Last week I shared my heart in worship - I want to lead people to a place of encountering God. It's not something I just landed on one day or decided sounded good. It's a responsibility and privilege that I feel passionately about based on personal experience. When people encounter their creator, their lives are changed.
Abraham's life changed when he encountered God (Genesis 12). Moses' life was changed when he encountered God (Exodus 3). Samuel, Isaiah, and Jeremiah all had God encounters which altered their lives. The Old Testament is filled with stories of people encountering God and walking away changed. In the New Testament we see lepers, prostitutes, the blind, the lame, and a man bent on destroying the Church, Paul. When each one of these people encountered Jesus their lives changed, their purpose changed, and their eternal focus changed.
For me it happened in a one bedroom ratty apartment. I was by myself at the time and feeling very alone and depressed. My life was not going in the direction I knew it should be. I was angry, resentful, and depressed. My attitude lead to poor decisions making friends and how I chose to cope with life. A lot of my time was spent drinking alone, wasted,so I couldn't remember anything. Unhappy with the world and life, anything and everything would throw me into a fit of rage. Nothing in my life resembled a born-again Christian. Even so, by the grace of God, I never walked away from the Church. So here I was, alone, knowing what Christians looked like but not resembling one at all. That day I put in an old "Delirious?" DVD and just sat on my dingy floor staring at the TV screen. At one point the lead singer, Martin Smith, opened up his Bible and began to read.
"He said to me, 'Prophesy over these bones: Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!'"... He went on reading, "Prophecy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, 'God, the master, says, come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe Life!'"... "So I prophesied just as He commanded me. The breathe entered them and they came alive!" (Ezekiel 37:4, 9-10 MSG)
God met me right in that moment. I encountered Him as those words breathed life into me. My life was changed forever. I had a God encounter, right there, in a crappy apartment with beer cans littering the floor. Worship filled a place where only obscene language, crude jokes, and a looming feeling of loneliness once lived. Worship flew from my lips because in that one moment I encountered Him and He met me where I was.
I don't take lightly what we do. We have a massive responsibility every single week. I believe with everything in me, when people encounter God their lives are changed for eternity. We bring people into the presence of God where He meets them where they're at. We can't manufacture or replicate God encounters. We can prepare though. We can believe and pray every single day that people will meet Him the way we've met Him. We can step up every week ready to take people to the throne of grace where they meet God.