Sunday, June 11, 2006

what does it mean to encounter God?

historymaker : an encounter with God as part of the discipleship process.

I was asked by a man with a TV camera to answer the question : "how have you encountered God?" This is a cool question and got me thinking about a good answer. In the end I didn't get recorded by the TV camera .. probably a good thing.

However, I share a thought with you here. I have encountered God in MANY ways over the years. Through scripture, alone, with others, through others, a voice, a picture, physically, emotionally, cerebrally, in church, out of church, on the couch, at a piano/guitar, in a movie, through my surroundings, through imagination, falling off a snowboard, getting my leg plastered (separate occasion), in the shower, at a computer screen, at work, at play, at home .... oh the list is endless.

But I'm starting to really discover what it means to continually encounter God.

Faith scenario #1 : "a God encounter" followed by "walking out our life" followed by "another God encounter" followed by "more walking". Whether that's from one Sunday to the next, one summer camp to the next, one conference to the next, one devotional time to the next, one charismatic experience to the next, or something more random.

scenario #2 : The way Jesus intended was for us to walk in continual communion with the Father, and He gave His life for it to happen. So an encounter with God is the continual walking in His will and obedience.

"Of course it is!" you say. OK then, sit down and look at your life and tell me whether you model scenario 1 or 2.

If we are continually walking with God, conversing with God, choosing for God, living the totally abundant life that Jesus promised, then an encounter .. changes. Does it become less significant? Does encounter (momentary) become experience (longer) and then "the norm"? Once we're in that place of our entire life becoming an encounter with God, prayer is efficient and powerful, worship is all-pervasive. No longer are we tied to the ritual of Thanks and Sorry before Please, or Confession and Declaration before Communion, or worship before bible reading, or half an hour's devotion at the very beginning of our day, or the pre-service 5 min prayer time. We are living in the "palm of His hand", we are the "sheep of his pasture" the "chicks under His wing", and we can communicate with God 2-way at any time in whatever way is right for that moment. Our whole life is preparation for whatever comes next, and we don't feel compelled to "switch into spiritual mode" 5 mins before a worship service for that religious pre-service prayer.

Is this an excuse for license-filled laziness? Quite the opposite.

Am I there on that path of obedience at every moment? I doubt it, but I'm closer than I ever have been, and life looks very, very different.

1 comment:

Nadia said...

This has blessed me Today! Blessings to you you family your ministry, you life and all that the Lord has for you!