There is something about the first time we encounter God.
I remember the season in my life when I was just beginning to know how real God is. I lived, literally lived for the next worship meeting, for the next opportunity, for the next touch. David must be kidding when he said, “Better is one day in your courts Lord…” For it me, it feels more like, “Better is a minute in your courts God…” One of the foolish things I did then was cut class to have more of God. (I wouldn’t recommend it though because apparently, God can be found even without cutting classes.)
There is something about the first time we begin to discover His presence. And how it blow our minds, heals our souls, and electrifies our spirits. He is desirable, understatedly desirable.
I remember my first experiences of weeping while listening to anointed worship CDs. My first encounter with Jason Upton and how the impartation of spontaneous, passionate worship and intercession literally changed my life. It literally made me burn bridges. Ruined me for good. I received my life call and I could never run away. No matter how hard I tried to hide, I had been “irrerpairably” wrecked for life.
And there is something about the joy of pursuing God when that’s all there is to do. No ulterior motive, such as a ministry that has to be sustained. No puffed up knowledge that says revival proceeds from a powerful move of prayer, an objective that can well distract me from the Object of my prayer. No pressure to bring down God’s presence because ultimately, I have not much idea about God’s visitations. And I could go on and on… Bottom line, I had one thing in mind, one thing in heart — give me Jesus or I’ll freak out some more.
And during those seasons of cluelessness and rendezvous in His glory, Jason Upton’s music walked with me. That is why it is still Jason’s old songs that have that effect on me. When I listen to the ones I used to listen to then, a certain well breaks inside me, a well of purity than begins to wash away the dross. All the things that I added to Christianity, things that are not necessary.
I am reminded of the time when God was all who mattered. I find it scary how the useless things I am holding on to almost feel essential to life, when years back I never really have them and yet life was more sweet — with Jesus, and only Jesus.
I am not saying that God’s presence is less desirable and intense today. Truth is, He remains the same and as I press on more in worship (in faithfulness and love and passion), the more intense His presence becomes. But… the wonderful thing really about first encounters is the childlike welcome that we have towards God. We just come with arms wide open without critic-ing the worship leader or the preacher. We just come without our arrogant or boastful knowledge and experience, instead we hunger for him at all cost. This is, I believe, is one of the reasons why Jesus told us to be as little children. Because as Bill Johnson said, “We are to become as children to enter maturity.” If only, our learnings would make us humbler rather than more “learned.” If only, we’d still desire only Jesus even if the world is given to us on a silver platter. It would be sooo cool, to just love Him as simply and abandoned-ly, like the first time.