How can we humans have an encounter with a spirit-God who is both invisible and holy? We cannot see something or someone who is spirit. And the sight of his perfection—his holiness—would kill us.
Even so God, who is always more ready to draw near to us than we to him, can and does reveal himself in symbolic forms. Some are simple and easy to understand and others are baffling and complex. But whatever the symbolic form, or however obscure, the impact on the individual is always overwhelming.
Pascal claims to have had such an experience with the Lord. Scholars are both frustrated and intrigued by his sparse details of the event. With mathematical precision he records not only the date, but the precise times of its beginning and end. Except for the content of the encounter, he lease us one words only—“FIRE”.
Others have commonly described themselves as weeping, as feeling a loss of strength, as trembling, as experiencing a strange combination of joy and terror. When the utter holiness of God is in view, people often suffer from an appalling sense of their own wretchedness and of their own sin.
At other times, God grants us experiences of himself that overwhelm us with his love, joy and peace. Although our perceptions are feeble compared to the blazing reality that nearly knocks us out, we sense that this love, joy and peace are eternal reality.
Other experiences are far more ordinary, yet the Lord is in them as well. He knows what we need. Sometimes he will stretch our faith by not showing himself at all. The real miracle is that he cares enough to tailor each of our spiritual journeys in the way that we need in order to draw us closer to himself.
-Pastor Dino Griffin