Personal Encounter Series-2

The last devotional that was sent out dealt with a personal encounter. The response to that devotional was the highest so far and in praying about the next set of devotionals I am really impressed by the Holy Spirit to focus on and develop this topic. A “personal encounter” with God leads to revelation that frees us, liberates us and transforms us. Without a personal encounter with God leading to revelation everything else is just information. Information has a tendency to puff us up with a prideful attitude and self importance where as revelation will transform us and transform us into the image of Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ.”Gal 2:20

Coming Alive / being free / being healed, Means Dying to Self

When we are under attack, stressed out by the issues of life, or allowing our feelings to drive our behavior leading to anxiety, worry, doubt our survival instincts come out. We are fighters! But that creates a problem, for Paul says: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but 
Christ lives in me.” If our number one goal is self-preservation, we are no longer free to make the right decisions. We’ll keep doing things based on what feels good, and what’s acceptable to others, rather than what God wants you to do. We’ll talk a lot about being faithful, but very little about being fruitful. We can only bear fruit if we are willing to die to self. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the [ground] and dies [to self], it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24 NAS). The “survival seekers” in the Bible forfeited God’s best by looking out for their own interests rather than God’s. Without considering Abraham, Lot chose the well-watered plains of Jordan, and lost his family (See Ge 13:10-11 NIV). The rich young ruler could have been numbered among Christ’s disciples, but he’d too much to lose (See Mk 10:22). The rich young ruler in a way was so full of his own agenda he could not HEAR the things of God.

Often the more we have, the tighter we hold on. Jesus said: “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses [invests] his life for My sake…will save it” (Lk 9:24 NAS). Paul wrote: “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me” (Ac 20:24 NIV). 

The safest place to be – the only place to be – is in the will of God.

Jesus said of Himself:

“I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord–but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.” John 5:30 AMP                         

“I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.”

Jesus says to us:

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. Matt 6:33 AMP

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] John 14:27 AMP

B Blessed