I am consumed with knowing God more, having His Spirit witness to my spirit the great and wonderful plans He has for me, this often overwhelms me. I attempt to find a response to this amazing invitation God places before me “to be one with Him.” In times past my response was to study His amazing life changing word more. But I am beginning to recognize that what Gods is really attempting to do is to draw me into a place of encounter with Him, one so deep, it communicates into me an identity which is intended to conform and transforms me from glory encounter to glory encounter (2Cor3:18) into the image of His Son (Rom 8:29). Wow!!!
I am finding myself un-satisfied with a word only gospel, one which talks about the greatness of God, but never finds its way to the Great One. The more I read Gods word, the more I see attached to each God inspired utterence is an encounter. Jesus reveals in John 6:63 “It is the Spirit WHO gives life, the flesh profits nothing, the WORDS that I speak TO YOU they are SPIRIT and they are LIFE.” Attached to each Word God speaks should be an encounter with Gods SPIRIT and Gods LIFE. I cannot live any longer with only a revelation of God, I need to encounter Him, I need His Spirit and Life, anything less leaves a void in me, a yearning that only He can satisfy. In 1 Thessalonians 1:5 I find hope;
“1 Thes 1:5- For our gospel did not come to you in word only, BUT also in POWER, and in the HOLY SPIRIT, and in much CONVICTION …”
I feel for years I missed what the Gospel really is. I have always thought that the Word of God alone was the Gospel which needed to be preached to the entire world. In some respect that does hold true, but it is only partly true. In 1 Thes 1:5, Paul reveals that the Gospel he preached was not transferred IN WORD ONLY, BUT in POWER, AND the HOLY SPIRIT, AND in much CONVICTION or (assurance). The Gospel of Jesus Christ was administered to Human Hearts by Words, Power, the Holy Spirits Presence, and a convinced, assured, knowing of Gods REALITY. That is the FULL Gospel, the one I am seeking.
The longer I hunger to go deeper, the more God shows me that more is available. 1Thes 1:5 is showing me that the Gospel is not only a revelation of God and His Kingdom, but attached to that revelation is an encounter with Him, one which brings such a conviction and assurance of Gods reality that people are willing to be fed to lions for more. God’s words are doorways, once walk through, leads us to an encounter with HIM. God wants us the find Him, and He uses His WORD, POWER, the HOLY SPIRIT and MUCH CONVICTION as His guide.
I am amazed at the level of encounter God makes available for us to experience, He allows us to build our own personal history with Him which moves us to have MUCH conviction in our Father. Just look at the level of conviction and assurance David had which moved him to go out against the lion and the bear, also look at the level of conviction which moved the three Hebrews to be cast into the fiery furnace, as well as Peter, who in the midst of a raging storm stepped out of that boat. These men had more than a revelation, they knew Him, and not in word only, but in POWER, and in the HOLY SPIRIT, and in much CONVICTION.
I have become a Gospel hunter, looking to experience the true Gospel of Encounter. Those who attend our Wednesday night meetings know that our passion above all else is to come into His presence. John 17:21 is what I am in pursuit of; Jesus says “That they (you and me) all may be one, as You Father are in me, and I am in You; that they (you and me) ALSO may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me.