Encountering the Lord


There’s a practice of the presence of God, a recognizing that He’s always with you, so that you talk to Him throughout the day, hear Him guide and encourage and whisper words of love to you throughout the day.

I think of that as abiding in Christ, abiding in His love. You are living with Christ, living out your days with Him, making Him your dwelling place, your home, which is your place of rest, provision, protection, and fellowship.

But then there are times we encounter the Lord, when He stops us in our tracks and surprises us with something unexpected.

The Lord appears to Joshua with sword drawn. He identifies Himself as the commander of the Lord’s army. Then, He says, “Now I have come.”

God has shown up and Joshua responds appropriately. He falls on His face in worship. He continues on the right path asking, “What do you want to say to me?”

He tells Joshua to take off His sandals because He’s standing on holy ground. Joshua again responds correctly. He doesn’t ask questions. He acts on God’s Word.

I remember holding my ears when I asked the Lord if I were to marry Dave, who knew he had a calling as a missionary, if that meant I had to go overseas. I didn’t really want to hear the answer, but holding my ears didn’t prevent Him from speaking. I wasn’t expecting an audible voice; it just shows what I thought about it.

I married him, and I went overseas. We went to Macedonia first, and I took to it like a duck to water. I loved Macedonia. And God is good, all the time.

And sometimes, the surprise is revealing something in us we hadn’t realized, and we’re struck down under the burden of maybe decades of sinning against God and others, having not even realized what we were doing. And we fall to our face. It doesn’t cause us to run away. It causes us to worship.

Just because the sword is drawn, doesn’t mean you run away. Remember, we should never allow ourselves to run from God. Everything should bring us closer. The drawn sword is just one more tool to draw us near, to bring us close. Our response is to worship, listen, and obey.