A Journal for Bible Teachers

Encounters With God

Encounters With God

We need to each have a fresh encounter with God, as this precedes a new move and visitation of the Holy Spirit in revival. God wants to give breakthroughs against the enemy and release a tremendous harvest and fruitfulness. He wants us to enter in to the inheritance He has for our lives and to experience His mighty power and glory. The following examples will help us to understand how we can also enter into these mighty breakthroughs.

 

Joshua

In Joshua 5:13-15, we read the account of Joshua’s wonderful encounter with the Lord just before Israel’s first battle at Jericho. Joshua met the Captain of the army of the Lord, none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. “And it
came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” This verse begins with the little word ‘And,’ which links this incident of Joshua meeting with the Lord with what immediately preceded it. God had instructed Joshua to circumcise the people. Not only had he circumcised them (which signifies the cutting away of the carnal things we are born with that must be removed), but he also obeyed the Lord strictly in observing the Passover. The Lord Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father and I will love him and will manifest (clearly reveal) myself to him” (John 14:21). It was after these acts of obedience that the Lord revealed Himself in a wonderful way to Joshua.

It was in the path of duty and obedience that the Lord came and met him. As he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword. This was a real test to Joshua’s courage and valor. The Lord had said three times in the first chapter, “be strong, be of good courage,” and Joshua did not panic, but boldly advanced and challenged the man: “Are thou for us or for our adversaries?” It is important for us to test the spirits as we are told in 1 John 4:1. There will be much deception in the last days and Satan can be transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Joshua realised that this stranger was not an Israelite. He was to discover this person was more than just a man, it was the Lord as a Man of War, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah Who would fight for them. This was one of the pre-incarnate appearances of the Son of Man in human form.

In verse 14, the Lord replied, “Nay but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.” The Lord revealed Himself as the real commander of the armies of Israel, not Joshua. When Joshua heard those words, he fell on his face worshipping the Lord. This encounter that Joshua had with the Lord was not only showing that the Lord was the real commander, but it also was a sign that God would fight for the children of Israel. Immediately after this wonderful encounter with the Lord, God brought down the walls of Jericho. Afterwards they moved on to many other victories as they began to possess their inheritance.

 

Paul

The apostle Paul was one who had encounters with God. He knew the call of God and had met the Lord in so many ways. He had seen Him in visions and been to the third heaven. Paul had seen many victories and had established many churches. Paul saw notable miracles of the power of God, including healings and casting out evil spirits. The hand of God had been mighty upon his life. Yet in spite of all the victories and the wonderful ways God had used his life, there was a cry in his heart, a passion for more of God. About six years before the end of his life, Paul wrote, “That I might know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…” (Philippians 3:10). There was that cry for a new encounter, a new visitation, a new meeting with God, that the would know the Lord and the power of His resurrection.

 

Amy Carmichael

One of the great missionaries in India was Amy Carmichael. God used her to establish a work in Donovar, Tamil Nadu. Not much had been happening, so the girls in the orphanage began to seek God and press into Him. The Lord visited them in a mighty move of the Spirit and many of the orphan girls came under great conviction of sin. There was a real cleansing as the fire of God fell on them. For about three days they did not eat or sleep, but cried out to God and wept before Him. Many of them saw heaven, hell, and the glory of God. Their lives were touched and changed, and the whole ministry was ablaze with the presence of God.

 

Argentina

In Argentina, a mighty revival broke out in April, 1954. This revival was birthed through encounters and meetings with God. Edward Miller, a missionary from the United States, was ministering in Argentina, but his ministry was having little effect. He was very discouraged and right on the point of packing up and returning to the States, when God spoke to him to begin really seeking the Lord in prayer and fasting. That went on for weeks and then months, but ended up with an encounter with God. Others came to the prayer meetings, and the Spirit of God came down in a powerful way. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and then the revival moved into the Bible school. Such an awesome presence of God hit the students! All the classes stopped, and they were down on their faces in great repentance and weeping and crying out to God, as He was dealing with their lives. That went on day after day, as God visited them in visions and showed them many things that were to come.

The prophetic word came that the strong man over that nation of Argentina was broken. Shortly after that time, there was an unknown evangelist, Tommy Hicks, who came from the United States to Argentina. Miraculously, he was granted an audience with the president. God used him to heal the president. The president granted him use of the largest soccer stadium in Argentina, which seated over 100,000. Crowds began to come and miracles began to happen as

the power of God came down. Many came to the Lord and the stadium was completely packed with thousands outside. It was reported in the newspapers, and buses came from the villages and towns. After the meetings, there were piles of crutches left behind from people who had been healed. Many were called into the ministry, and for a period of time, that nation was shaken by revival and the power of God. It began with encounters, by intense seeking of God, and crying out to Him. Then the visitation came in a tremendous way.

 

Wales

The Welsh revival (in the early 1900s) started with Evan Roberts and others crying out to God. For weeks, God visited him each night. One night, Sydney Evans, his roommate, came in to the room to find Evan’s face shining with a heavenly light. Astonished, he asked what had happened. Evan replied that he has just seen the whole of Wales lifted up to heaven. Then he prophesied, “We are going to see the mightiest revival that Wales has ever known. The Holy Spirit is coming now and we must get ready. We have a little band and need to go all over the country.”

In a very short period of time, over 100,000 souls were saved. Spontaneous prayer meetings began in mines, factories, schools, and shops. Me were convicted of sin in the taverns. They could not lift up their beer glasses to their mouth as the Spirit of God came upon them. Thousands of young converts spread out all over the land preaching the Good News. The larger newspapers were dominated by news of revival. Headlines that had cried out of violence and scandal were replaced by accounts of conversion, news about the meetings, testimonies, and revival maps where the Spirit of God was moving. Pubs, cinemas, and theatres were closed down as thousands were saved and converted. The coal miners, hardened sinners, were soundly converted and people in their homes were falling down under the conviction of sin. In one village of 5,000 people, 4,000 came to Christ. There was tremendous impact on the whole nation.

 

Conclusion

I believe some of these moves of the Spirit are just a foretaste of what God is going to do in these last days. Jesus said the best wine is kept until the last. God is able and wanting to do awesome things in our lives and churches over and above all we can ask or think. The Holy Spirit wants to draw us and woo us to cry out to God, “Oh Lord, rend the heavens and visit us! Come down by Your Spirit! O God, start in my heart.” The Bible says judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. Let us cry out and seek Him. Allow Him to deal with sin and our attitudes and motives so there will be a cleansing and purging of our lives. God is sovereign in what He initiates. Yet, there is also our part, to press in and seek the Lord when He is drawing us. We can accomplish nothing of ourselves, yet as we draw near to God, we have the promise in James 4:8 that God will draw near to us. Jeremiah 29:13 states, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” It is God Who gives the desire to seek for Him and to press into Him. Encounters with God will transform us and will prepare the way for God to move by His Spirit in a fresh and powerful way.





About the Author

Rev. David R. Wallis has served as a missionary in the Philippines and India for over 19 years. He has ministered in over 35 nations at pastors’ seminars, conventions, Bible colleges, and churches. He is the Assistant Chancellor of Zion Ministerial Institute.

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