by Rafael E. Lara, Worship Ministries Coordinator
Passages: There the angel of The Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush… When The Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush,… God said,… “I am the God of your father,…” – Exodus 3:2a, 4a, 5a, 6a
See also Acts 2; 9:1-20
I’m laying down, ready to go to sleep here in Redding, California. This is my first time in California. I’ve wanted to visit for quite some time, but it was the particular conference and church I will be at that provided the opportunity for God to bring me here. Kingdom Come! This is the yearly conference that Risen King Community Church in Redding, Ca has been doing for 4 years now. It has been a pivotal experience in the lives of so many who have come. I know I’ve needed to come, and I am so excited this was the time. But why am I here?
If I can sum up why I’m here in one word, it would be encounter. It’s a word that we’ve probably heard so many times. Encounter. But what does it mean?
I’m in a season in life in which God is stretching me and growing me in ways I did not expect. There is rich ministry happening at Nyack College I am really enjoying the growth in areas of development and care that God is doing in my own life as I connect with the students. But I feel this season will continue to grow and develop and other areas of ministry that I have not tapped into in my own life will begin to come out. I can sense it. But I’m not fully prepared. Why? Encounter.
The passages I wrote up there are somewhat known. Moses was called to deliver the people out of Egypt. The disciples were instructed to go and preach the word through the world, making more disciples and baptizing them. Saul,… well, that’s just another story in and of itself. He [then Paul] was the proponent of the greatest expansion of Christianity. They were all called. God used them tremendously in their own scenarios. But what is important to note is that it began,… with Encounter.
Moses didn’t just get up on a whim one day and decide to go back to Egypt. He encountered God and God sent him. Before Moses going out to do the work he was to do, He met with God… He had an Encounter.
When the disciples were in the upper room, they were there because Jesus told them (prior to ascending into heaven after his resurrection) that he would leave them a counselor. They were waiting. Holy Spirit came and filled them. They had an Encounter. It was after this that Peter preached and nearly 3,000 came to The Lord.
Saul was on an entirely different path. He was going to persecute Christians. Instead, he has an Encounter with God that changed the trajectory of his life and became the crossroads that thrust him into the ministry God had for him.
Why am I here? Encounter! I know God has something coming. I have heard it. I have sensed it. But I don’t want to jump into it until I have an Encounter!
what now? how does this affect me?
Simple. Some of you have been trying so hard to go and do the things that God’s called you to do. Maybe… just maybe, all God wants to do with you, is encounter you. Maybe he just wants to meet with you. He’s here to meet with you. Would you stop and meet with him?