Sovereign Encounter

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

Sovereign Encounter

By Patricia Knight

It was a clear, cool, moonlit evening as I walked the pine needle strewn path toward the cabin in the woods. With each step I could detect the crunchy snap of exploding dry pine cones beneath my feet, the only distraction that pierced the quiet serenity of the evening. A full moon provided the illumination necessary to reveal the tranquil fresh water lake, a picturesque scene poking through the black silhouetted pine branches at twilight.

A thick plume of smoke emanated from the massive fieldstone chimney. Without a breeze on this calm evening, the smoke lingered in a vertical spiral, suspended high above the cabin roof, producing a pungent wood smoke permeating the surroundings.

I climbed the few steps to enter the screened-in porch, speckled with casual rocking chairs. In the silence I could nearly hear the relaxed conversations that had occurred in that intimate space over the span of many decades. A simple welcome sign replaced a lock on the front door. My tentative knocks resounded raucous in the silence of the night.

Upon entering the log cabin, I was greeted by rustic ambiance. A lively crackling fire filled the imposing fieldstone fireplace on the opposite wall. Fingers of heat reached out to entwine my cool body with penetrating warmth. Comfortable furniture encircled the fireplace, pieces obviously constructed of native materials, perhaps obtained from a nearby cedar swamp. Other furniture pieces were upholstered leather, a bulky style that engulfed a person who sat therein. Abundant blanket throws and casual decorative pillows scattered around the living space produced an emphasis of pleasant repose; the interior effused cheer and relaxation.

Once my eyes adjusted to the soft glowing lights, I viewed the form of someone snuggled into a high backed chair. As I spoke softly to avoid shattering the precious silence, perforated only by the sizzling of the fireplace logs, He arose to greet me. Though I had never met Him in the flesh, once we established eye contact, I readily identified the mysterious host as Jesus Christ, my sovereign Savior. Our glances locked in mutual acknowledgement. When I responded to His gesture to collapse in a chair close to Him, we conversed effortlessly, the manner in which best friends banter. Jesus had never been far away, for His main residence is my heart. This rare, personal encounter in a remote location afforded us an occasion of undisturbed fellowship.

There were no uncomfortable introductions or interludes communicated in our dialogue, only the magnetic affection of my Lord’s true character. I was in the presence of the Creator and sustainer of the universe, the Prince of Peace, and the Savior of my soul. Generously, Jesus was also my friend.

“You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14). Jesus takes His friends into His confidence, just as He unconditionally welcomed my presence this evening. Interacting with Jesus in the tranquil atmosphere reinforced His authority and adoration; purity and perfection; glory and grace.

The minute Jesus uttered my name, my inner soul responded with excitement. Joy coursed through my thoughts and words. As He grasped my hands in His, I could easily detect the still-prominent scars on His palms, created from His heinous crucifixion two millenniums ago, a poignant reminder of His love and sacrifice willingly offered me, opening the way to boldly and confidently communicate with Him at any time.

Jesus was splendid and majestic, the King of kings who fully understood my human weaknesses. He verbally lavished me with love and grace, instructing me to continually grow in faith. Jesus reassured me of His intense interest in my development as His ardent follower, urging me to keep all of His commandments, and explaining that the more I love Him, the more my love will overflow for others.

He reminded me to share my interests and goals with Him, obediently depending upon His perfect plans and precise timing for answers to my prayers. He assured me that with every morsel of trust I place in Him, my Savior, I shall grow closer to Him.

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“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8, KJV).

As I evolve closer to Jesus in fellowship, He challenges me to remember, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-17). I didn’t want our visit to end in the idyllic environment engulfed by peace and shared affection. Exuberance and hope produced from being in Christ’s immediate presence renewed my body and soul.

I chose the remote cabin in the woods as the perfect retreat from the stresses of daily life. Psychologists agree about the simple act of projecting one’s thoughts into a familiar, peaceful scene in order to lessen mental burdens.

At first consideration, it would seem my vivid imagination had clicked into overdrive. The truth is, God mentally transported me to the cabin in response to my earnest request: for weeks I’d attempted Scripture memorization, but the meaning of one particular verse eluded my full understanding. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). Repeatedly I had asked God to reveal the meaning of what seemed to be an odd expression in that verse.

As a result of my recent sovereign encounter, I now have a much greater understanding of the teachings in the verse I was struggling to comprehend. Once I physically dwelled in the presence of Jesus’ shelter, rest resulted from the overwhelmingly serene shadow that He cast across my life, reinforcing my trust in Him as the rock foundation of my life.

God desires that we seek knowledge of every teaching in His Word. Granted, His method of revealing truths to me for memorization purposes were unusual, but I must not limit my heavenly Father’s communication to my earthly expectations. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

It is impossible to literally worship Jesus at His side until we live with Him in heaven permanently one day. On earth He graciously permits us the mechanism of prayer. As we talk comfortably with our Lord, we are mentally and spiritually transferred to any number of beautiful, tranquil vicinities that appeal to us individually. The cabin scene is one of unsurpassed luxury for me. Where will you go for shelter and rest to meet with your Lord? It could be as familiar as your back yard or as reminiscent as a childhood memory. The most important factors in abiding with Jesus remain our willingness and obedience to pray, connecting us to our Lord anytime, anywhere.

“Jesus told his disciples … that they should pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1). As we constantly share details of our lives with Jesus, we need withhold nothing from our trustworthy Lord and Friend. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).

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Declare His glory, as you attribute to Him the splendor and majesty He deserves. “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (2 Chronicles 16:11).

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Sunday Praise and Worship: The Way

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Beloved, the one and only God of the universe is indeed the great I AM. How do we know this? Because He told us so when he revealed this to Moses:

Then Moses said to God,
“Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them,
‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’
and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’
what shall I say to them?”

And God said to Moses,
“I AM WHO I AM.”
And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel,
‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Moreover God said to Moses,
“Thus you shall say to the children of Israel:
‘The Lord God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you.
This is My name forever,
and this is My memorial to all generations.’ 

—Exodus 3:13-15

I love the song “The Way” sung by Jeremy Camp and how it praises and glorifies the great I AM. Please join me in singing your praise and worship of God, our great I AM! (Can you tell I just can’t say that enough?)

Shine, bright
Let Your glory fill this land
Lift high, the King of Kings and great I am
Jesus, You are the way

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If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

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Sunday Praise and Worship: Hosanna (Praise is Rising)

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I don’t think it is possible to sit still while watching and listening to Hosanna (Praise is Rising) by Paul Baloche. If it causes pain to move to this beat—and I understand this personally—just close your eyes and allow your heart to absorb the words of praise and worship to our living God.

When we see You we find strength to face the day 
In Your presence all our fears are washed away 
Washed away 

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If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

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This cannot be posted often enough (reblogged from Isaiah 53:5 Project)

This is from The Isaiah 53:5 Project blog and is too good not to share with you!

This cannot be posted often enough

I have posted this before but it’s an important message and sharing it is the sole reason this blog exists so…

How Can you become a Christian?

Realize Who God Is

It all starts with a realization of Who God is. The Bible says He is the creator of the universe (Genesis 1:1) and creator of man (Colossians 1:16). God is holy (1 Peter 1:16), righteous (Psalm 145:17), perfect (Matthew 5:48) and is the judge (Romans 2:16) of all mankind. He is all-powerful (Luke 18:27), all-knowing (Psalm 139:2-6), and is everywhere (Job 28:24). God is eternal (Psalm 90:2), infinite (Psalm 102:25-27), and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). He is sovereign (Romans 8:28-30), good (Psalm 25:8), merciful (Daniel 9:9), and gracious (Psalm 103:8). Understanding these attributes helps build a proper foundation to our need for Him.

Realize That You Are A Sinner

To become a Christian, you must realize that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and that your sin is rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). Think about every time you have lied, stolen, lusted after someone, hated someone, disobeyed your parents or used God’s name disrespectfully. You will never be good enough to enter Heaven on your own merit (Ephesians 2:8-9) because committing even one sin deserves judgment (Revelation 20:12) according to God’s law (James 2:10). No amount of good deeds can ever erase your sin.

Read the rest here.

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Sunday Praise and Worship: Lord I Lift Your Name On High

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Every day is appropriate to praise and worship our Lord Jesus Christ, but since this is Praise and Worship Sunday, please join me today by singing along to “Lord I Lift Your Name On Highno matter where you are. This version is sung by Petra. Let us never forget to lift His Name on high!

You came from heaven to earth
To show the way
From the earth to the cross
My debt to pay
From the cross to the grave
From the grave to the sky
Lord, I lift Your name on high

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If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

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God Never Makes Mistakes

God Never Makes Mistakes

By Billy Graham

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
—2 Corinthians 12:9

God is especially close to us when we are lying on a sickbed. God will make the bed soft and will freshen it with His presence and with His tender care. He makes the bed comfortable and wipes away our tears. He ministers to us with special tenderness at such a time and reveals His great love for us. Tell me why the gardener trims and prunes his rosebushes, sometimes cutting away productive branches, and I will tell you why God’s people are afflicted. God’s hand never slips. He never makes a mistake. His every move is for our own good and for our ultimate good. Oftentimes He must deform us and mutilate our own image. Deformity sometimes precedes conformity.

Prayer for the Day

When times of tribulation come, help me, dear Lord, to glory in them for Your sake.


From Day to Day with Billy Graham Devotional, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information, please visit: www.billygraham.org.

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Sunday Praise and Worship: My Story

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If you are anything like me, you are often overwhelmed by the thought “of the grace that is greater than all my sin, of when justice was served and where mercy wins.”

Grace and mercy: two of the most amazing things that Jesus Christ lavishes on us sinners, for whom He died and took upon Himself the punishment for our sins so that we can live with Him forever. And all we need to do is confess and be sorry for our sins, and believe that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). The Word made flesh, just for us.

Beloved, do these thoughts move you to tears?

Every time I hear Big Daddy Weave sing “My Story,” I am once again amazed and humbled by so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3).

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

 

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If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

 

Beloved, if you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, please go here to find out how easy it is. If you have any questions about this, please write to me at  faithlhj777 at gmail dot com.

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