Have you ever had an encounter with the Living God? Do you have such encounters on a regular basis? Do you desire such an experience? If not, why not?
As I thought about this recently I came across Psalm 84 where the Psalmist describes an experience I’d consider an encounter or series of regular encounters with the living God. As I read the Psalm over a few times and reflected on its contents I noticed it focused on the heart.
Verse 2 says, “my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Verse 5 talks about how blessed are those “who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” Though the closing verses of the Psalm don’t mention the heart per se, they describe what I would call “heart bliss.” Thus, I came up with a simple outline for describing what I believe is involved in having an encounter with the living God. There are three progressive steps: a heart cry, a heart set and heart bliss.
Once a portion of the Bible is broken down into simple points like this, look to see how those points are amplified. What does the writer say about the heart crying out for the living God? What does he say about a heart set? And how does he describe genuine heart bliss? What’s it like to experience God in a meaningful, life transforming way?
Once you’ve worked that out ask yourself the questions I started with. Have I ever had an encounter with the living God? Do I have such experiences regularly? Would I want such an experience? If so, Psalm 84 tells you how to pursue it.