Monday, July 11, 2011

This Can't Be Happening!

There I was sitting cross-legged on the couch. A woman was playing a small electric keyboard and singing her heart out to the Lord. It wasn't very musical (I have a degree in music.) but there was something about it, something that I can't describe - a thick and wonderful presence - oh I knew it was Jesus. I had once sat in the candle lit sanctuary where the quiet presence of God was so heavy you felt as if you couldn't get off the floor - just amazing.

I love the presence of God, and sometimes it just makes me joyful! This week the brethren will be writing about one of those times! We hope it will lift your Spirit, and you may soar like and eagle in the presence of The Almighty!

I do love the presence of God, I mean isn't that what we are are going to do in heaven, be in His eternal presence!?!? The wonderful thing about being before the Father is that it is always different. The day that I passed from darkness to light, I can't even describe the feeling; I just wept. The time I sat on the floor of the sanctuary with Father Ralph, it was like a creamy topping was just poured out on us.

Of course there were times of deep sadness when I could feel the hand of the Lord on my shoulder as I grieved the loss of a friend. And that crazy day on the couch at home-group with the cheesy Casio keyboard and the woman with the screechy voice; my body seemed to shiver with waves of grace. There have been many times during musical worship that I could reach into the heavens and God would touch me in repentance; I mean my knees shook! Of course there were times when tears of gratitude flowed gently down my cheeks as listened to a chorus from a Vineyard song.

Did I say that I love the presence of God?

Years I ago I would read the Bible through in a year, but each day it would also include a chapter in Psalms or Proverbs. I read about shouting to the Lord (Psalm 27:6), dancing before the Lord (Psalm 149:3),  crying out in repentance (Psalm 51), or asking God to rescue (Psalm 40) the writer. There was so many things that I had not experienced yet. And then one day... the presence of God came on us at a Christian conference late in the evening. Me and some others were standing on the sidewalk outside the front doors of the auditorium. Among us was a woman with a Russian accent. As we reminisced about the meeting, I felt led to pray for her. “Lord, I just pray that your Holy Spirit would come.” She gently fell into the bushes along the sidewalk; her hair got caught in an evergreen shrub. As one of the women there helped her get untangled, I prayed for some of the others that were present.

One by one, the Holy Spirit descended on each of them. My friend Carlos was laughing so hard he could not stand up. Another friend, a Korean woman named Hyangnan, was doubled over laughing too. There was a woman named Kathy and she was hanging on to a fence railing unable to speak the joy was so wonderful.

Our little group of drunks prayed for everyone that came down the sidewalk. Soon there were a couple of dozen people, some standing, some laying in the grass, some laughing, some on the sidewalk, some healed, and some prophesying; it was amazing! As the instigator, I was enjoying myself in the presence of God as never before. If you knew me, this was far too out of control in the natural, but in my spirit it all seemed so vibrant, so rich, and so filling.

At exactly 1 o’clock in the morning, the lawn sprinklers went off showering the seemingly drunken conference-goers. Moments later the Campus Police drove pulled up to what must have been a familiar college scene. I was elected the spokesman. The officer rolled down the window, “What’s going on here?” he asked without getting out of the car.

“Officers,” I said “these men and woman are not drunk as you might suppose, but they are filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2)

They gave a look at those laughing, and laying on the sidewalk. “Well,” said the officer in the passenger seat, “do you think that you could get them to leave in an orderly fashion?”

“I could do that.” I replied.

We decided to go out to Denny's and spend some time talking about all that God had done that night. Even today, it seems sort of surreal to me; its been about 12 or 13 years since that time. It makes me joyful just to think about the presence of God, which you know by now, I love.

How about you, do you love the presence of God?


Andrea York said...

I love the presence of the Lord too, in fact, you could say I'm addicted to it.

I love your testimony of joy; it's those moments that I cling to when I'm not feeling so joyful in the moment. The God of Joy is the SAME God that seems to be silent during a dark night of the soul and I return to the joy memory to get me through the darkness.

Joyce Lighari said...

I really miss the days of "new-winos"

Tracy said...

God is so good; here He is the All Mighty Creator of the universe, yet He wants to let us be in His presence, to give us His joy - incredible!