Here is the second message in our Pastor’s new series, Doors. Our Youth Pastor preached on encountering Jesus. I hope you enjoy!
This week, it was a joy to have Rolando Gonzalez, our 212° Youth Pastor, speak about the Door of Encounter. I encourage you to take a moment and think about what he said:
Encounter means experiencing God. We were created, designed for experiences. God designed us to have experiences with Himself. Our eyes were created to see God and our ears to hear Him. We serve a God who is alive and ready to come down and experience life with us. God wants to be with us, to talk with us, to listen to us and to work with us. If you want to live a meaningful life, you need to know that the greatest meaning is to encounter God and make Him known.
But, what is it like when we encounter God? If the Creator of the universe shows up, things will change, things must change. God loves us so much that He wants to spend time with us, to hang out with us, but He is so strong, so powerful, so amazing that we cannot remain unchanged. It doesn’t matter who you are, when you have an encounter God, you will not stay the same. The Bible is full of all sorts of encounters with God, from Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses and the prophets to Jesus’ life on earth and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In every instance, people were changed, usually dramatically.
We can experience God in many ways, through the Bible, worship, visions, dreams, etc. Although God lives in the supernatural realm and we live in the natural, He goes out of his way to talk with us, to encounter us. It’s not our job to make Him show up. Yes, we’ve got to do what we know to do, but it’s God’s job to show up…and He does.
Encountering God will fuel your lifestyle as a believer. Everything that we know we’re “supposed” to do as a believer becomes alive, meaningful and almost effortless when we encounter God. It fuels us to read the Bible more, and also to do the Bible more. Encountering God will also thrust us into things that we wouldn’t do before, giving us boldness. No, encountering God isn’t always designed the way we think it should be – God makes the rules – but it is always good! God wants our spiritual life to be filled with encounters with Him – large and small; in the big things as well as in the little mundane things.
Today, I’d like to challenge you about encountering God. Yes, we need to do the discipline stuff; we need to have biblical character, but we can’t get all religious about it. Encountering God will empower us in those things and make them come alive. The point is encountering God. You were created to experience a real, living, creative, God right now, today.
Position yourself to be able to encounter God. Read His word, not like a car manual, but from the perspective that it reveals His heart towards us – to be with us, to spend time with us. Spend time in prayer with the understanding that this whole life, this walk as believers, is about experiencing the Lord’s love, experiencing who He is. When it’s all said and done, He’s not going to ask how your ministry went, but rather, “Didn’t we have a good time together?!” “Wasn’t that the adventure of a lifetime, that you, as a person, and Me, as God, did something together?!”
God wants to spend time with us. It’s the language of His heart. Won’t you open the door of encounter with Him today?