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A Journey To An Encounter With God

By Leslie Griffith
Many people who were raised in a Christian household, attended Sunday School, and have never killed anybody, think they will go to Heaven when they die. To even begin to have an encounter with God, it is necessary to become baptized, and by baptized it means immersed in water. This is what it means to become “born again.”

Living in a Christian household doesn’t make anyone a Christian any more than living in a garage makes them a car. So, why is it necessary to go through the ritual of being born again? The Bible says that anyone who believes in Christ will have eternal life. That’s the thing. Even demons believe. Satan believes. That is why it is necessary to stand up in front of witnesses and declare one’s allegiance to Christ and turn away from sin.

Living a sinless life takes more than just controlling the urge to kill people. God is aiming for a much higher standard than just not being a serial killer. Turning away from sin means turning away from smoking, cursing, drunkenness and pilfering office supplies from work.

Being sinless isn’t easy. Satan is constantly littering our paths with temptation. The good news is, God sent the Holy Spirit to whip us into shape to become Heaven-ready. He fills us up, makes crucial changes right down to our DNA and makes us squeaky clean from the inside out. This, according to John 14:15-18.

Over time, people with the Holy Spirit start to change. Jokes that were once hilarious suddenly seem tacky and offensive. The urge to smoke, drink or use drugs starts to fade. People become calmer and more forgiving. Computer games and gambling give way to reading the Bible and spending time in prayer.

Another Christian practice is that of fasting. There are two ways to observe a fast. One is the water fast, in which no food is taken from morning until evening, only water and very dilute fruit juice. It is important to spend time in prayer and reading scripture, otherwise you are just on a diet. The other method of fasting is the 21-day Daniel fast. This involves a very strict vegan regime. No sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, animal products or leavened bread are allowed.

The second approach to fasting is the Daniel fast. This goes on for 21 days, 24/7. Here, there are no restrictions on when to eat or how much. However, it is severely restricted to fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. No sugar is permitted, nor are artificial sweeteners or preservatives, or any form of animal products. Quality oils are permitted. It takes real commitment and concentration to pull off a successful Daniel fast. It also requires prayer and reading scripture.

All of these Christian practices bring a person closer to having an encounter with God. Baptism, reading the Bible, praying and fasting. Tithing, the practice of giving 10 percent of all income back to God, from whom all blessings come, is an essential part of behaving like a Christian. This is not just an Old Testament thing; it is a covenant thing. Abraham is recorded as giving a tithe to Melchizidek when he fought the King of Sodom. A covenant is everlasting. All scripture is inspired by God, not just the New Testament.

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