Choosing to Meet God

In this way the Lord used to speak to Moses face-to-face, like two people talking to each other. Then Moses would come back to the camp. But his young assistant Joshua, Nun’s son, wouldn’t leave the tent. – Exodus 33:11

Every day we make dozens of choices. We choose what to eat, what to wear, how to get from here to there, and much more. Often those choices seem trivial and involve very little thought. Most are not even intentional but are impulsive and reactionary. But some of the choices we make affect our entire life—they shape and change our future. Of course, some of the biggest choices—the choices that impact our future the most—involve relationships.

I was never great at choosing friends. Mostly that’s because I grew up as a military brat. Every few years it was a new town and a new school. Friendships were temporary and never seemed to stand any test of time or travel. When I made friends, it just seemed to happen with very little of choosing involved.

But God is different. He wants a relationship with you and me! Building this relationship takes time and effort. Encountering God isn’t a chance occurrence or random event. Just as He seeks you out, you must seek Him as well.

God Chooses to Meet with You

God often arranges places for you to meet with Him. He chooses a place with impact for your life. He draws you off the normal paths of life to encounter Him in a powerful way. He calls you to stand on holy ground—He calls you to meet Him face to face.

Moses’ normal routine in Exodus chapter 3 was to graze his flock of sheep at the edge of the desert on God’s holy mountain (Mount Horeb). God sent a messenger of fire to catch Moses’ attention. He called to Moses and spoke from the midst of the flame, and Moses answered. When Moses responded and entered God’s presence, the place was declared holy. This was just the beginning of encounter.

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Saul’s normal routine in Acts chapter 9 was hunting down believers in Jesus. He had special authority and orders from the priests in the temple and zealously pursued them. He was on his way to Damascus one day and God sent a light from heaven that surrounded him. Jesus spoke from the midst of the light, and Saul answered. Saul fell to the ground in fear and trembling at the majesty of God—he was in God’s presence, he was on holy ground. This too was just the beginning of encounter.

GOD WILL ALWAYS CHOSE TO ENCOUNTER YOU NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU ARE DOING IN LIFE. YOU MATTER TO HIM!

You Choose to Meet with God

You also have a choice when encountering God. Will you choose to step into the encounter? How will you respond to the encounter? These questions will help you understand that your relationship with God is participatory. It doesn’t just happen to you. While you are meeting God, He is meeting you.

After Moses encountered God at the burning bush, his life was changed forever. God raised him up to be a leader of an entire nation. It also helped Moses realize that he needed to continually meet with God—to re-encounter God regularly.

In Exodus chapter 33, Moses made a practice of setting aside a specific place to meet with God regularly. He pitched a tent. Everyone saw God’s presence at the tent when Moses met with God. It was such a holy, powerful place of encounter, that Moses’ aide Joshua didn’t want to leave—he stayed in God’s presence as long as possible.

In Acts chapter 9 you can see that even Saul was transformed by his encounter with the risen Jesus! After a three day fast, his sight was restored—scales literally fell from His eyes. He changed his whole purpose in life. He stopped persecuting those who were following Jesus, and he started to speak in support of Jesus. He boldly declared what he once thought blasphemous, that Jesus was the Son of God.

Saul spoke with such conviction that he baffled the Jewish leaders in Damascus. He grew stronger and stronger as he shared his encounter with Jesus so that others could learn to encounter Him themselves. He became so radical, so on fire from his encounter, that the Jews even hatched a plot to murder him. Saul eventually changed his name to Paul, and he wound up writing the majority of the New Testament.

What will you choose? Will you choose to make a place to regularly encounter God? Will you choose to change and seek regular encounters with God?

AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD DESERVES A RESPONSE. WHAT WILL YOURS BE?

Eyes Wide Open

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living? – Bob Marley

Rarely have I ever gone into any situation fully aware of what to expect. As a matter of fact, I never have. Nope, not once. I’m also fairly sure that I’m not alone in this experience.

New situations are just that – new. They are often vague, unexpected, and unknown. Sometimes they can be daunting and uncomfortable. But they can also bring adventure.

My bride and I recently celebrated our 22nd anniversary. Little did I know what God had in store for us. As I knelt in that shallow pool at the base of the waterfall on the Glen Eyrie property in Colorado Springs to propose to Catherine, there was no way I could see what God had planned or where the future would take us. I only knew that she was made for me, and I was made for her.

He has blessed us with a vibrant, deep love for each other. We have three amazing, intelligent, creative children. We’ve experienced trials and victories. I never could have seen it all! But, I never would have chosen a different adventure.

Yes, the unknown and new things can bring adventure. It all depends on your perspective.

If you enter the new with fear and trepidation, you will live fearfully. If you let the uncertainty of the situation overwhelm you, then you will be uncertain and hesitant in the life you live. If you charge blindly ahead in desperation to reach the other side, you might just find an unexpected cliff.

Open your eyes. Encounter the new with adventure in your heart. See it as an opportunity, and embrace the thrill of the unknown. Live with an expectant attitude. It is this expectant hope that will carry you through the trials and into victory.

You see, when your hope is in the One who gives hope, you experience His peace eternal. When you trust the miracle maker and drink deeply of the depths of Him, you find the richness of life and see the miraculous in everything. When you fix your gaze on Him, you can walk on the waters.

What perspective will you take toward what this new year holds for you?