In 1983 I attended my first Vineyard Conference. John Wimber, the leader of the Vineyard was the main speaker, but he had invited several young pastors that he was discipling to give talks on what he called the Priorities of the Vineyard.
During the session on training, God began to powerfully touch me. It began during the worship time, and continued throughout the message. I knew at the end of the message that I needed to get prayer. As I went forward, the Holy Spirit immediately fell on me and I was overcome by his powerful activity in my life.
Many things took place during the next 30 minutes of ministry time that have greatly impacted the last 33 years of my life. I received empowering that began my discovery of hearing God’s voice. I began to see some of the people I prayed for get healed and even give their lives to Jesus as a result of power evangelism.
But the most significant thing that happened took place when one of the young pastors placed his hands on me and said “I break the power of insecurity”. As he said this I had a very powerful encounter with the presence of God that was accompanied by a lot of emotion. I’m not sure, but at that moment, I may have been set free from some kind of evil spirit that had been afflicting me.
Almost immediately I began to experience what seemed like a flood of God’s love overwhelming me. This opened the door to months of intimate encounters with the presence of God in which I experienced God’s love in a very personal way. It was impossible to begin to worship without being overcome by his intimate presence.
I share this story from my life because I am convinced that God desires all of us to have a personal relationship with Him that involves intimate experiences of his love. It’s not enough to only have head knowledge about God. We know God, we know he loves us. We believe all the right teachings. But we need to hear it from Him directly. We need to hear Him tell US personally that HE loves US. We need to experience the warmth of His embrace. We need his love to soak deep into our hearts and break the power of lies that keep us in bondage to feeling distant from God.
SET ASIDE SPACE IN YOUR SCHEDULE TO BE ALONE WITH GOD THIS WEEK; INVITE HIM TO COME AND REST UPON YOU AND FILL YOU WITH HIS LOVE. TAKE TIME TO SOAK IN HIS LOVING PRESENCE.