Friday, January 18, 2013

Encounter With The Spectacular

Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.  He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.  When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins {Ezekiel 47:1-4 NASB}.
This was an incredible vision and encounter for Ezekiel; God touched him in a spectacular way; He pierced the veil and revealed His glory. Ezekiel had a vision of holy waters, their rise, depth, and healing virtue they contained.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’ {Jn. 7:38}.

This is a prophecy of Living Waters; John the Revelator saw the same Living Waters in a vision in Revelation 22. I long for God to touch me in a spectacular way. I know, I am supposed to be deep and humble and tell you how thankful I am to see God in the mundane; that I don’t need a spectacular experience to believe in God or trust His faithfulness. I don’t need one to believe in Him, I only desire to know Him more. I am grateful for the mundane, while anticipating the spectacular. If I don’t encounter Him in this way, I still believe in Him and know Him to be faithful and trustworthy. Forever.

The spectacular does not mean that I will necessarily experience God’s power like Ezekiel, and I don’t just desire to witness a display of His power for a sign or for the sake of having an experience; I want to know Him deeper and more intimately than I ever have. I follow in the footprints of men of God who sought the same; Moses witnessed God’s power, provision, and miracles in the wilderness, yet, He still prayed for God to show him His glory. He wanted to know God on a deeper level; not only the provision of His hand, but in the intimacy of His face. He was called a friend of God.

You are my friends if you do what I command you {Jn. 15:14}.

Elijah, while hiding in a cave in fear of his life, had just witnessed God’s power on Mt. Carmel, but he came to know God in a deeper way in the cave. He saw the earthquake, fire, whirlwind, yet heard God in the still small voice. In studying the original Hebrew in 1 Kings 19:11-14, some scholars suggest that Elijah did not only hear God’s voice, but actually heard God’s thoughts. A spectacular experience indeed. In case you don’t believe that is possible let’s read:

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.  But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.  For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ {1 Cor. 2:14-16 NASB emphasis mine}.

God continues to reveal Himself to His people that seek Him. We can know the thoughts of Christ through His Holy Spirit and the Word. The Word is a record of His thoughts. A word of caution—if your experience or encounter with God does not line up with His Word, you did not have an encounter with the Creator of the universe; lean into Him like you never have before. His Word trumps any experience or encounter we may have.
 Not all of us will encounter God in the spectacular way that Ezekiel did, however, He does want to reveal Himself to us deeper as we grow in Him. He revealed Himself to Moses at different times in deeper ways during each step of his journey to the promise land. 

We need to discipline ourselves to recognize God in the mundane, but He does not expect us to stay in the mundane, mediocrity of life. If He did, He would not have established the Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle; He would have built the outer and inner courts only. The deeper you journey into the Tabernacle, the deeper you experience the life, work, and ministry of Jesus and communion with Him. (I will talk in depth about the Tabernacle soon). If God did not want us to experience the spectacular, Peter and John would not have witnessed Christ’s transfiguration. He desires for us to see His glory.

He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power {Heb. 1:3}

God brought Ezekiel through the waters at different levels, first his ankles, then knees, and up to his loins. Continue into the next verses and the water exceeds his head. God wants to take us deeper and deeper in Him; not so that we can have an experience, but that we can experience Him. He wants to know us face to face just as He did Moses.  These men that experienced God in the spectacular, did not merely have an experience, they had an encounter. My spirit cries out for an encounter. 

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