When is the most recent time you encountered God? Maybe it was long ago. Maybe it was today. Maybe you wonder if you have ever encountered God. Maybe you encounter God on a regular basis.
What was it like when you encountered God? Did it happen during worship? Maybe you felt his presence in nature? Perhaps you were reading the Bible, and you sensed God speaking to you? The famous movie, Chariots of Fire, is about Eric Liddell, an Olympic runner, and he said that when he ran, he felt God’s pleasure. Maybe you know what that’s like. We can encounter God while we are creating art, singing songs, praying, serving, working, driving…anywhere. God is not limited to manifesting himself during worship services.
Maybe you’re reading this thinking, “I haven’t encountered God in a long time, and I feel distant from him.” You might admit that you haven’t encountered him even in worship services, which have the specific purpose of helping us connect with God every week.
Do you feel dry? Spiritually dead? Disconnected from God? If so, you’re not alone. You might remember the story of Mother Theresa. Yes, that Mother Theresa, the famous nun who gave her life to serve the poor in India. She claimed that for most of her ministry years she experienced what some people call a dark night of the soul, a sense of disconnect from God, in which the felt presence of God seems nowhere to be found.
In Mother Theresa’s case, she remained faithful, of course, even though she longed for God, and only rarely felt his presence. In other words, she remained spiritually vibrant. Some of us, and perhaps many of us, don’t feel spiritually vibrant. In fact, it could be that we have neglected God. It could be that we have turned away from him. Sure, we still believe in him, but we must admit that we haven’t done much to cultivate a relationship with him. We haven’t really tried to encounter God.
Does that describe you and your relationship with God?
In the next series of posts we study Ezekiel chapters 15 and 16, and God has some very emotional things to say about his relationship with his people. Read it ahead of time and see what you think, then check back in next week as we discuss it further.