I stepped up to the podium at Allen AME church in New York City. The musicians had finished singing and playing, yet there remained a lingering sense of God’s weighty presence. God had given me a message on worship in the beauty of holiness, and the moment for it was perfect.
I motioned to the keyboardist to keep playing. The room was electric with the sense that something unusual was about to happen. I opened my Bible and read this song: O, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness; Tremble before and reverently fear Him, all the earth.
Suddenly, from the back of the church, a woman screamed. On the opposite side, someone started to sob. Worshippers were standing at the back with hands raised, even though I had begun to preach.
We were getting glimpses of the greatness and the glory of God. At times I had to stop speaking because I was overwhelmed. Other times I sang parts of the message. I fought back the tears. The weight of God’s manifest presence was so heavy on us.
Three important things happened that night:
First, the atmosphere was well prepared by the worship team, who led us in transcendent songs of praise and worship to God. We had sung our way into God’s manifest presence.
Second, the worshippers present were hungry for God, with hearts focused, receptive, and anticipating meeting God. They were there to worship and encounter God.
Third, and most importantly, we were contemplating the greatness and grandeur of God, which took us to a higher level of worship. These are key principles in encountering the power of God’s revealed presence.
To begin to encounter God, we must focus on God; we must look at what God has revealed about Himself. A glimpse of the divine nature of God will pull our mind and hearts upward.
For example, God is self-existent. God has no origin and exists independent of all other creatures. He is self-existent and self-dependent. He exists for Himself, and man exists for Him.
God is also self-sufficient. He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. He contains all and He gives all that is given. He upholds all things. He maintains and sustains everything without help from anyone or anything.
When we comprehend and declare in song these attributes of God, our spirits are pulled toward Him. Our gaze is higher and our hearts overwhelmed. At that moment we sense the presence of God.
How would you describe God’s greatness? How can you adjust your life to focus more on the greatness of God?
Pray with me: Heavenly Father, show me more of Yourself and how perfect you are in all your ways. Increase my knowledge and wonder of You. In Jesus’s name, Amen