I lead the worship in last Tuesday night’s service. While I was at the front of the church singing, I noticed a young lady standing in the congregation and I had such a feeling of déjà vu. As she stood there looking all belligerent and resentful it took right back to that first cell meeting I had gone to where God impacted my life so deeply. I had been spending a few days with my aunt and she had insisted that I go. I was not pleased. One of my favorite shows ‘The Nanny’ with Fran Drescher was on that night and I didn’t want to miss it.
When we arrived at the cell meeting the group was already on their knees, repenting before God, as was their practice before beginning the deliverance service. I slipped in the back of the room and tried to blend into the background, as was my practice. The leader, a prophetess, was praying out loud when suddenly she was saying, ‘The Lord is saying to someone here, I didn’t ask you to be here and no-one is forcing you to stay here. If you don’t want to be here you can leave.’ The words hit me like a sledgehammer to my chest. Fear and awe formed a tight ball in my chest and I found myself on my knees along with everyone else. By the end of the service when she prayed for me and ministered the words of God into my heart, I would never be the same again. Noone knew that it was me that the Lord had spoken to BUT I KNEW. Being the object of God’s attention was addictive and I wanted to be closer to this God that would speak so plainly to His people.
Reflecting on this moment I realized something very important. Some may look at these words as a harsh correction, even rejection but looking back I was able to see the hurt. It may be hard to accept that we have the ability to hurt God’s feelings but we do. As humans we would also be hurt if someone we loved felt forced or resentful being in our presence. How much more could our heavenly Father feel? He who sent His only Son to die for our sins? To think He loved me so much even then!
We didn’t have an altar call after the service but I hope I’ll get to church one day and see that young lady, happy and smiling to be in the presence of the Lord.