Do you remember the last time God showed up for you?
As followers of Christ, we should be able to (and are invited to) have regular encounters with God. These are testimonies of times when God revealed His heart and character to us, of times we saw Him as our Provider, Healer or Deliverer. It is through these encounters that we build upon our relationship with Him, learning more about who He really is.
In Genesis, there is a story about a servant named Hagar. She was being mistreated by her master Sarah, the wife of Abraham. Life had become so bad for her that she thought running away was the answer. The Angel of the Lord shows up and speaks to Hagar. He tells her that God already has plans for her and that she’s supposed to quit running away.
In Genesis 16:13 it says, “Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’ (Genesis 16:13a NLT).”
After that encounter with God, Hagar ’s story was forever changed.
God was no longer just God. He was now God, the One who sees her. From that day forward she knew God differently than other people did. She now had part of God’s character revealed to her.
The Christian walk gives us access to encounters with God. But the journey is not about church attendance or behavior. At least not the way we often think.
Walking with God is about Him revealing Himself to us.
God does not reveal Himself to us:
- To improve our theology. His goal is not to fill our heads with knowledge so we can debate with people who don’t agree with us. 1 Corinthians 8:1 says “knowledge inflates with pride (HCSB).”
- To make us more religious. Jesus tended to avoid religious people.
- To believe a theory that God wants to help, heal, save, deliver, and lead us.
God reveals His character to us:
- As an invitation to a divine encounter through the person of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- To transform us from glory to glory, revelation to revelation, encounter to encounter. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
- So we can walk away from each encounter and say, hereafter, we now know God as, “The One who has now healed, delivered or provided for me“.
It’s not about the Bible, even though the Bible is tremendously important. But knowing the Bible is not the end game.
Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life (John 5:39-40 NLT).”
So how do you know Him? As God, the One others have encountered? As Jesus, made up of a compilation of truths, theories, and logic about a man who once lived and we believe to be God? Or do you know Him as God, the One who has healed, provided for, or delivered you?