“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You.” Job 42:5
I found myself in a cold jail cell, all alone. I had way too much to drink and passed out at the wheel. My car ran out of gas in the middle of the interstate, and that is where the state trooper found me. They hauled me off to jail for a DUI and as I sat in jail, God began working in my heart. A local school happened to be visiting the jail for a field trip that day. As the kids toured the jail, they saw me locked up. Me, the one who loves kids, was horrified and humiliated. I had hit rock bottom and knew that if something didn’t change, this life I was living, would result in my death. I remember thinking that night in the jail cell, “If you are real God, I need you to show up now.” As I faced the truth of my situation, I reflected on how my life was full of disappointment, rejection, fear, addiction, hopelessness, confusion and worry. I had sought after the things of this world to fill a void that only Jesus could fill. I was in shackles to a deprived mind and lies. February 14th Jesus met me in that cold cell and I’ve never been the same. This one encounter with Jesus everything changed. Jesus took me by the hand and led me out of my addiction, out of my bondage, and into my freedom in Him!
As children of faith we need to be having encounters face to face with Jesus regularly. One encounter with Jesus and our situation is changed. Our heart is changed. Our character is changed. Every time we have an encounter with Jesus, we are transformed glory by glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our encounters with Jesus speak to our sphere of influence that there is something greater to seek after than what the world has offered. As we have encounters with Jesus and testify of His goodness, we are giving others an invitation to seek Jesus for their own personal encounter with Him. Like Job in our key verse here are a few men and women that have the same testimony of encountering the Living God and everything changing.
The woman who bled for twelve years had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. In her day she was legally rendered unclean. She has one encounter with Jesus and in that moment her bleeding stopped. Health restored to her body instantly. The unclean woman had been made clean. (Luke 8:43-48)
Saul a Roman citizen, zealot for Judaism, and pharisee with a renown, reputation of persecuting and killing Christians has one encounter with Jesus, transforming Him. He would be used for church planting and spreading gospel message of forgiveness. A missionary to the Gentiles. Preaching with signs and wonders following. (Acts 9:1-22)
The woman at the well, known for multiple husbands, an outcast and hated Samaritan has an encounter with Jesus becoming an heir of God introducing her neighbors to the Savior of the World. (John 4:4-42)
Lazarus sick unto to death has one encounter with Jesus and his lifeless body wrapped in grave clothes is resurrected from the dead. (John 11:1-44)
Billy Graham has one encounter with Jesus, over 70 years ago, in a hotel room in Los Angeles, California transforming him into one of the Church’s all-time great evangelists who ushered hundreds of thousands of souls into the Kingdom of God.
Dwight L. Moody has one encounter with Jesus during a prayer meeting in a hay field that took him from a poorly educated, unconfident shoe salesman into one of the greatest evangelists of modern times. He preached revivals across England and the United States where tens of thousands came to know Christ as Savior.
Have you found yourself in a dry place feeling defeated, overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, and exhausted? Maybe like me, you have looked in all the wrong places for the solution to the problems you are facing? I want to encourage you beloved that Jesus has the answer. Jesus is the answer. He is ready to have a love encounter with you. Seek Him and you will find Him. You will never be the same. One encounter with Him and He will refresh you, restore you, and heal you. Let us be children of faith who come near to God and He will come near to us. (James 4:8)