Summary: We have a strange story, that many of us have heard before, of a man in ancient Mesopotamia, the town of Haran, who hears from God one day. We don’t get any details about how God spoke to him, only that God told him to do something. His encounter with
Encountering God Part 9 – Meeting God
Review of previous weeks
We have looked at how and why we encounter God in worship and the importance of making that our priority when we gather together for corporate worship. Our top priority must be “to encounter God.” If you meet Him here then you will be satisfied in your spirit and your soul. That is our primary objective for gathering corporately.
Just a word about gathering. We have bible study for kids and adults on Sunday mornings at 9:45am. It is in this setting that you get to learn how to live in community with other believers, how to pray for others, how to understand God’s word and how to care for one another. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow!
We are still looking at “Encountering God” as our sermon topic, but we are going to take a different approach for the next few weeks. Instead of looking at how we encounter God in worship, we are going to look at some biblical accounts of how an encounter with God changed people’s lives.
I believe that their encounters will illuminate our own.
Hopefully you will get an idea of how your life can be changed by an encounter with God, and perhaps even how to better encounter God in everyday life.
Genesis 12:1-8 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." 4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
We have a strange story, that many of us have heard before, of a man in ancient Mesopotamia, the town of Haran, who hears from God one day. We don’t get any details about how God spoke to him, only that God told him to do something.
His encounter with God was a life-changing, family uprooting, plan disrupting, world changing event.
At this time in human history, or at least biblical history, God is not speaking to very many people. Mankind, then as now, was doing his own thing…going his own way. In many cases, people were just trying to survive another day in a subsistence nomadic culture.
I have to wonder, did Abram hear God’s voice audibly or did he just have a strong impression in his heart and head.
I can’t answer that for sure, but I do know that for Abram, this is his very FIRST encounter with God.
Some of you who are here in this room had your first definitive encounter with God not too long ago, when God invited you to receive Christ as your Savior. I also know for certain that this encounter was a life changing, plan disrupting event for you. I believe that for everyone who encounters God, the event is powerful and catalytic in nature.
We will learn later about Abraham’s subsequent encounters with God…the first simply leads to another and another just as we obey His voice, that’s when our lives get exciting!
V1 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you"
God begins by telling Abram (who we will later be named Abraham) to leave his home country, to leave his relatives and to leave his fathers house, and go to a place, yet unnamed and undesignated that God will at some point in his journey, show to him.
Family for many of us today is very important, but in those times, family and clan relationships were essential to survival. You needed your extended family for protection, there was power in numbers. Geographically speaking, you lived in close proximity, so you could rely upon your family for help when help was needed. And God tells him to leave all of this security.
Just the act of God speaking to Abram is pretty powerful. A voice comes into his head (or ears) that tells him to do something that is counterintuitive, counter logic and counter to everything that is about self-preservation. In a sense, the unseen God behind the voice is saying, “trust me completely and follow me.”
God may be saying that to you today.
He may be calling you to give up your self-led, self-run life, to abandon the mess you have made of it, and to call upon Him, and to follow Him.