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More than Just Encounters..


Have you ever been to a Church service and had such an amazing time Praising God and encountering God's presence and listening to such a powerful life transforming sermon from the Pastor but only to run into an annoying situation just as you leave the Church. Imagine you are leaving the Church premises and driving off happily then you suddenly have a Taxi Driver cut you off in such a dangerous manner that you were shaken and angered by such reckless driving. How would you respond?

1. Would you open your window and angrily shake your fist at the Taxi driver and tell him what you think of him and threaten him with hell fire and brimstone while almost cussing and wishing you had a Taser to teach this reckless driver a lesson.

2. Or Would you sigh deeply, Praise God that you are still alive then open your window smile wave lovingly and say to the Taxi driver God Bless you my brother, but you really need to pay better attention on the road, Have a blessed day... as you drive off grateful that God had saved you from a terrible accident


I am sure for most of us the most natural reaction would be similar to the first response and we would feel justified but i am sure you would agree that after being in such a powerful service it would look really be awkward if people witnessing the scene realised that the person yelling angrily at the Taxi driver was actually coming from the church. Even more awkward if it was not actually a Taxi driver but it turned out that the driver you are shouting at and almost cussing at is none other than the Youth Pastor who has just given the powerful sermon you have responded to just and while driving the Church mini van and had unexpectedly cut you off. . . Yes very awkward indeed.


While the situation is hypothetical It does ring true of some scenarios that happen to us and push us to the edge and we then respond in a not so Christ like manner leaving us slightly ashamed when all is said and done and we have dumped our anger and lashed out or done some actual damage with our words or even physically.


It is common sense that when you squeeze a grape you get grape juice and not lemon juice because a grape if filled with the qualities of a grape and not a lemon. Similarly if you fill a plastic bottle with tomato Sauce when you squeeze it the pressure will bring out the Tomato sauce that you would have filled it with, You cannot expect to bring out Mustard sauce from that bottle. In the same manner a life emptied of self and filled with God when faced with the external pressures in this world will produce a Christ-like response that flows out of us under that pressure.


The reason we don't often allow God to fill us with His Holy Spirit is that we are afraid to let go of our pride and control over life. We think in order to do life well we have to be in control, We fear that letting go of self will dilute us of who we are when in actual fact being filled with god will bring out who God really made us to be.

Humility is key when we encounter God. If we humble ourselves and allow God to us with his Holy Spirit we find that what flows out of us when faced with daily pressures is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Fasting helps us to to take stock of the things we need to walk away from and the things of God that we have not been intentional to embrace.


This is not a just a one day encounter but is a journey of daily choosing God and continually finding times such as this week of prayer and fasting where we are deliberate about disconnecting from the world and intentionally seeking God so that we are emptied of the things that we have allowed to creep into our hearts. While God does the miraculous when we encounter him in worship services, this is complemented by times of Daily choosing to connect with God and walking the journey with him.


When we consistently live a life that is surrendered to God we find that after having an encounter with God and emptying ourselves of the ungodly clutter He fills us with his Holy Spirit who is mighty to Lead us, Empower us but more importantly produce his fruit in us. Fruit that lasts and is not limited to one encounter that fizzles out.


Scripture Reflection:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.2Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

19When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarrelling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

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