Holy, holy, holy, is our God. Our Father, who art in heaven, holy is His name. The angels cry out Hosanna and cover their faces with their wings because in His full glory, He is too holy to be observed. Yet there are times indicated in the Bible where God made earthly appearances before men.
I’m reminded of Elijah’s encounter with God. God told Elijah He was going to pass by him on the mountain. Before God came, there was a strong wind that broke parts of the mountain into pieces. There was an earthquake and a fire. But God was not in the strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire. He was in the stillness.
I’m reminded of Joshua’s encounter with God. How before the battle of Jericho, Joshua saw a man who appeared to be an ordinary solider. But the solider introduced himself as the captain of the army. “Loose your shoe from your foot; for the place you stand on is holy” said God to Joshua.
I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s encounter with God. How before his journey down the road of Damascus, he was a persecutor of Christians. But after a light shined down from heaven and Christ spoke a word over Saul, Saul became Paul and one of God’s chief preachers in the Gospel.
I’m even reminded of demons and how they recognize God when they are in the presence of holiness. The demon Legion asked Christ to leave him be as he did not want to be cast out of the man amongst the tombs. In the book of Acts, an evil spirit plainly acknowledged knowing Jesus.
One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
(Acts 19:15 NIV)
I’m composing this message today because I was reading over in Exodus 19 a few days ago. I was taken aback of how God showed up when He left His throne. There was clouds, smoke, lightening, and thunder that accompanied God as He descended onto Mount Sinai. The sight of the elements roaring powerfully over the mountain caused the people to tremble in fear.
When Moses finally left Mount Sinai, the residue of God’s holiness shone on Moses’ face. Just the holiness on Moses’ face scared the people. The residue, mere residue, of God’s holiness was enough to make the people fear God.
But then I also thought about how when Jesus actually walked this earth, some people didn’t acknowledge Him at all. He didn’t come as a militant king. He came as a humble, lowly man. I also thought about when Jesus was resurrected and how He appeared unto two men on the road to Emmaus. They were right there—face to face—in the presence of the resurrected Messiah. But they didn’t realize it…
So where am I going with this?
There comes a time in our life where we will have a holy encounter. But the thing is, we won’t know how, when, or where He will appear to us. God appeared to each of these people in different ways. The way in which He appeared to me may not be the way He appears to you.
For example, my husband recently viewed a sermon that was what he referred to as a life-altering sermon. I watched it… and though I thought it was a good sermon, it didn’t move me the way it moved him. What moved me is the 40 day fast encounter I had with God last year during the pandemic.
So, God will show His holiness to us in different ways. But we don’t need the details of how, when, or where He will encounter us. We need only to concern ourselves with our response to the encounter. What will you do when God encounters you?
Will you humble yourself before Him? Will you surrender your will for His? Will you surrender your will even if God’s will doesn’t match your wants? Will you cry out "Hosanna in the highest"? Will you repent for sins known and unknown? What will you do?
What will you do with the single most important event in your life? Because that’s exactly what a holy encounter with God is. A holy encounter with God is nothing short of a supernatural experience. A holy encounter with God makes you realize that we are mere mortal beings who live in a physical world encompassed by a spiritual reality. An encounter with God reminds us that all things seen are temporary and things that are unseen are eternal.
A holy encounter with God is divine. A holy encounter is sweet. It hugs your soul. It causes your spirit to sing and acknowledge that indeed holy, holy, holy is our King. A holy encounter changes your life. It changes your walk, your talk, and the way you act and react in the world.
Ultimately an authentic holy encounter with God will cause you to realize that we are not worthy. It will make you vastly appreciative of the opportunity to have such a grand encounter with the one who exists outside of time. It will create in you a repenting heart, and a sure acknowledgment of your need for God.
I found a foreshadowing for preparation in Exodus 19 that I will leave you with today. Before God descended on Mount Sinai, He told Moses to prepare the people. He told them to consecrate themselves and to wash their clothes. Likewise, before Christ ascended into heaven, He advised us to consecrate ourselves for the final holy encounter.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 24:19-20 NIV)
Repent! Let us turn our hearts towards God and repent. We stand in need of grace every day. We stand in need of forgiveness every day for sins known and unknown. Daily we should ask God to “forgive us our debts as we forgive or debtors” and daily we should thank God for allowing forgiveness of our sins to be covered by Christ.
One day we will all encounter God when Christ descends from the heavens one last time. Let’s not make the final holy encounter with God our only holy encounter with God. When He knocks, harden not your heart. Respond! Respond before He comes down on clouds and fire. The sound of the final trumpet will either be music to your ears or dread to your soul.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16 NIV)
Let it be music to your ears. I pray it will be music to your ears. Embrace your earthly encounters with God now, so that we can bask in an eternal encounter with God forever more at the end of time.
That’s all for today. Be blessed and embrace each and every divine holy encounter with God.
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.