Encountering God – part 2

“Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.” A.W. Tozer

Last time, we saw that God, through His word, fills us with a hunger to have an ongoing intimate experience with Him – to come to know and love Him in His fullness, which must include building a relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit as well. 

It can be a lengthy journey, but God guarantees that we will find Him if we persist in our seeking. (Dt. 4:29). Once we do, we must persevere in our efforts to remain in God’s presence, by our earnest labor in transcending the ways of the world – preparing and keeping our hearts in a holy state where God can come to live. 

You do that by embracing HIs salvation through HIs Son. Concomitantly, you must leave your ‘old self’ to die; and in God’s grace, He makes you worthy for your encounter. 

Let’s continue…

The only way to overcome having only a philosophical construct of God, is to perceive Him and be acquainted with Him on an intimate, personal level – beyond rote religion: knowing Him in His creations and in His incarnation of Jesus. In order to do that, God has granted us the ability to know Him in both a physical and spiritual sense. They both require an exercise of our faith:

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him. Heb. 11:6 AMP

That means living, eating and breathing Jehovah God and Jesus, knowing that they are around us and in us in every conceivable way, and beyond – in a spiritual sense, every bit as real as the natural, regardless of how the world lies to us to try to convince us it’s untrue. Indeed, a Christian leans upon his or her Savior to reinforce their faith in the Truth:

“Did I not say to you that if you believe [in Me], you will see the glory of God [the expression of His excellence]?” Jn. 11:40 AMP

…keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. Heb. 12:2 CSB

In that, you are deciding to be a citizen of the kingdom of God, which exists now, and in the future in its final glorious manifestation. Then, the Holy Spirit goes to work, zeroing you into the presence of the Father and the Son, making you more acutely aware of their presence. 

God is omnipresent. So, if we are in right relationship with Him, we can embrace and enjoy Him in every moment, everywhere and in all things:

“Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD. Jer. 23:23, 24. NKJV

God wants you to find Him, to be close with Him; and He’s right in front of you, already in your presence, waiting for you to reach out:

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Jas. 4:8 NKJV

For that, we must do our best to remain in our spiritual walk, which keeps ourselves in a state of readiness – by walking in the Word, instead of modifying it to fit the world. In our walk, we keep an open ear to hear Him. The Bible prepares us to live rightly, but the voice of God (Jesus) still speaks:

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.” Rv. 4:11 NKJV

We can hear His exhortation when we are on the right path, and thankfully, His conviction when we fall off, so that we might return. It is good to remain acutely listening in the spirit, because sometimes the voice of God can come in a whisper:

…behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and a strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it…behold there came a voice… 1 Kin. 19:11 – 13. ESV

Too often, we listen to ourselves or others first:

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.” Ps. 46:10 AMP

That means too that we must un-busy ourselves with the trivialities of life, so that we may hear what He has to say today. We pray and pay attention…

God loves us so much. While we are seeking His presence, He is at work preparing our souls to be blessed by that same presence forever: 

I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. Phil. 1:6 AMP

That preparation began when your connection with God was re-established through the shed blood of Christ, i.e. in righteous relationship. That relationship can only be nurtured when we recognize His ultimate lordship over our lives, and do our human best to surrender completely to that hierarchy. This moment-by-moment of choosing helps maintain our Divine deliverance from the world, into the kingdom of God. It’s rooted in a determination to put God first in everything we do or think:

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Mt. 6:10 NKJV

God takes up residence in your heart, and then you will have truly come home. You’re living in His grace, above and away from all that He is not; which means your walking in the footsteps of Christ. Ultimately then, you get to enter Jehovah God’s rest:

For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Ps. 95:7 NKJV

Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Ps. 116:7, 8. NKJV

And it frees you from giving any validity to the damnations and vilifications hurled towards the godly, by those who reject their Creator, because, hey, God thinks you’re pretty special. You’re finally free to be who you are, who God made you to be. Plus, you have an Ally: 

“For I will contend with him who contends with you…” Is. 49:25 NKJV

Finally, when we stay in God’s presence, we can navigate this world that we must inhabit until we enter the final manifestation of His kingdom – drinking in the joy of bringing Him pleasure by transcending its cretinous ways:

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God… Rm. 12:2 AMP

We do it all for God’s glory; Who in turn, reflects it back:

“…for those who honor Me I will honor…” 1 Sam. 2:30 NKJV 

Praise God! Here we are, in His presence…

You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Ps. 16:11 NASB

Goodnight and God bless. 

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