Encounters

This morning was nothing too out of the ordinary. I woke up and I began my routine. I had worship music playing as I journeyed from room to room preparing for the day. I went into the kitchen, poured my cup of coffee, and sat on the counter to just talk to my Beloved for a few minutes. As I hopped up, immediately the presence of God filled the room before I ever said a word. I had to sit my coffee down as tears just began streaming down my face.

His tangible presence is by far my most favorite place to be in all the earth. I really don't care when, where, or why He shows up in these ways, I'm always just so thankful for it. Most often that special of an encounter is reserved for my personal seeking time when I turn all devices off and sit down with the one motivation of encountering Him. Sometimes it comes in a corporate setting, times of prayer, worship, or just seeking Him. Then there's times like this morning where He crashes in on the most mundane routine of my day.

I've shared this before, but will again. There is a difference in acknowledgment and honor. Many people just acknowledge the presence of God. They'll admit that it is real, but they'll never set Him in the place of honor. The place of honor is the place of respect and I've learned even desire. The God and presence that I honor is the one that I desire, the One I long for, the One I want to show up. There are people that I honor in my life and I desire their presence, I desire their counsel, I want them around. As we continually honor the presence of God, we show Him that we desire His presence. This is one way of diligently seeking Him, as we show Him that we want to draw near to Him, we are hungering and thirsting for Him.

After God came and encountered me this morning I began to think about the times He has done so throughout these last ten years that I have been seeking Him. It is these encounters that have marked and changed my life. I could go through and tell you in detail of the times that God dramatically encountered me whether in His sweet presence, in a vision, in the Word, in worship, in prophesy, or whatever avenue He chose at the time and how it changed me or set things in motion for the next step in life.

As I was reflecting this morning I realized encounters are wonderful, they're refreshing, and they're powerful, but do you know what else is pretty remarkable? Faithfulness. 

What is your walk like when you haven't had an "encounter" lately? How much time do you spend in the Word when great revelation isn't pouring out into your Spirit every chapter? How much do you worship (on your own time) when there are no "feelings"?

God is a God of encounters. He loves to show up and bless His children, but He's also a God of faith and love. How much do you love Him without an encounter? How much do you long to worship Him when there are no feelings? Will you continue to put your faith and trust in Him when trials come your way?

Hebrews says that God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. I've learned in the last few years that the testament of how much I love God is not based off of the fact that I'm willing to mentor teenagers, lead Bible studies in the public school, or even sleep on the ground in a war zone. The true story of my love for Him is not that I'll dance in worship, witness in Wal-mart, or go to church every time the doors are open. The greatest witness that I am madly in love with the risen Christ is that I diligently pursued Him yesterday, I'll diligently pursue Him today, tomorrow I'll get up and I'll diligently pursue Him again. Day in and day out for the rest of my life I will seek Him, I'll put my faith in Him, I'll trust Him, I'll want Him, I'll need Him, no matter what comes my way whether famine, disease, heartache, trial, or persecution I will follow Christ.

One time courageous acts of obedience are not radical Christianity, faithful diligent seekers of Christ are radical. These people I've talked to in the last few days who have stayed the course despite trial for 50, 60, 70 years in the times of encounters and times that it felt like God didn't know their name. They pressed on toward the mark. They continued in the good fight of faith. They opened up the Word again and again, they worshiped in spite of again and again, they went to church when their bodies ached again and again, and to this day they still diligently seek Him, no matter what the day brings.

In sixty years it won't be the sermons I preach, the blogs I wrote (or books hopefully lol), the mission trips I went on, that will be my legacy. It will be that everyday she woke up and she was faithful to the One she loved again no matter what her circumstances.

Be Blessed, J. Tate