There I was, lying down for the night and getting ready to fall asleep. The night was similar to every other night. There was not anything particularly special about this specific night, or so it appeared. I got into bed, I reached for my iPad to access my reading material, and I connected with God, telling Him whatever was on my heart that evening. However, on this particular night, on this very seemingly ordinary night, a shift occurred that forever changed my perspective.
Once I lied down and was comfortably settled and snug in my comforter, about to pick up my iPad, there it was: a burning and tingling sensation in my feet. Getting my attention, I asked God if He could intensify it if it was from Him and take it away if it was not from Him. And before I could finish my sentence, the sensation increased and the burning intensified.
However, this is not just a recount of one of the physical sensations I have experienced while under God’s presence. No. This was much different. You see, the physical sensation in my feet was simply grabbing my attention and connecting me to God instead of my reading material. And it worked.
The Earth is Full of His glory
Once I turned my attention to God, I noticed something was very different in the atmosphere around me. Very and intensely holy. As I lied there, barely able to speak out of reverence and holy fear, with my feet still burning and tingling, I realized that God the Father was present. This presence was not just a physical presence or a sensation or a simple knowing that He is with me and in me always. No. His presence was felt in the same way that one would sense a real person in human form right in front of them. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was present in my room. He was so close. So incredibly close.
“And one cried out to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory’… So I said, ‘woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.'” (Isaiah 3:5 )
One Thing I wanted and Needed
Though I did not see the Lord as Isaiah did in his vision, His presence in weighty and breathtaking holiness was clearly felt, sensing that the God Almighty was right in front of me, giving me His full and undivided attention. While in God’s holy and awe-inducing presence, I realized that I could barely speak and utter words to Him. I thought, “I can ask Him anything I want. He is hearing me personally, right in front of me!” As I carefully commenced to open my mouth, I believe I could have truly asked for anything — anything from the list of prayers I actively pray each and every day. But at this point, having God right in front of me, personally hearing my prayer, I realized that there was only one thing that I truly wanted. One thing that I truly needed.
“God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? …I just want You… I just want a deeper, more intense, rawer, more intimate relationship and friendship with You.”
Why did I ask for that when I could have asked for anything I wanted, knowing that He was there and listening as if a real person was listening? It is really quite simple. The answer is two-fold:
Firstly, it is because that is all that truly matters to me. That is my heart cry — to know God and have a real relationship with Him.
Secondly, and slightly more complex, it is because as He was there, right in front of me, actively listening to every word I stated, in a sensed focus I have never quite experienced with anyone else… As I felt this inexplicable sense of respect and veneration for his Holiness… I realized that I, in actuality, do not currently have a relationship with God like I thought I did.
Loved by God
…until this point, I have never truly experienced what it actually feels like to be loved by God.
Specifically, I read His word every day, I am constantly praying to Him, I receive prophetic words and words of knowledge, I have some of His gifts, I worship to Him with my full devotion, I speak in tongues regularly, I live trying to be His hand and feet in the world, I have felt His presence on an increasingly (though I always cry out for more!) regular basis, I have experienced different physical sensations correlated to His presence, I have even received direct words, insight, and revelation from Him regarding my path and my life, fully hearing His direction for me and the world around me… However. However, I have never, I repeat, I have never until this experience, felt the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the friend of Moses, present in front of me as I would feel another person.
This experience of actually experiencing God firsthand made me realize several things about myself, my relationships, and the world around me which I will most likely elaborate on in future articles. However, most prominently, was the realization that I do not yet know God on a truly and intimately personal level. I have heard of His love and I “know” that He loves me, I have even had overwhelming physical sensations of His love for me, but until this point, I have never truly experienced what it actually feels like to be loved by God.
That wherever each of us are on our own journeys, regardless of how many amazing encounters we have already had, regardless of how close we already are to God, there is so much more.
Moreover, I do have a relationship with God, as we all do, but I realized that there is so much more. So many more experiences to be had, so many more intimate moments with God, so many more encounters. That wherever each of us are on our own journeys, regardless of how many amazing encounters we have already had, regardless of how close we already are to God, there is so much more. Incredibly so much more.
And so, I prayed, “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? …I just want You… I just want a deeper, more intense, rawer, more intimate relationship and friendship with You.”
Not the most eloquent words, no, not the perfect prayer, no, but what it is is a true heart cry from a daughter to a Father, having full certainty that He understands me and hears my earnest cry.
So, as the recount of this story comes to a close, I realize that it also begets a question for the reader: if you were in the presence of God, knowing and fully realizing that He was hearing you, you out of all His creation, giving you His undivided attention:
What would you say?
How would you feel?
What would you do?