Summary: Your next encounter with God may reveal His purposes in you. Apart from Him, you will never discover or fulfill your purpose. God knew you before you were even in your mother’s womb. He has a plan for your life.
Encountering God 17 The God Who Knows You
Overview – We have spent over 4 months looking at the subject of Encountering God. We have looked at it from the angle of worship encounters…which I believe has changed our worship experience of God. How do I know that?
Your Enthusiasm during worship: I can tell by the volume of praise and the applause to God that follows songs. Are you aware of what the word enthusiasm means? When you are, you will always want to have it and express it!
Enthusiasm comes from Greek enthousiasmos, which means to be inspired by God, from the word entheos, which means possessed by God.
Enthusiasm – possessed, inspired by God.
Your Position during worship: Many of you have moved forward, and filled in the seats so that you can be in the MIDDLE of worship instead of on the outskirts of it. Bill Hill tells me its the best thing he could have done for his worship experience.
Your Focus during worship: Your attention is on the Lord and not on me or the praise team, or the instrumentalists or even on Debbie. How do I know? I don’t see people with their arms crossed during worship. You all are “engaging” God in worship and not standing passively. Many of you are singing with your eyes closed.
What I believe is happening is that most of the people in this room on Sunday morning are intent on encountering God! Is that why you are here today?
DEFINITION OF ENCOUNTER – Webster’s dictionary defines encounter “To meet, often unexpectedly.”
At least from our perspective. God suddenly and often without warning breaks into our time and space and meets with us. He intrudes on our space, our comfort zone, the four walls of our box we live in…and He changes everything by His Presence. I believe that we are learning how to more fully encounter God, to meet with Him and how to best prepare our hearts for not just a Sunday encounter, but a daily encounter with Him as well.
Isn’t it interesting, though, how you will be going alone in your daily routine when suddenly and without warning God shows up.
You end up encountering God through situation where you meet a person in need or a crisis in which you must respond with the Love of God. Oftentimes, you don’t even realize you had an encounter with God until you look back and reflect upon the occurrence.
Jennifer shared with me that on Wednesday, two different people from her job walked into her office to talk and were in tears before they left. She got to minister in the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit to them. When God uses you…that’s an encounter with God!
We have just 2 weeks left in this series it is difficult to pick just two out of so many encounters with God that are recorded in the bible. This week we are going to look at the Prophet Jeremiah.
Many of you probably have at least casually read the book of Jeremiah, a prophetic book in the bible. I am willing to bet that few of you have ever done a serious study of it. As I began to study for this sermon, I realized just how little I really knew about Jeremiah and his relationship with God.
Jeremiah the prophet was the son of a godly man. His father was Hilkiah, the high priest mentioned in 2 Chron. 34:4 who ministered in the time of King Josiah.
For those of you who are not familiar with the historical scene, King Josiah was eight years old when he became king. The land had been decimated by idols, the temple was littered with debris and was run down and in poor repair. There had been wicked king after wicked king who had forsaken God. Then, Josiah, the young king, at the age of 16, most likely at the urging of his mentor, Hilkiah, the High Priest, ordered that the land be purged of idols.
A few years later, he also orders that repairs be made to the temple.
It was during these repairs that they found something very valuable. They found the “Book of the Law.” No one knew what this book was, they had neglected the Law of God and the writings of the Torah, the first 5 books of the bible to such a degree that there really was no one that had a working knowledge of it. It had not been seen or read in the lifetimes of most everyone in the temple service. So, recognizing this was a valuable book that represented God’s will for His people, they read it aloud to the king. Josiah, young as he was (probably a young teenager) was overwhelmed by what he learned about God and what God expected of His covenant people.