It is difficult to put into words. How do you begin to define a spiritual encounter with our Living God? It isn't about being religious or following a man-made routine. I look back at the last fifteen years and try to pinpoint what I was doing when I sensed the mighty presence of God. Was I worshiping, had I just moved in obedience or was I simply expecting God to fill my hunger?
The truth is, there is no magic formula. Because out of the clear blue He rocked my world on Friday night. I do believe there is a measure of going after Him with no distraction, but to be perfectly honest with you it had been a long, sort of lonely time of pressing in and feeling an occasional touch. Then, me trying to figure out what I must be doing wrong to be missing out on His Presence. I even wondered a few times if maybe what I was calling "mighty encounters" was just emotional hype?
Sounds a little like a Melissa-made religion, huh?
Which is why He caught me off guard at our Youth Staff Retreat on Friday night. I thought I was going for fellowship time and instead a pastor/prophet in the area was there to minister to our team. Before he even stood up to speak I felt God's presence very strongly. Then, we began to worship and I knew that something was sort of changing inside of me. I had this picture of a faucet being turned on and water was just flowing freely. This pastor then began to teach an amazing lesson about the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. He pointed out that Jesus performed the miracle, but He instructed the disciples to remove Lazarus's grave clothes that were binding him. I thought that was very cool that Jesus included His disciples in the miracle, just like He wants to include us. That could be a whole post in and of itself. It was powerful stuff! Then, we were each prayed over prophetically and I was a mess. Messed up for Jesus! Yeah, Baby!
I guess the point I'm trying to make was that God knew what I needed to hear and there is no formula needed to connect with Him. He knew that I was wanting to have an encounter with Him that was life changing. And, that's what happened. Since then God has opened a variety of doors to pray for people and He really gave me a clearer vision for youth ministry. I feel like I belong there and the prayers and desires of my heart to reach the youth of this region are not in vain.
I'm ready. And, I'm thrilled to see what God has in store!