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Divine encounters come and go. Sometimes we act on them; other times we allow them to pass us by without even giving them a second thought. God places people in our lives with His purposes in mind. It is through people we encounter the opportunities to see God orchestrating our circumstances. A divine encounter might be a majestic incredible moment or it might just be a simple everyday activity like opening the door for someone or giving them your seat on the bus. No matter what, each time we are obedient to his appointments we are opening ourselves up to more appointments. In Mark 4:24 Jesus states, “For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” The more we take advantage of small opportunities to be used by God, the more He will entrust to us. It works similar to credit cards. The more you pay your bills on time, the more credit you might be able to get. If you don’t pay your bills on time, there is less chance for a larger credit limit.
Using a Biblical example, let’s look at an incident in David’s life where one ‘unnamed man’ was placed in David’s life for a specific purpose. In 1 Samuel 30, the Philistines rejected David. David’s wives were captured by the Amalekites. Great distress filled David because the people spoke of stoning him, but God miraculously strengthened his soul. David asked God if he should pursue the Amalekites, and God answered, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” While the Amalekites were dancing and drinking because of the great spoil they just received from the Philistines, David took 400 men to defeat the Amalekites. In a “divine encounter,” David’s men found “an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David.” David asked him where he was from and he replied, “I am a young man of Egypt, a servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago.” In God’s orchestration, this one man led David to the “rejoicing men” and David’s band of men struck them down! David rescued his wives and his men regained all their losses. God took this one sick man whose master let him stay behind to be the instrument for David’s men to defeat the Amalekites. Some may say this happened by chance, but I believe it was a divine encounter.
Yesterday, I was in a FedEx store for the sole purpose for FedEx to cut the spines off two books and hole-punch the rough draft of a new book I am writing. When the clerk brought out my completed work order, a woman who was standing at the counter next to me, saw the covers on my books and commented on how pretty they were. She noticed that they were Christian books, so she probably felt comfortable asking me if I had a smartphone figuring I might be a nice person. This lady had just stopped by the Fed-Ex store to ask for directions to the Attorney General’s Child Support Building. She had been driving around for 2 hours trying to locate it without success. I assumed she wanted me to find out the location of the office was with my phone. So, after I paid for my order, we moved over to an unoccupied counter and I looked up the directions for her. We introduced ourselves and I proceeded to call the Child Support Office. While being on hold listening to the Child Support Office’s recording requesting me to push Number 1 for this; Number 2 for this; Number 3 for this, and more, Terri was sharing about all her family problems — moving to Texas, her son, and other miscellaneous concerns. I really couldn’t concentrate on all she was saying between being on the telephone and trying to listen to her. But here was a perfect stranger sharing her life with another perfect stranger in a FedEx store. As I was helping her find directions, I knew this was a divine encounter. I gave Terri detailed instructions on how to get to her destinations, which she really needed as the major street she needed to go down was closed, due to Houston’s torrential floods in April 2016. I gave her my Greene Pastures business card and asked her to call me to let me know she arrived at the Child Support office. I haven’t heard from her, but she does have my number.
The point is that God orchestrates even little encounters (some call them divine appointments) in our lives. We may or may not even know why these encounters occur, but God does.
- What are the chances I’d be ministering to a lady who happened to be in a FedEx store just looking for directions?
- What are the chances I knew that the exact route she needed to take had been flooded and was closed? [Remember, this is Houston, Texas with a population of 4.5 million people.]
- What are the chances that I had been to the building she was looking for a few years ago with a friend?
I will not look upon this simple chance meeting as a random meeting. It was a God-orchestrated event to fulfill His purpose.
- I could have ignored her at the counter.
- I could have cut the conversation short and gone on my way!
- I could not have cared.
- I could have missed the opportunity to pray for this lady.
Only God knows the purpose. Maybe she just needed to know someone cares, maybe she just needed directions, maybe she just needed to know there are some good people in life, or maybe it was just that we were supposed to exchange pleasantries. I would love to know what her thoughts were about our encounter, but I probably won’t ever know. But, that’s okay. I know God was guiding me to be nice to this woman. God can use one person or a multitude of people to create divine appointments. To use an everyday cliché, we may be the only Jesus someone sees. And visa versa, they might be the Jesus we need to see.
I decided to look over my prayer requests over the past week. They included:
- Show me what is missing in my ministry;
- Lord, let me stop and smell the roses; and
- Give me creativity in my next blog.
Through this encounter at FedEx, all of these requests were answered — In His time and in His way.
Have you had a divine encounter you would like to share? If not, I trust you will keep your eyes open for your upcoming “FedEx” experience!
Be prepared for divine encounters.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am about to come to you in a thick cloud in order that the people will hear me talking with you so that they will always trust you.” Moses told the Lord what the people said, and the Lord said to Moses: “Go to the people and take today and tomorrow to make them holy. Have them wash their clothes. Be ready for the third day, because on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai for all the people to see.” Exodus 19:9-11
Divine encounters can change your life.
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Acts 9:1-5 ESV
Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for being in my life. Thank you ahead of time for the divine appointments you have already planned for me to encounter. I pray that my eyes will recognize how you desire to work in my life. Use me Lord. I love you so much. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.