Like many of you, I’ve been privileged to have experiences with God, in Christ. Some of those experiences have come as I have earnestly sought him. Other experiences have totally blind-sighted me with surprise. He has been The Pearl of Great Value I have sought for, as well as the Hidden Treasure I have stumbled upon!
God has spoken to me through dreams and visions and prophecy. Like many I have experienced His unspeakable joy. I have felt His comforting peace. I have felt exhilarating love! Sometimes there are simply no words to describe these moments.
My most intense, literally take-your-breath-away experience, was with the holiness of God. We had sponsored a youth conference at a local college. The presence of God was palpable! Many were overcome by the sense of His glory. There was a small circle of people on the floor praying for an individual. Someone waved to me to come over and join their prayer. As I got close I saw one of our daughters, laying on her back with four people on the floor praying for her.
Intense and amazing prophecies were spoken over her. As we continued to pray a forceful pressure came over us. Several of us found our heads shaking wildly side to side. Together we began to speak out, groan out, a great “Aaaaawwwww!!!” My breath expelled as we exclaimed together. It felt very much as if a strong man had put his hand on my chest and back and then pressed until there was not a drop of air left. But still, there was a silent “Aaawww!” coming out without air.
The experience left us washed out and spacey. We were in awe, almost unable to speak. This was not an experience of peace, joy, or love. It was holiness! The intensity immobilized us on the floor. It was a pressure, a fear, a largeness, a power beyond description.
I have thought many times over the past three decades about those moments. If the experience could had been put into a bottle, and anyone had tasted a drop of it, they would certainly be overwhelmed with the fear of the Lord! No one on earth could withstand such an encounter without reverencing God.
In the Scriptures we find others who tasted the holy glory of God in similar ways. Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.” Priests were not able to minister because of the glory of God. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were overcome! John in revelation fell as a dead man. Through church history many have testified to the intense, bowl-you-over, immobilizing holiness of God.
I often pray for the awareness of the holiness of God, and the great, pressing fear of the Lord it inspires. May He capture us and overwhelm our nations with His holiness! Please pray for the sensibility of Father God’s holiness to convict and set straight our neighborhoods and the world!
Steven C Johnson
Please share with us accounts of your encounters with our holy God.