Encountering God

Encountering God

So I embarked on a 3-day fast which I thought was to prepare for ATMF Ghana. As I began, I discovered that wasn’t the purpose of the fast at all (more like an add-on benefit) but that what I was really searching for was more of God – an encounter with Him leading to a deeper walk with Him.

Reading through different people’s encounters with God in the scriptures, it seems to me that these were not encounters just to boast of having met with God.

Rather, the encounters were commissioning encounters that set the people on definite assignments from God. Moses had his burning bush encounter and was sent to deliver the Israelites (Exodus 3); Isaiah had his vision of God on His throne and was sent with a message for the people (Isaiah 6); Ezekiel encountered God and was sent to the Israelites (Ezekiel 1- 2); Saul had his encounter that led to his conversion (and change of name to Paul) but he also was sent to preach the gospel to the heathen (Acts 9).

It is undoubtedly a ‘safer’ place to stay at some distance from God in the sense that the closer you get, the more likely you are to be sent on assignments that are so challenging you must cling to Him every step of the way. The multitude are happier at the foot of the mountain hearing parables and not understanding them, just happy to say they are part of that crowd Jesus spoke to but the place of real life and fulfillment is in that ‘dangerous’ place close to Christ at the top of the mountain where he speaks hard truths that challenge us and make us realize we can’t do anything without His help – without the help of the Holy Spirit – even for the ‘simplest’ thing like forgiving somebody who has hurt us badly.

For the most part, though, it’s not even the fear of being commissioned that pursues us to a ‘safe’ distance from God. It is the fear of letting Him into every facet of our lives because in getting closer to Him, we allow Him not just access but control over the different rooms in the building that is our life. The place of sincere worship is the place where God will likely point out the doors we’re still keeping locked and where He will lovingly, but firmly, ask for the keys…..not all at once, but over time in our walk with Him.

The place of worship – the place of encounter with God – is the place of surrender to God’s will and the place of growth into Christlike-ness. It is the place where we meet God as our Creator, Owner, Boss (these last two are actually what ‘Adonai’ refers to); yet as Father, Lover and Friend. It is the place where our hearts of stone are replaced with hearts of flesh that are sensitive to His presence and leading.

Do you want to press closer…..go deeper…..or are you satisfied with relating with God from a distance?