But itīs not. Thatīs how I got to be 32 years old and didnīt know what was happening right under my nose. Then suddenly, one day, I happened to walk through the doors of a church and discovered the best kept secret in town. God was in the house. I experienced His presence. It felt like Iīd stuck my finger in an electrical light socket. Electrical currents were skipping up and down my body and it felt like every hair on my head was sticking straight out in all directions. I felt electrified. It crossed my mind that maybe they wired the pews and carpet. You know, for effect. Itīs possible. What else could it be?
My son Dan, who was 11 years old at the time, said, "We have to come back here next Sunday" with much emphasis on īhave toī . Astonished I asked, "Did you feel something too?" Then I thought, sure he did, heīs sitting on the same pew with his feet on the same carpet. Thatīs when his younger brother Steve shouted, "I feel God in here!" At that moment I saw something incredible. Something I had never seen before in my life. I saw people worshipping God. Oh I had been in and out of churches before. I had seen people having church. I had seen a lot of religious practices and taken part in various rituals but I had never been any place where God was actually present and people were adoring Him. Everyoneīs eyes were closed and their hands were lifted toward heaven and they were oblivious to me or any sensation I might have been experiencing. They were immersed in God. They were basking in His glory and having fellowship with Him. There was an unspeakable joy. An unexplainable peace. A holy hush.
I didnīt think that God came to church. He wasnīt in any I had ever attended prior to that day. I have found a very long poem which has become my favorite and I have read it in pulpits across this country. It very aptly apprises that there are cities full of churches, which have great learned preachers who have more than enough refinement and education. They also have the best of talent, wonderful choirs, expensive organs, and produce grand music. They have plans and schemes and programs and many good, honest, eager workers who labor hour by hour and give their time and money unselfishly yet they are missing the very essence of God. Though all these things are excellent and commendable, it concludes that neither worldly wisdom, skill, nor human innovation can bring true repentance nor break the sinnerīs heart. It is only the Holy Spirit that quickens our soul, exposes our sinful nature, shows us our need for a Savior and reveals Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Jesus said in John Chapter 14 that when He goes to be with the Father, He would not leave us comfortless, but that He would give us another Comforter, that He may abide with us forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in youī.
When that same church was sold and before we could move to our newly constructed building, we had to hold services in a highschool auditorium in the interim. I remember walking into the school gymnasium, with its basket- ball nets and bleachers for pews and want to take off my shoes because of the sense that the ground I was standing on was holy ground. A few times I wept because the presence of God was so real and so intense. In a gym, yes, because the Spirit of the living God had preceded me there.
Donīt mistake the Holy Spirit for some mist or vapor. He is a person. He is the Third Person of the Trinity. God the Father is on His throne. Jesus is seated at His right hand but itīs the Holy Spirit that has been sent ītoī us. He comes where He is invited. He comes where He is welcomed. He comes where hearts are hungry and yearning to have fellowship with Him. Is He at your church?
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries Submitted 5/20/2003 10:23:42 AM | Post Comment