the Lord. This costly investment is eternal and the rewards are beyond our limited understanding.
“Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 10: 6). Encounters are His reward when we fervently seek Him.
Let’s break out of every generational limitation that the enemy has placed upon our life and learn from those who have gone before us, so that encounter is our portion!
His Nearness is our Greatness! May His Greatness be made manifest in our lives as the Holy Spirit transforms us! (For further explanation to cause the impossible to manifest, click here.) May we encounter Jesus every day!