Hello Ravi! I have a question for Michelle Tepper please. How do you know if you’ve had an encounter with The Almighty God?
Welcome Poloe! Thanks so much for joining the RZIM connect community and for posting your question!
What a great question. When I looked up encounter in the dictionary here is what I found. As a verb it can mean to unexpectedly experience or be faced with something, or to meet someone unexpectedly. As a noun it can mean an unexpected or casual meeting with someone or something or a confrontation or unpleasant struggle.
I mention this, because just like the definition shows, encounters with God will mean different things to different people.
When we look in the Bible Paul had an encounter with God, in the sense that he had an unexpected experience with Him on the road to Damascus. Jacob had an encounter with God through confrontation and struggle when he wrestled with him.
I also believe that people can have unexpected meetings with God that look nothing like those biblical supernatural encounters. Many times when we go on college campuses, students encounter God, or unexpectedly meet Him just by journeying with christians during the week. We have had the pleasure of seeing hundreds of student encounter the truth of the gospel (and so encounter God), and often it happens gradually after lots of deep conversations when their questions are taken seriously and their understanding of who God changes.
Though these experiences might seem very normal, the Bible promises us that if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and Believe in our hearts that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). When a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, we have the promise that by the Spirit Christ comes to live inside of us. We hold on to what the Bible says about the Almighty God being with us all of the time, regardless of how or if we ever physically sense or feel our encounter with Him. This is important to hold onto, because some encounters with God are very drastic. The Bible describes people falling “as dead” when they caught a vision of God in His glory, Paul was struck blind, and Jacob walked with a limp the rest of his life. For others the encounters might seem more ordinary. Joseph in the Old testament had dreams as did Joseph the Husband of Mary. There are people all over the world, many from other religions, who were not seeking the Almighty God, and yet encountered Him in a dream. Other people can encounter the Almighty God through the faith and witness of His people.
What the Bible does promise us is that God is always near to us, even if we can sense or feel Him and that we don’t have to worry about having any sort of specific encounter, to be sure that we belong to Him. All we have to do is confess that Jesus is Lord, believe that he rose from the dead and in doing so we commit to living for him and trusting that He, the Almighty God is with us just like He promised he would be.
God bless you,