Pastor Todd Smith says his wife asked him to come and speak to one of their church's ministries, and as he was speaking, everyone sensed God was suddenly there.
"God walked into the room," Smith says. "Everything shifted. I didn't see Him, smell Him, or see a cloud or haze, but the entire atmosphere changed. Next thing I know, I'm looking around and I see the students—about 30 of them—pushing themselves away from their table and their textbooks and notebooks. And they fell on their faces.
"They started weeping and confessing sin before the Lord. Every one of them, all of us, because He walked into the room. For 30 minutes, Jesus was in the room. And then He just left."
When God walks in a room, He looks for three specific things: He evaluates motives, He looks at how the people will respond to His glory and whether they will cooperate with what He wants them to do, Smith says on the Kingdom Ready podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. These things determine whether God will just visit, or inhabit, a church.
But when Smith sensed God's presence was far from his church for a while, he called for a fast and recognized the people's hearts weren't in the right place.
"It was about me—my list, my needs, my wants, my wishes," Smith says. "So when the Lord revealed that to me, I said, 'Oh, God, I'm going to lead our people back to doing nothing more than seeking Your face. We're not going to ask You for anything. We're not going to come with our list. But God, we're going to come and we're just going to go after Your heart.
"So for 21 days, we would go into the sanctuary ,and I wouldn't ask for anything. I wouldn't say, 'God, grow my church; God, would You come and bless my preaching? I just want to recalibrate. I want to recenter. I want to get things right. I just want Your face.' And guys, when we as a church made that decision ... I literally believe that God turned toward us. He just literally looked at us. I think we captured and arrested His attention."
To listen to the entire episode for more encouragement on encountering God's presence, click here.
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