For it is by grace you have been saved...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Would You Respond?

Back in January, I posted a piece about Jacob’s encounter with God, and how it reminds us that coming to know God should change us. Just recently, I received a long comment (covering two comments actually) from someone who said that they had a “vision” of God, an encounter with Him, and are looking for some answers.

I almost didn’t post those comments, but then realized that this person needed some answers. I honestly fired off the response pretty quickly, so it’s probably not as good, nor nearly as complete, as it could/should have been.

What I’d like to do is re-post some of that here in hopes that others might be able to offer more to this person. I’ll begin by giving just a brief version of their post, followed by my response. If you have some good word to offer this person, please post it here. My prayer is that they will see through the deception of the enemy and seek the truth of God in His Word. Thanks in advance for any and all responses.

This person wrote in part:
Thank you for a very good post that happens to speak volumes to me at this moment... I suppose also that I am looking for a response from you or anyone else who may come across this comment.
As I noted above, I feel I have had a physical encounter with God.

I was sitting, with music playing in my headphones, at the computer reviewing a comment I had posted a day or so earlier on another blog about my belief in God's purpose for humanity … the space between myself and the computer was filled with the image of a desolate plain, massive flat topped mountains with a valley in between and with a dim sun in the distance. This was not a scene on my computer because I could still see my blog screen through these opaque images. I could also still hear the music in my headphones...but there was this literal image or vision in front of my eyes. It was like watching a movie…

Immediately, an immense robed smokey, gray being appeared in the valley. It towered above the mountains. It appeared to be searching for me, caught sight of me and advanced toward me. My perspective changed and I was watching myself standing on a plateau that the figure approached. I knew immediately that He was God and I was afraid…

A giant hand grabbed me by the throat and lifted me into the air…His hand was so immense around my neck that I couldn't grab hold and felt like a rag doll in His grip. He tightened the grip and drew me higher up into the sky. I didn't feel like I was being choked just held very firmly.

I stared at the Being that I thought was God but He never spoke to me. I thought that he was going to crush me but I couldn't speak... I honestly felt like He was annoyed with me as a parent might be with a pestering child. His hand dropped me back to the ground and His smokey gigantic form turned from and walked back through the valley...

Thank you for indulging my rambling comment. Any insight you might have on my experience would be greatly appreciated.

Much has been edited here. Go to the original post and read the comments if you want the full story. Here now was my hasty response:

KE: To be honest, I almost did not allow these comments to be posted. But I wanted to share some things with you and this was the only way I could figure out. I hope you come back and read this.

I don’t doubt that you had a real “experience.” But not all experiences are necessarily of God. We spent several years on an Indian reservation where folks had all sorts of encounters with spiritual power. But we must always remind ourselves that God is not the only One at work in the spiritual realm. We have an enemy who is called the Father of Lies. He is a deceiver and does all he can to trick people into thinking he is divine, on par with God. He is not.

The experience you relate is not at all consistent with God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture. Since He chose to reveal Himself to us in this way, we are to then interpret any other experiences by what He has already said and done. He has never, and will never contradict Himself, or act out of “character.” Your experience does not “jive” with the God of Scripture.

John Wycliffe wrote: “The true Christian was intended by Christ to prove all things by the Word of God, all churches, all ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices. These are his marching orders. Prove all by the Word of God; measure all by the measure of the Bible; compare all with the standard of the Bible; weigh all in the balances of the Bible; examine all by the light of the Bible; test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate, and cast away. This is the flag which he nailed to the mast. May it never be lowered!”

God has already reached out to His people, ultimately and permanently in the person of Christ. If you want a true touch from God, to truly experience Him, seek a relationship with the Father through the Son; and search for Him in His Holy Word. Only there will you find Him. In fact, He tells us clearly that you can’t know the Father apart from the Son.

The truth is, God is more than “annoyed.” Because of our sin, we have become separated from Him. Because He is pure and righteous, He must punish that sin. He must! But in His grace and mercy, He chose to send His Son to die in our place, to take that punishment upon Himself, and give the righteousness of His Son in its place. There’s the only “sign” you need. If you’re seeking an experience, seek the experience of God’s grace through faith in Christ.

Seek Christ. Seek Him in His Word. This is the only way to know Him, the only way to experience Him. Everything else is a fake and a fraud. Don’t be deceived. Seek Christ. Confess you sinfulness and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Again, my purpose for reposting all this is simply to ask for others to provide more help to this person. The simple answer is still “seek Him in His Word,” but some may offer more practical/pointed help. In the end, I ask that you would also pray for this person, that they would find God’s Truth in Christ and the enemy’s deception would be destroyed. And to God be the Glory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scott, Your answer to him seems well thought out to me. I believe you answered him correctly.
Jesus Christ is our only and greatest experience.