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Together in worship - We Encounter Him!

*Day 16:First Things First

When I was baptised with the Holy Spirit I was at a prayer meeting praying for the Church. We were a group of young people, praying every Tuesday evening that God would touch the Church and the Nations in a powerful way, especially the young people and that as a generation we would not be destroyed but revived.

We were so passionate about what God wanted for our generation that the room was electrified with our zeal and most importantly God's presence. We were calling out to God in one accord believing that God wanted More for us and that he wanted to empower us. As we stood in unity of prayer and worship _something broke_ (in a good way) in the spirit and the room was _set ablaze_ spiritually. People broke out in tongues (many for the first time) and some were just still in God's presence standing or on the floor kneeling or lying prostate. As for myself I just couldn't stop the tears flowing down my cheeks. I wasn't crying(sad or emotional) but yet _I was crying_.

That day I felt the presence of God in a way that touched not only my heart but the core of my Spirit right through to my emotions and even my flesh was tender, everything about me felt God's loving touch. God's very love was burning deep inside of me and I felt God's very presence as if it was an electric energy buzzing on me from head to toe. I was on cloud 9!!!. I knew that The Holy Spirit had come on me and consequently I would never be the same again. I could feel it in my heart and everything within me was in agreement.

I couldn't stop praising God. I wanted to worship him with all my strength. I prayed that this moment would not stop, I wanted to be in this moment forever.

As I left that room that evening I had a boldness about me. I wanted to stop and tell everyone about Christ. I felt empowered and there was a deep sense of faith about me; It was a renewed faith that spiked in my inner man making me believe I could do anything and that nothing was impossible. Every day all I wanted to do was worship and praise God. _Something was very different_.

Everyone's Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not the same just as how we encounter God is also different but what I have learnt over the years is that when you have a deep hunger for God in you and you ask him for more of him he will respond. I began to realise that Whenever I was in worship or in prayer I had a new awareness of God like never before. This awareness of God with me was awesome when I was alone at home worshipping him but it seemed to be amplified and Electric whenever I was in a room that was filled with people who were also hungry for more of God! I became a worship addict, because i just wanted to always be in God's presence.

If you have never experienced God's presence or encountered God in a way that is truely significant, I invite you to come to the worship Encounters this week at our Camps Bay, Melkbos and Table View Locations. Whenever we meet together like this hungry for God we experience God in a new and awesome way that lives us empowered and hungry for more of God. The thing that I particularly love about worshipping God together is that God always speaks and his word is released to each and every heart that has come wanting juts to worship him.

*Reflect on Acts chapter 2*

The early Church were together in a room locked in passionate prayer when Suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them like the rushing of a mighty wind and settled on

them like tongues of fire🔥

Points to note:

1. They were in the place of obedience - Jesus had told them to wait and that they would be clothed with power and so they waited in Prayer. As a Church we believe God has told us to set aside the first month of the year in Prayer and worship!

2. They were expectant. Because Jesus had told them he would send them the Holy Spirit to come upon them they were eagerly expecting this experience. As a Church we are expectant that as we Pray, Fast & Worship God will be true to his word and will draw near to us as we take a step to draw near to him

3. They were in a place of unity and love. Togetherness and love in the body of Christ is a perfect combination to create an environment for God to Baptise and empower people. The Spirit of God is free to come on us when love and unity abounds. Strife and disharmony stifle the Church from receiving that which God has planned and promised.

4. They were available and they were open to the new thing that Jesus had said would happen. Sometimes we shy away from the Holy Spirit instead of leaning in to Jesus to understand and to believe that Jesus would never promise us something that would be harmful or not beneficial to us.

Put away your misconceptions and allow yourself to believe in God's promises then ask and believe and you shall Encounter God in a new way as he Baptises you with his Holy Spirit. Pastor Andre mentioned in his sermon on Sunday that our wrong view of God and his promises often stops us from hearing or believing that He is willing and that he is able to do more than we can ever think or imagine!!!

If it's God's promise God will deliver!!! Don't be put off that it comes in a _God packaging_, Remember God's ways are not our ways. The disciples could have thought what is this rushing sound of a mighty wind and these strange tongues that we are now speaking?

However, because they were expecting God to move and they had been told that the Holy Spirit would clothe them with power from on high they were ready for the unexpected. The had not experienced it before so they availed themselves to the peace of God which ensures that they saw God's Spirit on them for what it was and they surrendered.

*Yeilding to the Holy Spirit* is as simple as saying this short prayer

Holy Spirit, you are the promise that my Heavenly Father promised in His word.

I surrender to your perfect love. I want you to lease me, guide me and cover over me. Holy Spirit I yield to your ways and means. I invite you now to come.

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