An encounter is an unexpected /unforeseen meeting. For example, the encounter that Saul had with Jesus when he was on his way to persecute the church. An encounter has three characteristics: It is unexpected; It is always initiated by God; Encounters with God still happen even today.
What hinders us from having an encounter with God?
When we become ‘too busy’ for the Lord, he will not commit Himself to us. When you turn on your radio and tune in to your favorite station, you start hearing the music. If you haven’t tuned in, it doesn’t mean that the station is not already playing, they are, but you can’t hear the music. Similarly, unless your spirit is tuned to Him, you won’t hear from Him yet His voice is always speaking.
When our hearts are too far away from Him. In Isaiah 29:13: The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught…”
What happens when you encounter God?
- An overwhelming sense of His presence as God takes center stage.
Isaiah had an overwhelming feeling of God’s presence.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.” – Isaiah 6:1-3 [NIV]
An awareness of His holiness. As Isaiah wrote above,
“…And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.””
- A sense of our own unworthiness. In vs 5, Isaiah realizes this:
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King,the Lord Almighty.”
- An awareness of God’s gracious forgiveness. From vs.6-8, Isaiah was redeemed and was available for God to send him.
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
In conclusion, as we grow in faith, the spirit of God reveals some behaviors that don’t please the Lord. God is able to forgive us and use us if we are available.
~ Rev. Peter Irungu