In my university days, I trained with a gymnastics team in Anaheim, California. One summer night we attended an Anaheim Angels baseball game in which the great hurler, Nolan Ryan, pitched. After the game, while standing outside a local restaurant, I noticed a man with his family that looked exactly like Nolan Ryan. With all the boldness of a Georgia country boy, I walked up and asked him if he was indeed Nolan Ryan. He smiled and commented, “You never know.” We then struck up an animated conversation and I walked away, marked forever by this “encounter” with the future Hall of Fame pitcher.
There is nothing quite like a live encounter. There is nothing that can replace a divine encounter. Encountering God marks us forever.
Knowledge is gained through study. But power comes through encounter. We see it in Jesus’ life; we see it in the disciple’s lives. There is no training, study or networking with the right people that can replace a divine encounter. Even the disciples, after being in the presence of Jesus for three years, needed an encounter with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost before they were empowered for the task before them.
I believe the Christian journey is much like my marriage to Liz. I want to keep getting to know Liz and even though I’m satisfied with our past, I want to anticipate deeper love in our future together. This is only possible through continuous interaction and encounter with her. I want to keep encountering my beautiful bride.
In my journey with Christ, I don’t want to be satisfied with my past encounters. I long for more. Paul indicates the same passion when he said, “I continually long to know the wonders of Jesus more fully and to experience the overflowing power of his resurrection working in me.” (Phil. 3:10, The Passion Translation). In 2019, I want a deeper encounter with the living Christ. I want a deeper touch of His overflowing, resurrection power working in me.
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.
My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org