4 inspiring stories of encountering God’s presence

By Alice Clarke

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I love a good story. Something that gets my imagination going, where I can picture myself right at that moment.

When I hear others share their real-life experiences of the remarkable things God’s done, I can’t help but imagine what it would be like, and begin to believe for similar encounters in my own life.

We recently shared some stories recently from Catch The Fire leaders of their experiences in God’s presence. Well, you loved them… so we thought we’d share some more!

Steve Long: “His life was in the balance”

“My deepest encounter with God was a time when my son Jon was about to be born. We had just discovered that his life was in the balance, that his body in Sandra’s womb is under extreme stress and trauma, and my wife is being rushed to an emergency cesarean. And I’m not allowed to go into the operating room… His umbilical cord is around his neck, and as he’s moving down the birth canal, he’s choking to death.

“We don’t know that, but something’s wrong. I’m in the hall, outside the operating room, with nobody other than me and God. I was just crying out to God and it was one of the deepest times of agony, and at the same time... knowing that I only had one person to call out to, only had one person to beg for life, and that was father God.

“I remember the feeling of him saying to me, ‘He’s going to be ok’... I was still crying and asking God, ‘Please, please, please,’ begging God for my son’s life. The doctor opens the door and says, ‘You can come in.’

“Within seconds a little boy is pulled out of my wife, and I have a son named Jon whom I absolutely love.”

Duncan Smith: “When I got up, I was a different human being”

“Right here [at Catch The Fire Toronto], lining up in a conference 18 years ago to receive prophetic words, I’m standing talking to two pastors in the lineup.

“...they put their hands on my hands and just prayed for me that the Father would come and show his love to me. In that instant, it was like a freight train came out of the sky and landed on my head. I was mushed to the floor, and at the same time covered in the liquid golden honey of his love.

“I was just completely discombobulated as the Father began to speak right into the very deepest places of my orphan heart... he just went right in and healed my heart in the deepest way with that liquid golden honey love of the Holy Spirit. He just began to speak his words of affection and love over me, ‘Duncan you’re my beloved son. I’m so pleased with you. I have such an amazing plan and purpose for your life.’

“...I was there for a very very long time, probably over an hour. When I got up, I was a different human being. The grass was greener, the sky was bluer. I couldn’t wait to go and see my wife and my children. I loved them, and I loved on a level that I had never ever loved before. I was filled with his love for me, and I could love myself and give that love away.”

Sandra Long: “In an instant, my heart was opened”

“One of the first times that I encountered God, my friend had come over, and she had a word of encouragement for me. She spoke these words, ‘The Lord wants you to know that he loves you.’ In an instant, my heart was opened and I began to cry. I began to experience his love. It was such an incredible encounter because from that point on, I began to walk a journey of freedom in my life.”

Murray Smith: “I was bathed in utter acceptance.”

“The first time I encountered God, I was in my first year of university. I remember listening to an old tape and singing a song about the cross. I suddenly got this revelation of Jesus’ death for me, and his absolute love and joy and delight for me... I cried, I experienced joy, and I suddenly realized that I was loved unconditionally for who I am.

“...I felt such joy and hope. I was in the room on my own and it was like this light came in and I was bathed in utter acceptance and love.”

Anita Wing Lee