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Monday, 22 April 2019

The Price For An Encounter With God

"Zacchaeus, a sinner, a tax collector and a man deemed unfit for the master by the society came into an encounter with Jesus HAVING GONE BEYOND HIMSELF AND HIS STRENGTH AS A MAN" – Brodrick Emmanuel Ebube 

Many men and women have recorded notable changes in their lives and destinies by virtue of their encounters with God.

In Biblical times, men like Abraham, Jacob (Israel), Samuel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Peter, Paul and so many others were introduced into realms unknown by mortals by the virtue of their encounters with God.

Any man or woman who is void of an encounter with God would amount to nothing but a weak, beggarly, suppressed and subjugated individual. The lives of men are shaped by the nature of the encounters they come in to.

Article's Focus;

The focus of this article is to give insight on the need for an encounter with God and the price to pay for such encounter. Our discussion would majorly be based on Bible character, Zacchaeus as I try to explain certain concepts....

Let me tell you a short story....

Jesus in Luke 19 entered the city of Jericho and in that city there was a man identified as Zacchaeus, a rich tax collector.

Zacchaeus according to Luke 19:3 sought to see Jesus but due to the insufficiency of his height (He wasn't a tall man) he was unable to see Jesus.

The first thing I would like to point out on the journey to securing an encounter with God is that it does not happen easily. It can be an uphill task but it bears with it more benefit than any other task on the earth.

Encountering divinity does not come by chance. It takes a well-worked approach to encounter God. Why??

Because nothing glorious is left open. Before you get access to any precious mineral resource lying in the earth you must dig into great depths. Gold, diamond, silver e.t.c are not found on the surface of the earth.

Your brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys are not placed on your body like your fingers but are securely hidden in the body.

God is glorious. Scriptures refers to Him as one who shrouds Himself with great light. God would not reveal Himself to just anyone. For God to show Himself to a person, a price must be paid and the price which must be paid is what I would show you in this piece very soon.

God finds pleasure in concealing things and Himself.

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing but the honour of kings is to search out a matter" – Proverbs 25:2

God wants you to diligently search all He has hidden and until you have done that sufficiently enough, God would not reveal Himself or that which you seek to you.

Back to my story...

So, Zacchaeus unable to see Jesus because he was short decided to climb up a sycamore tree and as Jesus passed by, He called out to Zacchaeus who was up the sycamore tree to come down for He was going to stay in his place (Luke 19:4-5)

Here are a few lessons to be learnt from this story of Zacchaeus...

1. No one is unfit to meet Jesus

 Zacchaeus was labelled a chronic sinner, someone unfit to meet with Jesus. His story is like that of many unbelievers today who have been deemed too sinful to repent and become believers.

No one is unfit to come into the fold of Christ. Nobody is too sinful not to meet Jesus. Why then did Jesus die? 
So He could save that one you consider a sinner.
We ought to stop our habit of writing off unbelievers as unfit for the Master.

2. Jesus Never Condemned

 One of the prevalent practices of the Body of Christ is that of condemning sinners. I noticed in my little study of scriptures that Jesus never condemned a sinner rather He expressed love towards them and that love was pivotal in the conversion of many of the sinners Jesus met.

As Jesus never condemned anyone, we ought not to condemn also.

3. To Encounter Jesus You Must Go Up The Sycamore Tree 

The last lesson I would be talking about from the life of Zacchaeus is that of the price for an encounter. For anyone to have an encounter with Jesus that person must be willing to climb up the sycamore tree i.e pay the required price.

Zacchaeus would never have encountered Jesus if he hadn't climbed the sycamore tree. Climbing the sycamore tree was the price he had to pay for his encounter with God and this leads me to the very price for an encounter with God.

They include;

Price #1 – Genuine Hunger For an Encounter

The first price to pay for an encounter with God is to have a genuine hunger for it; not just a hunger, a genuine one.

Zacchaeus knew Jesus was going to pass through a particular road and on reaching there he found out that he may never get the chance to see the Master.

Here's what hunger did...

Zacchaeus did not give up hope of seeing Jesus rather he sought for ways to see Jesus and then he knew he had to climb up the sycamore tree.

Without a genuine hunger, Zacchaeus would have just gone back home to face his tax collecting job and forget about Jesus. But by a genuine hunger, he came into an encounter with Jesus.

In order to encounter God, you must have sufficient hunger to cause God to reveal Himself to you. The kind of hunger you would need is the kind that the Psalmist illustrates in Psalms 42:1

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O Lord."

A hart is a male deer. Deers are fragile animals known to be easy preys for the king of the jungle, Lions and other wild, carnivorous animals. So for the deer to stay alive, it has to run and run.

Due to its fragile nature and the fact that it has to run and run, the deer is always in need of water. A deer doesn't just want water, he needs it if it must survive. Without water the deer is good as being dead. That's the nature of hunger you would need to have an encounter with God.

God must not be an alternative for survival but the only alternative for survival. You must come to a place where God is not one of your many options but the only option.
To encounter God you must display a genuine hunger for Him.

Price #2 – Sacrifice And Go The Extra Mile For The Encounter

Another price I decoded from the sycamore tree and Zacchaeus is that of sacrifice. The sycamore tree is a very large tree with a steep body that makes it uneasy for people to climb it.

Since Zacchaeus was short, climbing the sycamore tree was not just an upheaval venture but it was a very daunting one. This indicates that for an encounter with God, you must be willing to make sacrifices and go the extra mile.

Zacchaeus, a sinner, a tax collector and a man deemed unfit for the master by the society came into an encounter with Jesus having gone beyond himself and his strength as a man.

For you to establish an encounter with God you must go beyond yourself as a human by making sacrifices that are abnormal to humans.

You must make sacrifices in the areas of study, prayers, fasting and other spiritual functions.

You must be willing to pray for another one hour even when your body craves sleep.
You must be willing to fast dry for three-days even when the chicken seems to spicy to resist.

Be willing to makes sacrifices in the lines of your hunger for an encounter.
Pray like you have never prayed before...
Fast till the worms in your belly die of starvation...
Study till your brain capacity gets filled up...
God would surely greet your hunger and sacrifice with an encounter!

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