How To Prepare Your Life Today For An Encounter With God

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Published by Kimberly Wall

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Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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“Encounter” implies meeting God unexpectedly. This transformative experience goes beyond mere awareness; God desires a personal connection with us.

Yet, distractions and temptations can cause us to overlook His attempts to reach us. Comprehending the Holy Spirit is crucial for this divine encounter. Are you prepared for this life-altering event? He’s at your door.

Key Takeaways

  • Encountering God is a personal, transformative experience that varies among individuals. It involves deep inner realizations or transfigurations and is centered on forming a relationship with the Holy Spirit rather than just experiencing sensations or powers.
  • Encounters with God, often internal and complex, can manifest in various ways, including emotional responses, physical sensations, or spiritual insights. These experiences, which can align individuals with the “fruit of the Spirit” qualities, involve feelings of peace, joy, love, or strength.
  • Encounters with God can occur anytime, anywhere. It stresses the need for openness and preparation, encouraging individuals to seek God’s presence through prayer, scripture, and receptiveness to His guidance. It suggests that while God is always reaching out, it’s the individual’s responsibility to respond and welcome Him, emphasizing personal choice in these divine experiences.

What Does An Encounter With God Look Like?

An encounter with God looks like a deeply personal and transformative experience, unique to each individual. It can manifest as a profound inner realization, a collective epiphany, or even a transfiguration. These encounters are facilitated by the Holy Spirit, who seeks to foster our relationship with God and guide us toward becoming more like Jesus.

Such encounters can evoke strong emotions and even physical sensations, but they are not merely about feelings or experiences of power. They are about building a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The New Testament recounts a significant encounter during Jesus’ transfiguration. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light, signifying His divine nature. This was not a dream or vision, but a real encounter that led the disciples to truly recognize Jesus.

a devoted worshiper meeting God in a garden

What Is The Encounter With God All About?

The encounter with God is all about building a genuine relationship. It involves personal transparency and communication. When we encounter God, our relationship strengthens, and we transform to become more like Him.

Encountering God brings us face-to-face with the Healer. As Matthew 12:10 recounts, Jesus healed a man with a paralyzed hand. Encountering God puts us within reach of His healing power.

Encountering God also means confronting truth and identity. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His apostles, teaching them about God’s kingdom. Through these encounters, Jesus instills truth in us and reveals our identity.

God desires for us to know Him beyond His existence. The Bible, a record of God’s relationship with humanity, reveals His nature and His deeds.

God preparing to give a divine encounter

Are Encounters With God Different For Everyone?

Yes, encounters with God are different for everyone. They often happen internally and can be challenging to understand and describe. Here are some key aspects:

  • Internal Experience: Encountering God often happens internally. It can be a deep inner knowing, a shared group realization, or a transfiguration.
  • Unique to Each Person: Every person is made uniquely, so God meets everyone in different ways. It can have physical effects, evoke emotions, or be a prophetic sign.
  • Involves the Holy Spirit: Encounters with God are encounters with the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires a relationship with us and seeks to transform us to love Jesus more and become more like Him.
  • Can Be Felt: Many believers experience God or feel something when He meets them. This could be His peace, joy, love, or strength.

God reveals Himself[1] to us in personal ways, allowing us to sense the Holy Spirit and have unique experiences. Thus, encounters with God differ for each person.

These encounters can involve supernatural events, inner realizations, group affirmations, or transfigurations. God communicates through various means: an audible voice, a whisper, visions, dreams, prophets, spiritual gifts, circumstances, and even angels.

a devout person with tears of joy after an encounter with God

Do We Feel Something When We Have An Encounter With God?

Yes, we feel something when we have an encounter with God. Many believers do feel something when they encounter God. This feeling can vary greatly from person to person and can include a sense of peace, joy, love, or strength.

However, it’s important to note that an encounter with God is not just about special feelings or experiencing a force or power. It’s about building a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Some people may also experience physical effects, such as warmth or a tingling sensation. These experiences are deeply personal and can be transformative.

Every person is unique; hence, encounters with God vary. These encounters can evoke physical sensations and emotional responses or leave us puzzled.

Sandra Long, a senior leader of Catch the Fire, describes her experience with God as feeling a weightiness, which she interprets as love. She feels embraced and affirmed as God’s child.

Duncan Smith, President of Catch The Fire, experiences God’s love differently. He describes feeling God’s tangible love and the presence of the Holy Spirit around him as akin to a heavy tingling sensation.

a person encountering God in a meadow

Can An Encounter With God Happen Anywhere?

Yes, an encounter with God can happen anywhere. God is not limited to church meetings or buildings. You can encounter God wherever He decides He wants to meet you.

God wants to speak to you while you’re on the school run, asleep in your dreams, when you’re out for a walk, and everywhere. Remember, God is not bound by place. It can happen anywhere, anytime.

You can encounter God anywhere, anytime. Be open and seek His presence. God desires to reveal His glory to us.

Encounters with God aren’t limited to extraordinary events. They can occur in dreams that carry wisdom or knowledge from Him.

You may also encounter God through others, so surround yourself with trustworthy people. Encounters can happen in church, during sermons, quiet times, prayers, worship, and Bible reading. Reading God’s word helps us recognize His presence and voice.

an encounter of a devout person and God

Can An Encounter With God Produce Fruit?

Yes, an encounter with God can indeed produce fruit. The term “fruit” is often used metaphorically in the Bible to represent the outcomes or results of our relationship with God.

Galatians 5:22–23 describes the “fruit of the Spirit” as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the qualities that are expected to manifest in our lives as a result of our encounter with God. So, if there is fruit in your life, it’s a sign that you had a genuine encounter with God.

Encounters with God often result in noticeable changes, such as physical or emotional healing. These changes, or “fruits,” signify a genuine encounter. The “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22 refers to the virtues that the Holy Spirit instills in believers. As Jesus stated in Acts 2:8, the Holy Spirit empowers believers to be His witnesses.

A study by Christian sociologist Margaret Poloma found that such encounters deepen the love for Jesus. In her study of a 1995 Toronto meeting, 92% of participants reported increased love for Jesus post-encounter.

an encounter of a person and God

Does An Encounter With God Involve Choice?

Yes, an encounter with God does involve choice. While God is always reaching out to us, it is up to us to respond and invite Him into our lives. This involves choosing to seek Him, to be open to His presence, and to allow Him to work in our lives. So, while God is always ready to encounter us, our own will and choice are involved in the process.

God desires a reciprocal relationship with us. While He has the power to enforce His will, He respects our free will and values our choices.

Inviting the Holy Spirit into your life and being open to His guidance is a personal decision. Post-encounter actions are also up to you. Continuous openness to His work is the key to transformation.

God empowers us with choice rather than controlling us. Poor decisions can lead to negative outcomes, while wise choices bring blessings. The option to encounter God is always available to you.

a devout person encountering a God through prayer

How Do You Have An Encounter With God Through Prayer?

To have an encounter with God through prayer, you can follow these steps:

  • Seek God: Actively seek God’s presence in your life.
  • Listen: Learn to listen to God’s voice. This involves quieting your heart and paying attention to the thoughts and feelings that arise during prayer.
  • Invite God: Prayer is an invitation for God to work in your life. Invite Him into your thoughts, your actions, and your decisions.
  • Be Open: Be open to what God has to say and be willing to act on His guidance.
  • Read Scripture: Reading the Bible can help you understand God’s character and His will for your life.
  • Be Consistent: Consistency in prayer is key. Make prayer a regular part of your daily routine.

Remember, an encounter with God is a deeply personal experience that can lead to transformation and growth.

Through prayer, we can deeply connect with God. As Jeremiah 33:3 says, God promises to reveal great and hidden things unknown to us. God invites us to seek life, hope, wisdom, guidance, and truth from Him.

He answers our prayers by guiding us to seek and receive revelations from His word and spirit. However, engaging with God in prayer requires learning to listen.

Listening to God in prayer is valuable. By being still and open-hearted, Scripture can inspire faith and a desire to know God. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and guide you to understand His heart, as suggested in 2 Peter 3:18.

Spend time listening to God, who knows your needs before you ask. As you quiet your heart, notice your feelings, thoughts, and changes in desires.

a devout person and God

Three Things That Happen When We Encounter God

1. Encounters With God Will Clear Our Minds And Fill Us With His Presence

Isaiah witnessed the Lord in heaven, seated on His throne, surrounded by singing angels, and in a temple filled with His presence. Today, the Lord seeks to fill you with this heavenly clarity and presence.

2. Encounters With God Will Expose Our Shortcomings And Drive Us To Repentance

Seeing God brings us face-to-face with our flaws, as it did for Isaiah. The appropriate response is repentance. When we turn to God, He forgives and cleanses us. Recognizing our dependence on Him is crucial for a divine encounter. Today, let God cleanse and forgive you as you encounter Him.

3. Encounters With God Will Clarify Our Calling And Require Us To Respond

Entering God’s presence changes us. Worship must be accompanied by action, just as faith requires work. When God asked, “Who will go for us?” Isaiah responded, “Here I am. Send me.” Encounters with God bring clarity and necessitate action.

a devout person consistently praying to God

Keys To Living A Life Filled With God Encounters

1. Prayer: Developing Intimacy With God

Being in God’s presence transforms us. Worship calls for action, as does faith. Isaiah’s response to God’s call, “Here I am. Send me,” illustrates this. Encounters with God provide clarity and demand action.

2. Presence Of God: When He Draws Near

“He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

— Hebrews 7:25

“Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who draws near to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

— Hebrews 11:6

3. The Prophetic: The Voice Of God In Our Lives

When He calls, He prepares you for your task. He uses your background to fulfill His will. His word guides you. You have all you need for the next step.

4. Perseverance: Character For The Long Haul

Perseverance means remaining steadfast despite challenges. It’s essential for faith growth. God wants us to persevere and overcome trials for victory in Christ. The Bible encourages us to persevere, trusting in God’s promises.

5. Person: The Testimony Of Jesus

The Bible is God’s communication and revelation to you. Scripture speaks of unseen, unheard, and unimaginable things prepared by God for his lovers. These are revealed by the Spirit, who explores even the depths of God’s nature” (1 Corinthians 2:9–10).

a happy person and God

Summary

An earthly encounter with God is a transformative experience. To sense His presence, we must open our hearts to His revelation.

“Lord, I yearn to perceive you; reveal yourself to me. Let me see wonders from your law” (Psalm 119:18). He seeks those who are available and willing to listen to His voice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Biblical Meaning Of Encounter?

The biblical meaning of “encounter” refers to a transformative experience or meeting with the divine, often leading to spiritual growth. It signifies a life-changing meeting with God or Jesus, not just a one-time event. It involves opening one’s heart to divine revelation and guidance.

How Do I Prepare Myself For An Encounter With God?

To prepare yourself for an encounter with God, be open to His presence and revelation. Consecrate and purify yourself, abstaining from distractions. Spend time with God, listen to His voice, and read the Bible with expectation. Engage in worship, prayer, and service.

Remember, this transformative experience requires a humble heart and aims to build a genuine relationship with God.

Which Bible Verse Talks About Encounter With God?

Bible verses like Job 42:5, Jeremiah 31:34, John 4:42, James 4:8, and 1 Corinthians 2:9–10 discuss encounters with God. They highlight the transformative nature of these encounters, emphasizing the importance of seeking God, experiencing His presence, and recognizing His work in our lives.

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