Let me say this. Not everyone encounters God the same way. Ya see, I always knew ABOUT God, but I never KNEW Him. I knew God in the same sense that we all know the President. Yeah, we know what he looks like and could pick him out of a lineup, but we don't know his favorite color. I want to be that close to God. I want to know His favorite color.
I was raised the son of a Baptist Preacher and the grandson of a Baptist song-leader in a church of about 50 people. I knew the Scriptures backwards, forwards and diagonally and I loved knowing the Scripture. I loved being the guy who knew a lot about God and therefore everyone just assumed I also knew Him.
My father and I were never really close when I was growing up. I was afraid of and respected my father but there wasn't a close relationship there. I definitely transposed some of those feelings about my daddy to Father God.
There was a certain time when I was 16 and I was reading Scripture getting ready to preach my first sermon and I was reading the story of The Prodigal Son. And we all know that story (It can be found in Luke Ch. 15 if you don't), but I'll give you a synopsis:
A young man goes to his father and requests his inheritance before it is due and receives it.
The young man goes off and squanders off his inheritance and ends up sharing a slop trough
with pigs. And he thinks, "A servant at my father's house lives better than this. I will go home
and be a servant of my father." He heads home and his father sees him coming a long way off.
His father runs out and meets him, puts a new ring on his finger, throws a new robe over him
and throws a party.
Now, I don't know about you, but if I was this father, I don't know if I would be as forgiving as he was. But, when I was 16, I saw God in this parable and I broke down. I started crying and couldn't contain myself. Say hello to Father God, the God that forgives and puts a new ring (symbolizing Covenant) and a new coat (symbolizing protection) on me. This was the first time in my life that I remember wanting a relationship with God and being more than the guy that knew a lot ABOUT God.
That's my big encounter with God moment. There was no worship band playing music, no big-name preacher giving a sermon, but just the Scripture, me and God. And with this, I encourage you to take Scripture seriously, for it reveals to you the Secret things of God. Take time to get to know your Daddy. He loves you. He wants a Covenant with you and He wants to provide for and protect you.