How to Encounter God for Small Groups & Individuals
There is nothing more valuable in this life than to have a real moment with God. The good news for all of us is that Jesus made it possible and gave us real tools to help us do just that. Jesus himself only did what He saw the Father doing and said what He heard the Father saying (John 5:19, 12:49) and so for us to represent heaven on earth (Matt 6:10) we could choose to follow Jesus' example. Practicing encounters and tilling the fertile ground of eternities supplies for the fallen world we live in is a very helpful practice for Christians to engage in. The invitation comes straight from scripture. Most of the book of Ephesians as well as Colossians 3:1&2 where it says,
Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth.
Step 1) Try to remove any distractions and do what you can to create a space where it's easy to focus.
a) Pray in Jesus' name and in His authority (Matt 28:18) that all spiritual distractions would be bound throughout this time, pray to lose heaven all around instead (Matt 18:18).
b) Use "soaking worship" videos from youtube like this one, or take a look at William Agusto and similar artists. If live music is possible, we highly recommend using a piano pad and keeping it very simple (focusing on a single chord like G or A with some light scaling) and with a low volume, even at about 20-30% of a normal volume.
Step 2) If you're facilitating then invite everyone to focus, to breathe in deeply and try to be present in the moment here and now. If you are leading yourself then after reading through these steps you can begin the steps from memory.
Step 3) Consider the invitation from Colossians 3:1&2 above. Take some time to put your mind on things above where Christ is seated. Imagine heaven and let it fill your thoughts, pushing out any head noise or distracting thoughts by pressing into the details. Try to imagine seeing heaven in detail, hear it, smell, taste and feel it. Maybe there's a sea of glass or 24 elders around the throne and so on.
Step 4) Imagine Jesus taking your right hand and saying, "I am your Advocate."
Now Father God takes your left hand and says, "I am your Defender."
Breath in deeply and that is the Holy Spirit, He says, "I am your Counselor."
Step 5) Begin to take this in and allow yourself to be advocated, defended, and counseled. Ask questions about current concerns, ask if you are loved, ask other questions that matter to you, and wait to hear the answers. No need to guess, just wait and something will come to you, be brave to believe and allow God to encounter you here.
Step 6) If anyone is having a particularly difficult season in their life, invite those to look down on their situation from here above it. Remind them that this is their position, where they are seated with Christ and encourage them in that. They can ask God for perspective that includes their own eternity. Much healing can come from this act so it is important to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Step 7) Pray for everyone, that what God has done would be kept by the blood of Jesus Christ and seal it. If the atmosphere is rich with Holy Spirit pray for everything in your heart, for physical, emotional healing, as well as a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Step 8) Ask if anyone can share their experience with the others. If you did this as an individual then also write out any accounts that you experienced. Consider practicing encounters like you would cultivate gratitude. Consider thinking on and writing out encounter experiences for 30-40 days straight. Cultivate your connection and deepen your relationship with the living God so that encounters are the normal, rather than the exception.
Please write to us about encounters you or others experienced. It would encourage us and others to hear about any encounters that you've had or helped others to have. email@example.com
If you feel that you are unable to encounter God or know people who feel this way please consider our Encounter Sessions service below. Click "Book Now" for more information.
If you'd prefer to invite a facilitator for this encounter or others please consider Joshua Marcengill for your Encounter service or check out our podcast for weekly sessions.