I stepped up to the podium at Allen AME church in New York City. The musicians had finished singing and playing, yet there remained a lingering sense of God’s weighty presence. God had given me a message, and the moment for it was perfect.
I motioned to the keyboardist to keep playing. The room was electric with the sense that something unusual was about to happen. I opened my Bible and read this song: O, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; Tremble before and reverently fear Him, all the earth (Psalm 96:9).
Suddenly, from the back of the church, a woman screamed. On the opposite side, someone started to sob. Worshipers were standing at the back with hands raised, even though I had begun to preach.
We were getting glimpses of the greatness and the glory of God. At times I had to stop speaking because I was overwhelmed. Other times I sang parts of the message. It was as if someone was speaking through me, painting a picture of worship on the other side. I fought back the tears. The weight of God’s manifest presence was so heavy on us.
Three keys occurred that day that caused us to encounter God.
First, the worship team had led us in transcendent songs of praise and worship TO God. We had sung our way into God’s manifest presence.
Second, there were worshippers present who were hungry for God, with hearts focused, receptive, and anticipating meeting God. They were there to worship and encounter Him.
Third, and most importantly, we were contemplating the greatness and grandeur of God, which took us to a higher level of worship.
These are key principles in encountering the power of God’s revealed presence. To begin to encounter God we must focus on God, we must look at what God has revealed about Himself. A glimpse of the divine nature of God will pull our mind and hearts upward.
For example, God is self-existent. God has no origin and exists independent of all other creatures. He is self-existent and self-dependent. He exists for Himself, and man exists for Him.
God is also self-sufficient. He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. He contains all and He gives all that is given. He upholds all things. He maintains and sustains everything without help from anyone or anything.
When we meditate or declare these attributes of God our spirits are pulled toward Him. Our gaze is higher and our hearts are overwhelmed. At that moment we sensed God was revealed among us.
How would you adjust your life to focus more on the greatness of God? I would enjoy hearing your comments about your God encounter.