For most people a spiritual encounter means having a vision, maybe coming face to face with a ghost or experiencing the supernatural. The truth is we all have spiritual encounters every day and every moment of our lives. Some are more severe than others for the strength and depth they may signify. Below are some examples of spiritual encounters and why a spiritual encounter is relevant to us.
1. Spiritual encounters in the physical realm
When we communicate with each other we use words and mannerisms that pass on our message across to each other. However beneath the surface is our intention behind these words and the spirit of what we wish the outcome to be. We may wish it to be in favor of our needs or for those of others but the fact remains that our spirits desire something from the outcome. By this same token the person we communicate with also wishes something of us or for themselves. The expressions that we exhibit, whether it is a frown or a smile may define our demeanor, however God looks within our hearts to search for what spirit we carry within us at the time. This type of spiritual encounter can be very subtle and escape the eye if we were having a passive discussion.
Example: A simple example is asking for directions. We start out being as polite as we can be because we seek help. This is the spirit of humility. If who we ask is unhelpful and rude, then we face a spirit or arrogance. We may react negatively and respond in kind. This has changed our spirit of humility to one of arrogance. In the end we have been tempted and failed. On the other hand we may ignore them. This is the spirit of forgiveness.
In the bible a good example to use as reference here is the parable of the Good Samaritan. In this he demonstrated a spirit of kindness.
Another type of spiritual encounter is when we deliberate about things. It could be preparing for an interview, recovering from a relationship, amending a relationship or celebrating success. In these different scenarios our thoughts are transpired to our actions and we can recognize the type of spirit that is within us.
Example: Let us assume that we have received a positive response from a job interview. This would give us the spirit of joy. We start dreaming up scenarios of what we shall do with the money we earn. Our joy needs to be celebrated and so we call up friends. Maybe even decide to thank God. This is a spirit of joy, and gratitude for the mercy that God has shown us.
In the bible a good example to use as reference are the evil thoughts that King Saul had of David. In this example although Saul had once been an anointed when he hated David for his courage he was possessed by the spirit of evil and jealousy.
2. Spiritual encounters in the spiritual realm
These spiritual encounters are obvious ones because we exist in spirit and what we experience is spiritual. This is a gift from God to those whom he wishes to reach in this manner. Some examples of this in the bible is the experience of the Prophets, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John in the book of Revelation.
This is also spiritual, almost similar to that of a vision and once more the experience is shared in the spiritual realm. Examples of this in the bible are the dreams experienced by Daniel and Joseph and many more.
3. Importance of spiritual encounters
Why it is important to understand what a spiritual encounter means is to teach us at all times where our spirit is and how we can abide in faith to the word of God. In the physical realm we need to have control of what we do and what we say and the intention behind these actions. Knowing what a spiritual encounter is guides us through this. In the spiritual realm we learn that things are now beyond our control and instead of living in fright we allow God to take control of the situation.