What’s your greatest need today?

Published 9:48 pm Thursday, April 27, 2017

By Larry Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene. 

What is your greatest need today?  Could you use a better job with higher salary?  Does your old car that is in need of constant repair, need to be replaced? Has caring for aging parents become an overwhelming and daunting task?  Maybe, your home is in need of major upgrades or repair? This list could go on forever. The bottom line is that life is always crashing in on us at one point or another.

While I can’t do much about domestic issues that we all are facing, I can recommend the one experience that can give you a better foundation to face whatever traumatic experiences are going on in your life. That recommendation would be a “fresh encounter with God.”

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One of the great encounters with God recorded in the Bible is found in Isaiah chapter 6. The people of God had become wicked and rebellious. God had stricken King Uzziah with leprosy for his role in leading the people away from the Lord. Israel was spiritually dead.

While in the Temple, the Prophet Isaiah had a fresh encounter with God. The presence of an almighty God was so powerful that the place literally shook. Isaiah trembled in the presence of God.

In this encounter with God, Isaiah became dreadfully aware of his own sinfulness. As God revealed his holiness to Isaiah, the prophet confessed his sin and disobedience in deep repentance. God forgave him, removed his guilt, cleansed him, and called him to a redemptive mission to reconcile the Children of Israel back to himself. What an experience!

There is a very distinct pattern in this epoch in the life of Isaiah that will help all of us today with a fresh encounter with God. It’s all a part of God’s redemptive mission to reconcile the world back to Himself.

Just as Israel was going through tough times, many individuals and churches are in despair today over the spiritual and moral conditions that surround us. Actions that were once criminal or disgraceful are now fashionable. We should not be surprised by the spiritual darkness that hangs over us like a cloud.

God’s invitation for us today is no different than it was with Isaiah. The particulars may not be the same but the key elements remain.

The question is “Are you hungry or thirsty enough for a fresh encounter with God to make a major turnaround in your life?”

Far too many people are not satisfied with their current relationship with the Lord. Their new life in Jesus Christ has not blossomed as they thought it would.

The answer is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which reads, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Healing and restoration are found in repentance.  Many times today, people have found themselves going through life with the “joy” of their relationship through Jesus Christ having totally disappeared or being greatly diminished.

You may be thinking that you have no need of repentance.  That is where Satan wants all of us to exist.  But, a study of the people of God has always included times of repentance and restoration.  It’s central to our being reconciled to God.

We all have many needs today.  Financial limitations hinder many of the changes necessary in day to day maters.  Thankfully, spiritual matters have no attachments, fiscal or otherwise.  Your faith and God’s grace will always be a catalyst for revitalizing your relationship with the Lord.

I have shared a prayer with many people through the years, “Lord I’m yours.

Whatever it takes for me to be the person You want me to be, Your will be done.”  Praying that prayer can be revolutionary in your life.  It will begin with repentance and a desire to seek and do the will of God.

That kind of fresh encounter with God will make your life “Simply Beautiful.”