For as long as I can remember I have been a fan of football. Pro, College, High School, Recreation, Fantasy, flag, you name it, if it involves football I’m in. Growing up, a highlight of my year was going to my Uncle Lamar and Aunt Velta’s for Thanksgiving to join in the right of passage for all the Toole cousins, The Thanksgiving Bowl. We played “lights out”. We finally realized it was time to hang up the cleats when our Moms were not the ones calling us to the dinner table but our wives. With this “heritage” it will not surprise you that I was excited to “encounter” one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, FSU’s Bobby Bowden, at a FCA Banquet in Vidalia, Georgia. I was excited to meet him and certainly did not know what to expect. I was introduced to Coach Bowden as he sat at his table eating his grilled pork chop. I will never forget it….as we were talking he looked up at his server and asked for ketchup to eat with his pork chop! Ketchup…..Bobby Bowden eats ketchup with his pork chop. This may not appear important to you but I realized at that moment that this “great coach” who many look to, admire and some even worship is just an ordinary common man! As a matter of fact it was like I was talking to my own Grandfather who loved to eat his pork chops with ketchup as well. It was great encountering Coach Bobby Bowden and I was blessed to hear him share his incredible story but the “encounter” we need most is not another encounter with a “great” man but with a “great” Savior!
Encountering Jesus is wonderful but it is not always easy. He is continually pressing us to move from where we are to where He desires for us to be. Encountering Jesus will demand change in our life.
Encountering Jesus will demand that we “take off” some things.
Moses: When Moses encountered God through the burning bush, God told him to “take off” his shoes because he was standing on Holy Ground. Moses’ shoes represent the journey he had been on to that point but God said to take them off. Through this encounter God was going to take Moses from his journey and place him on HIS MISSION! It was not about what Moses could do or even what he could not do but rather about the presence of the Great I Am walking with him in HIS MISSION!
David: When David encountered God he “took off” his “kingly” garments, humbled himself and worshiped God! David “took off” any mark of pride, arrogance, and even his “rightful” place in the eyes of man to enter into Worship! Encountering Jesus will change your Worship! If it doesn’t, you may have heard a great song or singer, a great message or preacher, but you haven’t encountered HIM!
Encountering Jesus will demand that we “bury” some things.
Joshua: Joshua was told by God “Moses is dead” now you take the people, cross Jordan and take the land I have given you. You can’t hang on the “robe tails” of Moses any more! You’ve got to get rid of fear and walk on HIS WORD! Time for a funeral and a burial! The past, both the bad and the good, should never stop you from walking into your future with HIM in victory! “Bury” those “dead things” and the things that “bring death”! Walk into HIS MISSION with anointing and power! “Bury” the “old man” and let JESUS live through you! Galations 2:20a “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me”! Satan will remind you of your past but Jesus NEVER will! He can’t because He has forgot it! What a Savior!
We may encounter men and leave inspired, impressed, and even in awe, but when we truly “Encounter Jesus” we will always leave changed!