The question that raises in my head is can we position ourselves for an encounter with God? Are there things we can do so we can put ourselves in the ways of encounter. I guess it would be like walking repeatedly around Hollywood to put yourself in a place more likely to bump into a film star or director.
In the bible there seems to be quite random encounters with God. Many are to do with God choosing to reveal His plan and purpose to mankind. God can do what he likes. He gives us what we don’t deserve and can meet us in power just where we are. We can encounter Him after following no principles just because He loves us. But we are asked, however, to boldly seek His face so we must consider what are the ways we can seek a face to face encounter. The following are just principles that I am pondering.
Being prepared and expectant – There is something deliberate and steadfast about longing for God’s face. It is for those who have set aside their hearts ready for it and who, having a right view of God’s desire for relationship with us, know He is ready to come. There needs to be an expectation that heaven is only a breath away.
Keeping our hearts humble – This would include keeping our hearts right with God, pure and malleable. God opposes the proud and will not make his home with them.
Leaning in in intimacy – John the disciple was the disciple who felt loved by God. He positioned himself next to Jesus, leaned in and put his head on Jesus’ chest. This is the best place to encounter God. Those who want to see His face can lean in toward God and all He is and place themselves in a place near Jesus. It is the desire to share affection with Him.
Waiting on God – those who encountered often were sat with time looking towards heaven. We find David waiting for God again and again. We know waiting on God renews our strength but it also places us ready for an encounter with Him. If we say busy and distracted like Martha we could miss Jesus’ smile our face. If we sit quietly at Jesus’ feet and become familiar with the place of receiving we will be ready for his smile.
Paying the cost – Many of the encounters with God or heaven (angels) came with new revelation and purpose. Moses, Gideon, Abraham, Joshua, Mary etc had a challenge set before them. Sometimes we think that God’s call to ‘be’ means doing less or nothing, I feel it means being and doing all that is you and from a place of fullness and peace. God will come to those who He knows will say yes.
Having the character that can hold heaven – God will not blow us out of the water by appearing in his fullness and power because that will damage us. He protected Moses from the full force of His glory. Neither will he cast his pearls before swine. He can only give as much as our character can take. The deeper and greater the character the greater capacity to hold heaven within us.
Being where he is – we are called to follow him, to walk where He is. We cannot choose the time, the place or the situation. We meet Him on His turf, on his conditions where he is. He has already come to earth to meet us now we follow Him to the heavenly places to meet Him in His fullness.
Being in unity with those who are hungry – there is something so special about being united with the church in worship. His presence is far more tangible when the body is together. It is important we learn to worship together and not just as separate individuals with separate stories standing next to each other. He loves us for who we are but He is not coming back for you as an individual, but His bride made ready.