Close Encounters

Being the worship leader at Family Worship Center, I get to experience on a weekly basis what I consider one of the most powerful modern miracles:

God showing up for an encounter with those that worship Him.

Yup, I said it.  The Creator of everything (nitrogen, pine needles, galaxies and E minor to name a few) clearing His schedule to hook up with you.

I know what you’re thinking, “I thought God is everywhere.  He is omnipresent.”  And you are correct.  But I’m not talking about His omnipresence.  I’m referring to His manifest presence.

Big difference.  People all over the world are in the omnipresence of God right now , yet there is no change in their life.  The sad truth is there are many Christians experiencing those same results.

That’s just not possible when experiencing God’s manifest presence.  That kind of encounter will change you forever.  One of the most amazing accounts in scripture is recorded in Acts 16:25-26 (NLT) after Paul and Silas were thrown in jail for sharing the gospel:

Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.  Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!

Dude, let that soak in for a sec.

Now you may not be sitting in a prison cell persecuted for sharing your faith, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the life changing presence of God in your life right now!  How is this possible?

Psalms 22:3 (ESV) portrays a unique characteristic of God in His response to praise:

For You [God] are holy, enthroned on (or dwelling in) the praises of Israel.

This means God resides and hangs out wherever He is praised.  If you want an encounter with Him, then praise Him with your whole heart.  Don’t give Him what’s left after a busy week with kids, work, school, and the zillion other things that are on your weekly check list.  Resist the urge to present the Maker of everything with your left overs.

This Sunday – or any day for that matter – make the choice and stand in faith to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” in your worship and see what you encounter!

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4 thoughts on “Close Encounters

  1. This post makes a lot of sense but it’s something most Christians probably don’t put a lot of thought into. Because God is omnipresent a lot of us don’t get into a true, worshipful encounter with God. That’s why I like this post so much, it makes the reader think about how awesome it is that the one God who is everywhere at once wants to have a one-on-one encounter with His people and this happens when we praise Him. Great post Carlos!

  2. Excellent word. The encounter we have with God in worship is unique and cannot be found in any other way. But is only possible if we are seeking that close encounter with Christ. Thanks for the thoughts and now I can’t wait to worship with you in the morning!

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