The Laws of Encounter
Prophet Elisee Yao / 20 Oct 2019
Any man who has a genuine encounter with God changes. Moses had an encounter with the burning bush and came back completely changed. Similarly, Jacob, having wrestled the Angel of the Lord, was never the same again. If you want an encounter with God, these are the four laws that you need to apply:
- The law of persistence
- The law of consistency
- Knowing what you want
- The law of desperation
The Law of Persistence
Elisha (2 Kings 2) was a farmer who was minding his own business when Elijah came into his life. Elisha was neither Elijah’s disciple nor had he trained for ministry at a ‘Bible school’. Even so, Elisha understood one key principle: to persistently follow Elijah. Elisha perceived that whatever God wanted to give him was inside Elijah. The sons of the prophets, by comparison, were trained up over the years and knew that Elijah was about to be taken but they did nothing about it. They were eager to see him replaced, not knowing that they were disregarding the law of perseverance. To persevere is to continue in the face of opposition; to not give up no matter what challenges you are faced with. Elisha tapped into and applied this law. On their journey together, Elijah kept telling Elisha to “stay here”, yet Elisha persisted in following Elijah. How many people today are trusting God for an encounter, yet, give up in the middle of that pursuit? It is because many of us are not trained to persevere in the Presence. Sadly, we have been trained to enjoy instead of endure. Endurance is continuing to pray even though you don’t hear from the Lord. The Bible tells us that, “You will…find [God] when you seek [Him] with all your heart (Jer 29:13, NIV) and the Lord “rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb 11:6, NIV). God will not be found by you if you seek Him with half or even three-quarters of your heart; He desires to be the pursuit of your WHOLE heart.
We have been trained to enjoy instead of endure.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov 13:12, NIV). Another reason why people give up so quickly is because they lack hope. Perseverance is lacking in the church and the world today. How often do we cry out to God saying, “You promised me, Lord, how long must I wait?” to which the Lord answers, “Endure! My Spirit is with you”, because “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt 24:13, NKJV). If you don’t have endurance, you can’t win. The Christian walk is not a 100m sprint, it is a lengthily endurance race. Will we endure like Elisha did, in spite of the challenges and ridicule he faced? Or will we lose hope and give up?
"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us"
The Law of Consistency
When you are consistent, you are steady, reliable, and dependable – you do what you say you will do and keep doing it. Elisha was consistent, after initially following Elijah, Elisha consistently told Elijah, “I will not leave you,” and followed through (2 Kings 2:2,4,6, NKJV). The kingdom has laws, and if you don’t walk according to these laws you cannot access anything in the spirit. Similar to our lack of perseverance, many of us are inconsistent: we do what God tells us to do for a short time, then we stop, and then when God reminds us, we do it again, and so it continues. To the inconsistent, the Lord is good one day, and then they are unsure of His goodness the next. We need to ask ourselves: can we start something and actually finish it? There might be trials, tribulation, and temptation along the way (just like Elisha’s experience), but we must choose to commit to finishing. Inconsistent people cannot receive from God because the Word says that “a double-minded man [is] unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8, NKJV). Such a man or woman cannot encounter God. If you want the glory, you need to persevere and be consistent.
Knowing What You Want
Elijah understood heavenly portals. He knew that since the Jordan was an entry point for the promised land that the exit would be at that same location. When they were crossing the Jordan, Elijah knew he was close to the exit, so he asked Elisha: “what can I do for you (v9)?” Consider that Elijah did not ask this until Elisha had persevered with him all the way and across the Jordan. Then, imagine the outcome of Elisha being double-minded in his response saying, “I don’t know.” Thankfully, this was not the case: Elisha knew what he wanted.
When Jesus saw Bartimaeus, He asked him the same question Elijah asked Elisha: “what do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51, NIV). One problem is that we so often assume what people want when praying for them, while we should rather ask them what they want. God can only do what you want; He will not do what you don’t want.
God can only do what you want; He will not do what you don’t want.
So Elisha asked Elijah to “inherit a double portion” (v9). Elisha knew exactly what he wanted and it must be the same with us. When we want to encounter God, we must know what we want. We cannot just seek God blindly. Don’t just ask for the Presence, you must be able to defend your case: tell God why you want it! The Presence isn’t something to joke around with; if you want the Presence you must have a pure reason. Many of us are not receiving anything that we want, because we don’t know how to pray. It is not only about what you want, it is about the motives of your heart: why do you want it? When you lay your requests before God, let the reason why you want whatever you want be pure, according to God’s agenda on earth. Father God will be happy to give you whatever you desire, if you consistently link what you want with God’s agenda,
Elisha also had to acknowledge what Elijah had in order to receive the mantle from him (saying, “My father, my father…”, v12). Elijah had planned to leave earth with his mantle. The one condition for Elisha receiving it was if his eyes were open in the Spirit. When he received Elijah’s mantle Elisha struck the water with it and the sea parted yet again (v14). Elisha perceived the value of the mantle, and acknowledged that he needed what it had to offer. Elisha was persistent, consistent, and knew precisely what he wanted, that is why he had such a powerful encounter, and received Elijah’s mantle with the double-portion. He aligned himself with, and applied, the principles of the kingdom.
Be encouraged to not stop pressing on until you get what you want, even if it means taking up a night vigil to just sit and pray. Many Christians don’t know what they want: they want the Presence but they are not willing to pay the price (sitting and spending precious time with Him). If you really want God, then there is a price to pay.
If you really want God, then there is a price to pay.
The Law of Desperation
Bartimaeus had a need and he was desperate. Bartimaeus was a blind man sitting in the streets of Jericho, and he heard that Jesus was in town. Since he could not see, he chose to believe the testimonies he had heard about Jesus. He shouted out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me! (Mark 10:47, NIV). By calling out Jesus’ genealogy, Bartimaeus was acknowledging Jesus as the messiah. This all coming from a blind man who had never seen Jesus perform miracles, had never read the Bible, and had never been inside a synagogue (because those with disabilities were not allowed). In spite of this, Bartimaeus had faith in the testimonies of Jesus that he heard. The more they rebuked him and told him to be quiet, the louder Bartimaeus shouted. His desperation stopped heaven. Desperation has the ability to interrupt God. Jesus’ intention for being in Jericho was not to heal Bartimaeus, He was actually passing him by. But he was so desperate that Jesus was forced to stop and give him what he wanted before He could continue on His journey. Jesus connected faith to desperation when He said that “your faith has healed you” (v52). It means that faith cannot work without desperation. If you are not desperate for what you want, you can’t get it. Desperation compels you storm heaven for what you want!
Desperation has the ability to interrupt God.
When the mantle fell, Elisha did something: he took his own garment, and tore it. The lesson is that you cannot receive from God, until you are willing to lay down what you think you know. What prevents some of us from receiving in the atmosphere of glory, is our own knowledge. The church misses out because they are too busy analyzing while the teaching commences, instead of receiving from God in the moment. The same principle that applied to Elisha applies here: Bartimaeus also threw off his cloak (v50). The type of garment he was wearing was used to identify those in need. The moment Jesus called him, even before he received his healing, he knew that he no longer needed his old garment anymore. Bartimaeus believed that he would be healed before it even happened. Throwing off his cloak, he disassociated himself from the needy beggar he was before, knowing that he was about to receive what he so desperately longed for. Faith involves desperation and disconnection. Bartimaeus disconnected himself from his surroundings and former identity. If you are not disconnecting yourself from all the noises surrounding you (in your mind, and in your heart), you will not be able to see the glory of God. People don’t wish to change; those who are desperate for change do something about it. If you want the glory of the Lord, you must be a doer.
“We will not accidentally enter into revival. We will see it when we assume the posture to say, ‘I want You; I want You, alone, and I will not stop praying, I will not stop crying, I will not stop worshipping, until I see revival’” (William McDowell).
True revival will take your cry, your tears, your time, your prayers, your groanings in the presence of the Lord until you see it. And until you see it, don’t stop! You must be consistent, you must be persistent, you must know what you want, and you must be desperate for what you want…then suddenly the Presence of God will come.
Full Text Readings...
2 Kings 2:1-14 (New International Version)
Elijah Taken Up to Heaven
1When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.” 4Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 5The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.” 6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on. 7Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 10“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” 11As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. 13Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.
Mark 10:46-52 (New International Version)
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.