I thought it was interesting because I have been thinking a lot about encountering God in a real, more manifest way. I have noticed when I talk about encountering God and feeling his spirit surrounding me, I am generally met with glazed looks of bewilderment. The more I post scripture about God's presence or talk about it, the more puzzled looks I get.
I just finished Numbers and started back through Deuteronomy. God is so present in so many different ways and so powerful that I find myself thinking that there is more to experiencing Him in our culture. Well, I know there is because I have experienced it. Luis and I experienced God's presence at the Cove so powerfully. I think the main reason was because every person came for the same reason: to encounter God and learn more about Him. We had incredible discussions with people we do not even know because we were all there for the same thing. Shouldn't church be like that? Shouldn't we all come there eager to talk to others about Christ? Shouldn't we all want to encounter the Lord our God in a real and manifest way?
Following are some excerpts to spark some thought...
“The silence of God” has been a popular theme, but it misrepresents God. Christ’s name, “the Word,” hardly suggests a silent God. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit spoke through 120 throats. He came with the noise of a tornado, and inspired a roar of praise of 120 men and women speaking in tongues. They spoke, but he gave them utterance – a noise directly echoing God’s noise."
The worship of God is the best of all opportunities as an outlet for exuberance. To worship God we should let our spirit soar without the weights and fears of social custom to repress us.
It is one of the greatest tragedies in history that the church should have decided to adopt the attitude of subdued emotions for worship. Calling that solemnity “reverence” is an abuse of the English language. How “reverent” is it to be glum when remembering all God has done for us?
Our efforts not to be emotional when God is in view must come as a surprise to God. Is he happy with switched-off worshipers, deadpan faces, as rigid as gravestone figures? … Frigid worship is excused as “dignified.” The nine-fold fruit of the Spirit does not include dignity. Dignity is no response to Christ crucified. In Scripture, worshipers fall at the feet of Christ. On the day of Pentecost believers were thought to be drunk as they left the upper room."
My prayer is that we are released to worship God with abandonment. I pray that we really, deep down inside can appreciate what Christ did for us. I pray that we all come to church for the right reasons, and that our focus is on Christ and not each other. I pray that we lift up God and what He has done and not people. I want the foundation to shake and a cloud to fill the building.
It comes down to this: I love God. I love Christ, and what He did for me is worthy of ALL I can give Him. And that means all of me and all of my life.
Let's give Him everything we have!
Love you all in Him,