the staff assembled this morning. it’s the 2nd year of having a GODencounters here in Tennessee/Georgia (we are technically at Southern Adventist University). we added a few new people to the team and are waiting on a few others to come (volunteers from out-of-town and even out-of-state) but most of us met this morning for our first staff worship.
some of us spoke of our young adult friends, or those that have been mentioned to us, who need an encounter with the Living GOD. then some became vulnerable and spoke of the difficult times that have recently weighed heavy upon the soul.
it became real to me in that moment…
WE are in need of a fresh encounter with the Living GOD!
After reading Jeremiah 24:7 – “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart,” as well as some other texts, we began to pray. I must admit that, at first, I did not feel like praying. But then it happened. Something took over me, something I call the Holy Spirit. I was impressed that I must pray, I must seek God, I must return to God… because although all of life’s chaos and busyness and brokenness, GOD has given me a heart to know Him! GOD, the Supreme Ruler of the universe. GOD, the Almighty Lord of lords and King of kings. GOD, who is from everlasting and to everlasting. GOD, who is the Father of all compassion. Yes… this GOD has given me a heart to know Him! What a terrible and beautiful gift – a heart from GOD, to know Him and not my own ways. I’m broken in His grace and restored in His mercy. He loves me that much that He would see my sin-stained selfish heart and say, “No, that won’t do. Here, take this one instead… with it you will know Me, and when you know Me, it is salvation!” (John 17:3 reference)
So because of this new heart GOD has given me, it allowed me to pray. It inspired me to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy in time of need. There I was. There we were… encroaching into the throne room of GOD through prayer – seeking to encounter this LIVING GOD.
It is just moments before our first GODencounters gathering for the week – only a few hours to go… and it’s becoming clear that this time and this place and this Divinely-saturated space has been set apart by GOD Himself… so He may give people hearts to know Him, so He may be their Lord and they will be His people, returning to GOD will all their heart.