I’ve recently come to understand that there is a HUGE difference between hearing about God at church and actually knowing who God is. I believe you have to have a true encounter with Christ before you can truly know Him. You going to church and listening to a sermon on Sunday isn’t going to cut it. I grew up going to church but in no way shape or form did I actually KNOW Christ. And the only time I would really would pray was when I wanted something. It took me 19 years to realize that there was something missing in my life which led me to develop a REAL relationship God. But before that relationship could develop, I first had to have an encounter, and in order to have that encounter, I first had to have a realization.
The Realization – I think of God as a doctor. A medical doctor can only heal what we reveal to them. If you don’t go to the doctor and tell them what’s wrong, then they won’t be able to heal you. Although God already knows how jacked up we are, He still wants us to go to Him and admit it so He can heal us. In order me to have my encounter with Christ, I had to first recognize that something wasn’t right in my life. I remember last year, my boyfriend at the time and I were in the car having a conversation and I told him how I felt like something was missing in my life and that I felt like it was God. It was like an emptiness fell over me in that season EVEN THOUGH I had a loving family, a boyfriend who claimed he loved me and many great friends. I didn’t understand it at the time, but God was trying to pull me closer to Him. God wants all of us to have a relationship with Him, but it’s our job to open up to it. Once you tell Him that you want Him in your life, trust me, He’ll make His presence known.
The Encounter – I’m just going to go ahead and tell you right now, the encounter is beautiful and great and all other amazing words but once it happens, you’re going to have to give up some stuff. You’re not going to be able to continue living the way you are now. At first it’s going to seem hard but in the end you’ll look back and see how it was so worth it. During my encounter, I realized that God really is a jealous God. He wants you to put NOTHING and NO ONE before Him. And when He tells you to remove something or someone from your life and you don’t do it, He’ll just go ahead and do it Himself. Even though I knew God was what I was missing in my life and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be with that guy, I still decided to stick around in the relationship…that is until God being the good daddy that He is, went ahead and handled it Himself. He revealed my then boyfriends true colors to me. God loves us so so so much, so how do you think it makes Him feel when we put people who don’t even love us half as much before Him? If my then boyfriend really loved me like he said he did, I wouldn’t have found all those girls in his messages and recently called list. (And just a quick sidenote, my encounter only happened because I decided to leave that relationship. God gave us free will so it’s going to be harder for you to have your encounter if you decide to keep giving the clown that you’re with multiple “second chances” or continue to do things you know God is disappointed about). Ok so right after the break up happened, I was devastated of course. I didn’t understand until months afterwards how the break up was actually the best thing that happened to me because the devastation that came from it led me to run to Christ. You know how when we were younger and we got in trouble and we would get mad at our parents for disciplining us? But now that we’re older, we can look back and realize that they were disciplining us to teach us a valuable lesson and that they always had our best interest at heart. God is just like this. By Him being our heavenly Father, He has to discipline us sometimes.
Hebrews 12: 8-11 says 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
God wants what’s best for us. And knowing that, you begin to understand that some of your ways need the correcting brought on by that discipline. God had to remove the distractions (my ex) from my life in order for me to grow into the the person I am now.
The Change – I said earlier how I used to only pray when I wanted something. Now that I’ve developed a relationship with God, we talk every single day. We’re in CONSTANT communication. You can’t have a relationship with someone you don’t communicate with all the time so it’s VITAL that you spend time with Him everyday. Prayer was something I was confused about before. I thought praying required you to be on your knees and it had to be all formal but I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be that way. Prayer is just having a conversation with God. You can do that anywhere! I do it at my desk at work, in the shower, while I’m driving, literally anywhere! Last year before I rededicated my life to Christ, I used to be not so fond of Gospel music. The thought of ONLY listening to gospel music everyday was NOT about to happen. But now that I’ve had that encounter with Christ and we have a relationship I LOVE gospel music. It’s pretty much all I listen to now. Because now I can relate to words the message it gives. I couldn’t do that before. Needless to say, after the encounter, you’re going to start witnessing some amazing changes in your life. Sometimes they won’t seem noticeable but when you really sit back and think about where you used to be, you’ll realize you’ve come a LONG way.
At first, I was afraid to have an encounter with Christ because I thought He was going to tell me to stop doing stuff that I didn’t want to stop doing. And of course, He did! But the thing is when you really get to know Him you’ll WANT to stop living the way were prior to knowing Him. Even though you think you’ll be missing out, I can guarantee you that you won’t be. He has something in store for you that’s better than what you could ever dream of. I know from personal experience. Developing in my relationship with God has been the BEST DECISION I have ever made in my life! I’ve never been happier and I’ve never had such clarity. It can happen for anyone and God wants it to happen for everyone. You just have to open up your heart to Him. So I encourage you to pray and TRULY invite Him into your life. I PROMISE you won’t regret it. 🙂