If you have been following this Blog for any length of time you have noticed that I am not like most Bloggers. You won't see a daily or even weekly post, especially those done mostly to boost readership. I am not interested in numbers for the sake of numbers. Nor is it my intention to try and convince those who are satisfied with their relationship with Jesus that they need to spend time in private worship. I am more interested in providing the hungry with a road map for entering into a long term pursuit of worshipping The Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. So, if you are hungry for God's manifested presence and refuse to stop until you see it then you're the person I am writing for.
It has been a little over a year since beginning my pursuit of His presence in private worship. At first, I think I had the idea that one day I would be in worship and God would suddenly show up and totally engulf me with Himself resulting in a life altering change. Don't get me wrong, I would still love for that to happen, but after a year of pursuing His presence I am coming to the realization that a one time encounter with God is not what this is about. He is more interested in a lifetime pursuit of Him rather than a one time spectacular encounter.
So, if this is not about a one time event in which God touches your lips with a coal from His altar, what can you expect?
Consider this, instead of looking for God to swoop in one day and sweep you off your feet, what if each moment you spend investing in the development of a love relationship with God the dividend is that a small fraction of His presence becomes a little more real to you? In other words, rather than God suddenly flooding you with Himself in a one time experience, His presence in you gradually becomes more apparent as His nature in you flourishes. That's right God's nature; His character, who He is, will begin to manifest more in you and through you each hour you spend in worship.
Here is an example of what I am referring to. Just this week I was having dinner with some fellow ministers in whom I have a great deal of respect. One of them made a comment that they could see a noticeable change in me and the peace that I am now walking in. When he said it, I noticed it for myself, and yes I am walking in much more peace than I have ever had before. I attribute this peace to the time I have spent in private worship and how this has allowed more of God's nature to manifest in and through me. You have to understand, to step into full time ministry as I and my wife have with no direct support from anyone but God, can be a little unsettling. But, instead of biting my nails and wondering where the money would come from, I have regularly spent time in private worship getting to know Jesus like never before. Consequently He has slowly been able to manifest Himself in me and His character is showing up to the point that others are able to see the change in me.
Another recent development is worth mentioning. The other day, following some time spent in private worship, the realization came to me that I was beginning to sense His presence a little more than before. I am not talking about in some dramatic way, but rather in a subtle way. Then, this example came to mind. Before I share it with you understand this is just an analogy to help get the idea across to you. I know that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, as well as, God is omnipresent so there is no place that God is not. With that being said here is the analogy. Have you ever walked into a room that was dark and you have had a knowing that there was someone else in that room with you. It was not like you could see the person, but you could feel that someone was there and the closer you got to them the stronger that feeling became. That is what I was sensing. A year ago I knew by faith that God would never leave me nor forsake me. Now, there seems to be a knowing in me that, although I can not see Him, I recognize His person much more now. With this knowing has come great peace and assurance like I have never had before.
I have had the opportunity to discuss this with Pastor Dave Roberson and he confirmed this to be true with him as well. He said that it is this presence that I have begun to experience that will continue to grow and develop until it will actually move to the atmosphere that surrounds me. When that happens, others will be able to experience His presence as they did when Peter's shadow fell on those who were instantly healed.
I can tell you now by experience that private worship has certainly changed me. Maybe not in the way that I had expected, but in a way that is none the less dramatic. To walk in this level of peace while faced with the challenges of life and ministry is priceless.
I want to encourage you to continue in the lifelong pursuit of His presence in private worship and allow Him to forever change you.