By the grace of God, my life has been filled with “God encounters”—God taking me to mountain tops, leading me through the valleys, and walking with me in the small moments, every step of every day.
Yes, and you can live a life filled with personal God encounters too.
Just think about the experience of the disciples. Their lives had been transformed during three years of walking with Jesus.
They were fresh from the rollercoaster of losing their Master, then getting him back. Now he was telling them it was better for them if he left, because then they would receive the Holy Spirit.
Of all the rather incredible things Jesus had said to them, this may have been one of the most difficult to believe.
How could it possibly improve their lives to have Jesus’ substitute teacher instead of Jesus himself?
But then the day of Pentecost came. The Holy Spirit fell with wind and fire.
And everyone knew immediately that Jesus had been right. He had transformed their lives yet again, as Peter described when he quoted Joel’s prophesy:
“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke.” (Joel 2:28–30 NASB)
God is drawing near to his people in these days.
Perhaps the old line from the children’s game fits: “Ready or not, here I come!”
Get ready, guys!
The Holy Spirit is breaking out of our man-made religious boxes and is showing up in diverse, awe-inspiring ways.
Have you been crying out for greater intimacy with Christ?
Have you been asking for his presence to draw near?
Do you desire to see his raw power displayed?
Do you want to see Jesus receive the rewards for his suffering?
Then watch out! You are a prime target for an invasion.
Guiding people into encounters with God has been my passionate pursuit for many decades.
During all this time I have seen proof over and over again: God encounters are for everyone!
There is no better place to encounter God than in his Word.
But we must come expectantly.
We must come with faith.
In contemplating appropriate material to include in the foreword for the God Encounters TPT with James W. Goll, I thought it was important to highlight some of the things I am known for, namely…
- the presence of God
- and prophecy…
…all things that are vital for encountering God in his Word.
But as I prayed more about this, I felt the Holy Spirit reveal a couple more key ingredients that I needed to mention.
So the fourth message I want to convey is…
- the necessity of perseverance
Absolutely, do not quit!
Then last, but the best part of all:
- the person of God himself.
He is the goal of your life. I want to passionately pursue God himself.
I think Jesus said it something like this: “So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom . . .” (Matt. 6: 33).
In your quest for God encounters, make sure that your goal is the author of the God encounters.
Now, get ready for your personal God Encounters!
Encountering the God of the Bible!
James W. Goll
(This article has been adapted from the Foreword by James W. Goll: “A Life Filled with God Encounters” in the NEW The Passion Translation Bible: God Encounters Custom Edition.)
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