Faith, Growth/Maturity, Restoration, Trusting God

A Divine Encounter

Then Job replied to the LORD “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (Job 42:1-6 NLT)

Read that scripture again slowly, not only that you may be EMPOWERED, but that you may have a personal encounter with the Great Divine. I really hope you can feel Him. Personally, this is where God has me and to be quite honest I have been here for a while. I have been saved and attending church for the past seven and half years. Until six months ago I was like Job; I, Lisa, knew NOTHING about God as I thought, but now I have seen Him with my OWN eyes! I’m still a student learning daily, but up until then I was just ‘moving’ along in my Christian walk.  I had lost sight of the divine majesty of God that I first experienced at conversion and I was not experiencing close encounters with Him like I desired or had in my past. I noticed that I was behaving with unrecognized shallowness, irreverence, and had a lack of respect for our Creator.

I was being religious with no relationship. You know going to church on Sundays, Bible study on Wednesdays, prayer on Fridays, reading my word, and trying to memorize as many scriptures as I possibly could. Even though I was doing all of those things and doing them for quite a while, I became spiritually dehydrated. I was serving God in my own strength. It was burning me out! On top of that I was beginning to become overwhelmed by the tasks of everyday life: My husband and I operate our household on one salary; he is working full-time and still looking for a job; we are house touring to purchase our first home (while staying in a realistic budget); I have to care for our two girls (eight and ten months old); keep up with house chores; AND be a wife. With all of this on me, one day I had a break down. I didn’t want to go to church, I wasn’t reading my Bible daily, and I was stuck in that rut for a month. Yes, it got that serious!

In retrospect, I understand that it was just the providence of God. Sometimes He allows us to go through some things so that we, like Job, will know exactly who the great I AM is. I realized that I was treating God like an option and not a priority. That’s when I told Him that I needed to experience an encounter with Him like never before. That day, September 23, 2011, the sweet Holy Spirit led me to this scripture in Job and whispered in my heart this: “He holds the world together and created the worlds with just His words, and yet sometimes you doubt His concern and power in the day to day situations you are facing. Lisa, He is more than simply a support system so that you can get through life with ease. He is the Great I Am, the Mighty One, the Counselor, and the Creator.” I immediately reacted by rebuking the devil because after all I knew who God was! I read most of my Bible, had all of the popular scriptures memorized, got a couple of answered prayers, and knew most of the clichés known for church going, word speaking, and Bible reading believers. Then, it hit me this WAS of God. I started praying from my heart. “Father, forgive me that I have not learned to trust Your bigness. I have used other things and people as a crutch in case You didn’t come through, rather than fully relying on You.” After saying this prayer with all of my heart, He filled the room with His presence and from that day forward I have truly placed Him first. It took me almost eight years to learn that God is not a backup plan to my plans. He alone is where my trust should be placed.

Even though this is where I am, I can tell you that getting here was not automatic for me.  I had to go through some things and it’s too much for me to list, but just like Paul I had to have an encounter with Jesus.  If you and I would really take a moment and meditate on how BIG God is and truly allow His Spirit to let us experience firsthand the revealed majesty of God, we will be transformed. Paul, Peter, and many others had the same experience once they’d experienced the revealed majesty of God’s splendor.

Dear Daddy,

We come and confess our awareness of our insignificance. You alone are the Faithful One who loves to redeem every situation and show Yourself to be strong. Forgive us for our lack of reverence. We thank You for our forgiveness that Jesus has made available for us. Now Father, as we read and say this prayer, I ask that You would restore a hundred fold our trust and confidence in You. Increase our faith. We thank You for Your presence because in it we are made whole. Now, exchange our hearts and fill us with Your Spirit so that we may live for You and give You glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to trust the bigness of God. Meditate on how big He is. When we do so, we are choosing to run to Him as our fortress. Choose to have full confidence in the ability of God to come through in your situation. He alone is the Faithful One who loves to redeem every situation and show Himself strong. Ask and expect to have a firsthand, divine encounter with Jesus as Paul did. I EMPOWER you to revel in His presence and watch how He reveals Himself to you!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Broken but Repairable

Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL.  Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”