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Encounter to know Him

Day 19: First Things First


One day I walked casually past a house with huge walls and a huge black sliding gate and the gate suddenly started to open. I wasn't worried because even though there was a sign warning that there were dangerous dogs at the premises, in the year that I had lived in that neighbourhood I had never heard the dogs bark or even caught sight of these dogs through the slight gaps in the gate openings so I thought I was safe. My past experience of walking past that house had made me not believe the sign at the gate.

In fact as i walked past my curiosity of what it looked like in that particular property got the better of me and i stopped so i could take a peek. I glanced towards the opening gate and the glance turned into a stare as my breath was taken away by the neatly manicured garden and the long-paved driveway that led to a set of swing gates that were also in the process of opening. Such a beautiful place, i gasped but my appreciation quickly turned to horror and panic as I heard what sounded like an army of paws thundering down the drive way!

Then I saw them‚ and finally, I understood why the property had such an ominous sign. Two very large dogs were running towards the now fully open gate where I was standing. I froze, it was my first time ever to see a fully grown Saint Bernard and a huge, in fact a giant sized great chocolate brown great Dane. For a boy my age and height this was the most terrifying sight ever. My heart was pounding and my feet were glued to the ground, frozen with fear as I imagined what the headlines would read the following day, Young boy swallowed by giant dogs! A few meters before the dogs reached the gate, I heard someone shout to the dogs and they stopped and at the same time the gate started to close again.

My little heart was beating very fast as finally my feet became unstuck and I turned and ran the other way, back towards my house. When I got home I was shaken but kept silent because I knew that my dad would be upset that I had not paid attention to the beware of the Dogs sign. I now knew the place did have huge dogs, because I had experienced the dogs, I had seen them with my own eyes.

In the days to come I did not have to tell my friends about my experience but they could see by my behaviour whenever we went past the gate that I had a new respect and fear because now knew that the sign at the gate was authentic!

An encounter with reality has a way of turning information into knowledge. God is someone who has to be encountered in order to become known. Having information about God is not enough to build a functional relationship with God let alone build a trust or belief in God. Every Christian who truly believes should have a story about how they have encountered God and it is such encounters that ignite our belief in God.

While the first encounter we have with God impresses in us that there is really is a God, it is our behaviour thereafter of pursuing to know God and relate with him that shows that we truly believe there is God or that we respect the fact that He truly is God.

After my encounter with the two giant dogs I did not need another encounter to remind me that there were dogs at that property. The information on the signpost was now confirmed and I became a first hand witness to others who had never seen the dogs themselves.

Today as you go through your day, take time think about any encounters have you had with God that showed you that there is God. Maybe you are like me and you grew up in the Church but have gotten to the point that I also got to in my journey where I asked myself, Does God really exist?

An encounter with God has the ability to turn the information we have had or heard about God into a real authentic knowledge that we can carry and be witnesses thereof. Religion informs us of who God is but Relationship creates an environment of encountering God so that we get to Know the authenticity of the information religion has given us. There is privilege in having information but there is great empowerment in knowing first hand that the information you have is true. God has not made it impossible to encounter him in fact he desires to make himself known.

Deutronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13 are a few scriptures that acknowledge that if we search for God we shall encounter him. Today I want you to rest assured that God is the God of encounters. He made himself known to people in the bible in different ways and those encounters solidified the relationships that he had with those people and in this day and time God is no different. All you need to do is speak to him tell him that you desire to know him and to serve him. If you seek him whole heartedly with a desire to actually know him and not just to gather more information about him; you will not be disappointed.



REFLECT:

1. Take time to read an encounter in the bible that made someone experience God in a new light. I have suggested below the encounter that Hagar had with God when she thought she and her son would die of thirst in the desert but there are so many other encounters you can search up and read in the word of God.

2. As you read these encounters, begin to reflect and remember some encounters that you have had with God. Write them down and write what each encounter meant to you Remembering our encounters with God helps us solidify the way we approach God and the way we seek him and put him First!

3. Praise God for the Encounters: Whether it was your encounter with God for the first time in hearing the good news or it was at a time when you were sick and you encountered the God who heals or maybe it was when you had gotten into debt or financial hardships and God showed up for you as the God who provides, take time to Praise God for how these encounters have left you richer and empowered by truly knowing God.


Deutronomy 4:29

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will *find him* if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.


Hagar Encounter God:



Prayer & Fasting Encouragement:

Our times of Prayer and fasting are usually great times to encounter God's presence and that is why as a church we have Encounter nights during the las week of our 21days of prayer and fasting. Tonight at 7pm is the last of our Weekday encounters so I encourage you to carve out time to attend at one of our locations in Camps Bay, Melkbos or TableView.

We also have an encounter evening at the Table View campus of Sunday at 6pm to end off the time of Prayer and Fasting with a huge celebration of who God is and how we have encountered him.




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