|Encountering God in the Stories of the Bible
Perhaps the most fundamental priority of end-time messengers is to live in the dynamic of current encounter with the person of God. Whether it is to be engaged with the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, we desire to know Him deeper and more intimately each day, to plumb the depths of His beauty and His love.
One of the best ways to have a predictable encounter with the person of God is to meditate upon the stories of the Bible – real encounters between God and His people. The Biblical stories are living testimonies in which God meets with individuals or groups, and reveals Himself in powerful ways that impact their lives going forward. Since the Word of God is living and active by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can approach these stories with confidence that God will reveal Himself to us personally in the record of those encounters, so that we might come to know Him in the same depth and power of the original situation.
One key to a fresh revelation of God through Biblical stories is to make use of a method of meditation that over time came to be known as “affective contemplation.” This term simply means to enter into a story, and imagine that you are one of the characters in the story. You allow yourself to feel what that person may have been experiencing, to sense their fears, their joys, their questions, and to allow yourself to meet God in the moment as the characters must have met Him during the moment that is in focus.
For example: I have been personally impacted in a deep and ongoing way by the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. Imagine that you are Abraham, and that God has just spoken to you about offering your beloved son as a sacrifice to Him. Take the time to reflect on your past history with God, how you have known His voice, the extent of His promises to you that are centered in this son, and how much confusion and anguish must have arisen in your heart as you considered God’s command.
What would you be feeling? What questions would come to your mind? How would you wrestle with God during such an encounter? Where would you go to find answers to your questions?
We know from Scripture that Abraham determined God would raise Isaac from the dead. How did he come to that conclusion? Jesus declared that Abraham “saw His day and was glad.” Did that have something to do with it?
What must have burned in Abraham’s heart as he journeyed toward Moriah with Isaac at his side? How would your heart have been pounding as you raised the knife? What would you be feeling as the angel stopped you at the last moment, revealed the lamb in the bush, and became known as the God Who Provides?
Encounters with God are there for the taking in His Word. Go find them!