The life-changing spiritual encounter with Jesus at salvation, is to be followed by the continual process of growing in experience and power as we co-operate with Him to change our world around us. Many make a decision to follow Christ yet don’t follow through in discipleship to make their calling and election sure (Mt 7:21-23, 28:19,20; 2 Pet 1:10).

Salvation must be received and embraced to be of benefit. The ongoing, increasing connection or intimacy in relationship with God is within reach of all believers yet the responsibility rests with us to intensely desire and diligently reach for it. His promise is, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13). He is more than willing to meet with us; the invitation is extended to ask, seek and knock in faith and He will surpass our expectations (Lk 11:9-13). We should always be reaching out to Him in expectancy, devotion and submission yet knowing we can't manufacture or initiate transforming 'mountain top' divine encounters.  

Gideon encountered the presence and power of God, enabling him to do what was impossible to do otherwise (Jdg 6:11,12,14,16, 8:28). The Samaritan woman's life was radically transformed and God used her

An encounter with Christ can transform us

testimony to draw many other people from Samaria to trust in Jesus also (Jn 4:4-42). Paul had a dramatic conversion experience with God (Act 9:1-19). Someone else's encounter with God cannot change us, but it should motivate us to encounter Him, too. Although our coming to faith may have been unspectacular, it should be no less decisive and meaningful with the accompanying living out of our faith in a changed attitude to life and the sinful nature within being put to death as we are convicted by the Holy Spirit, repent and walk in newness of life (Mk 1:15; Rom 6:4, 8:13). It is of utmost importance to ‘protect’ our relationship. The more we have been personally impacted by Christ, the more effective our doing. Many times, by a sovereign act, God touches people without human agents, at other times He uses us, ‘flawed vessels’. Even then, it is not what I can accomplish for God, but Who is working through such a vessel given over to Him. There must be on-going obedience with God being glorified and given the credit for what happens.

After their salvation, and from the day of Pentecost, the early church believers had ongoing experiences of being touched and impacted by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4,17,18, 4:31). After the initial encounter there were replenishments – being continually filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18). We too, should seek a greater (heart) relationship with Jesus, as this

Do I come with ‘open arms’ expecting to receive?

is where real change originates rather than any visible (physical) manifestation of the Holy Spirit as some overly emotional people exhibit in their flamboyancy. Christian experiences, spiritual disciplines and knowledge about Him are good, but should lead us to encounter Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the ‘servant’ of the Godhead and as a true servant directs the attention to the master – Jesus who made it all possible. Our desire and expectancy will not go unrewarded, for the invitation is “Call unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things you do not know” (Jer 33:3).

The directive is to live ‘in the Spirit’ where there is continual, conscious connection with God (Rom 8:4,5; 1 Cor 3:1; Gal 5:25). However, due to sin and the pressures of life this relationship is often relegated to a much lower level and not always maintained. It is not enough to know about God in theory, having only a superficial, cold, lifeless ritual with

We need regular encounters with the source of divine life

information passed on from others, rather it is a genuine encounter of experiencing Him that brings transformation through being impacted and infused with divine life. View time alone with God as a delight, a love connection, never as a duty or obligation. It’s from this relationship we receive the power, so be desirous of connecting and come with a cleansed open heart (Zech 4:6; Jn 15:5). No encounter will leave you unchanged. Divine power flows from the encounters and connection with Him and authority comes by being authorized or commissioned . As we have frequent heart encounters with God, our hearts will be recalibrated so our capacity increases as we faithfully steward His gift and He entrusts us with more. There is never any reluctance on His part to give good gifts, especially the Holy Spirit in increasing measure, to us; its our faulty attitude and the baggage of sin that hinders our receptivity as while He is to be first in our lives, we often elevate the problems and hassles of the world above Him (Ex 20:3; Mk 12:30; Lk 11:13).

Come with the anticipation of real connection during your time alone with God (quiet time) as you commune with Him and meditate on Scripture, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Ps 119:18). From this we are impacted and eternally changed by the touch of the divine Master and we too can testify, “The Lord is in this place!”, and can live victoriously above the hassles of life (Gen 28:16). Moses experienced such God encounters that his face shone (Ex 34:29-35). Meeting with the Lord regularly is our greatest need and should be our highest delight.

See also: baptism (Holy Spirit), being and doing, change, connecting, devotions, empower, expectation, hearing God's voice, heart, Holy Spirit, pursuing God, transform/transformation.