Ps. 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.
When you have a God encounter, every area of your life is potentially impacted. Everything from your view of God to your view of yourself. The world we live in can and should be effected. I know that this is true, it happened to me. I often think of the confidence (maybe arrogance is a better word) that I displayed in those first sixteen years of my pastoral ministry. I felt like I had authority and wisdom because of the success that I had in those early years. I guess you could say I was unteachable, at least I was until I experienced a new touch from heaven. I would have to characterize my message in those years as “man centered”. I preached about The Lord, but the emphasis was on my efforts to experience covenant blessings. If I followed certain principles, I would get guaranteed results. That may be true but I was missing the point. Christ was the treasure my heart longed for. It was not success or blessing in His name, it was Him that I needed. After I was impacted powerfully by the move of God in 1994 my heart became open to the possibility that my message was wrong. That’s when I became attracted to the Great Awakening and the ministry of Jonathan Edwards. His God centered preaching effected me in a powerful way. Here is a sample of Edwards’ God centered message. Play close attention and enjoy.
“The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. He is their highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honor and glory. They have none in heaven but God; he is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world. The Lord God, he is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem, and is the river of the water of life that runs, and the tree of life that grows, in the midst of the paradise of God. The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what will forever entertain the minds of the saints, and the love of God will be their everlasting feast. The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things: they will enjoy the angels, and will enjoy one another; but that which they shall enjoy in the angels, or each other, or in anything else whatsoever, that will yield them delight and happiness, will be what will be seen of God in them.”