Today many people say that they have “encountered” Jesus in their life. Unfortunately many people haphazardly say that they are Christians. Typically people look back on a time when they prayed with a man on television, to raising a hand or walking forward to the front of the worship center during a church worship service, or some sort of goose bumps that went up their spine while they were praying. People say that such experiences prove that they have encountered Jesus.
But can this be true? Is the garb that we wear, the music that we listen to, and the youth group that we attend are enough to prove that we have encountered Jesus?
Well, if it is of any consolation, I say that the Bible gives no such proof. In fact, what we read in the Bible to determine if we have encountered Jesus is that we are to,
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you — unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13.5, NASB )
I would add that if we profess Jesus as Lord and declare that we have encountered Him as our Lord and Savior, then our life will show such evidence. Let me explain.
What if I told you that I was changing a flat tire on the interstate just a couple of weeks ago and the lug nut to my tire fell off and rolled into the middle of the interstate. Since it rolled out into the middle of the road, I ran out to pick-it-up. After bending down to retrieve it, I looked up to see this obnoxiously huge cement truck plummeting towards me at over 100 mph. The sad thing is I did not have enough time to get out of the way and I got hit by the truck.
Would you believe me if I told you that this really happened? Why or why not? Hopefully you realize that this really didn’t happen to me, because if it did I would not be able to write for this blog. In fact, I imagine that you would say that I am a liar, because it is impossible for us to have an encounter with such a large, fast moving object and not be changed. I would say that you are right. Now the question is, what is bigger and more powerful, God or the cement truck? Since God is much larger and more powerful than the cement truck, should our lives not be changed in some shape, way, fashion, or form? So, have you personally encountered Jesus Christ? So, have you ever encountered Jesus Christ? I’m not asking you if you ever prayed a prayer, or raised your hand during a church service, or walked down the aisle to pray with somebody, or if you have grown up in church. These things do not save you; it is personally trusting in Jesus Christ in faith. How then would I know if I have ever encountered Jesus Christ and have been saved? Have you examined your life to see if there was a change from the way that it was previously lived? Do you desire God and the things that please Him? It is not perfection that we look for, but rather that we live a life that is sensitive to the things of God, to the things that please and displease Him.