The word God spoke to my heart for this month is “encounter” and I couldn’t be more excited! I believe this is going to be a month of incredible, supernatural encounters with the presence and person of God, the Father, and Jesus, the Redeemer, Savior, and Healer.
We’re going to see heaven collide with earth in the most beautiful of ways. Some encounters will be a result of us pressing into His presence, while at other times, these encounters will be a passionate pursuit of our hearts – simply because He longs to be with us.
When I shared this with a friend the other day, I off-handedly stated, “People are desperate for an encounter with God, not four walls.”
What did I mean by that? When you read about the times Jesus “encountered” people, it was almost always within everyday life. Yes, people came to hear him teach but very rarely was it within the four walls of the temple. More often, it was in open spaces. The most radical encounters with His transforming love and presence were on the road, near the shore, at a well, on a hillside or mountaintop, by a tree, in front of a tomb, and on a cross, just to name a few places. Jesus showed us some of the greatest face to face moments with Him mainly happened in the most unexpected times and places. I believe that’s how we’re going to encounter Him this month.
I’m not speaking against experiencing Jesus within the four walls of the church. I simply think we box Him in to those four walls and relegate Him to certain days and times of the week when what He longs for is to be with us every moment of every day, living life with us, sharing His innermost thoughts as he connects His heart with ours in the smallest and biggest of ways.
In the Gospels, we see a mix in Jesus’ life of people pursuing an encounter with Him, as well as times when Jesus sought individuals out to encounter them - even though they knew nothing about Him beforehand. I believe we’re going to see an increase in major encounters with Jesus this month – both ones that we pursue having with Him and ones where He pursues and encounters us unexpectedly.
There are ways we can position ourselves and create an atmosphere for encountering Him. Worship is one of the easiest. God can’t help but draw near at the sound of our worship. The thing is that it doesn’t take a band leading us. It’s not even necessary to have music. Worship can be found in our words, in our actions, in our yes to Him, and in our surrender. We can encounter Him as we read His word, pray, journal, or sit quietly focused on Him.
Expect encounters with Him this month in both big and small ways. As you encounter Him, allow yourself to be fully present in the moment and engage Him in conversation. That’s what the people in the Bible did – the woman at the well, the man at the Pool of Bethesda, the centurion, Martha, the disciples, Nicodemus . . . There are so many honest conversations recorded in the Word. Why would it need to be any different with us?
I believe we’re going to see a powerful move of healing encounters this month, as well. If you need that kind of encounter with Him, be persistent to press through to Him, just as the woman with the issue of blood did and was healed simply by touching His garment.
Like the man Jesus encountered at the Pool of Bethesda, He may tell you to “Stand up. Pick up your sleeping mat and you will walk!” (John 5:8) Make steps to move forward and the things you’ve felt paralyzed in will no longer hold you prisoner, paralyzed in the place you’ve been in – even for years and decades. Stand up! Move forward! Don’t remain where you’ve been!
Look for powerful encounters with Jesus this month. Expect them. Position yourself to experience Him in profound ways. And don’t be surprised when He shows up unexpectedly in the most unusual and normal places in your everyday life.
I bless you in your encounters with Him this month, my friend! Please reach out if you'd like us to pray for you!
Living for Him,
Andrea & Brian
Our Mission: Love Others Well & Empower Them to Do the Same