psalm 42

By Jovita Sheppard

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You. O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1- 42:2 

I remember my first encounter with God. The feeling was indescribable. It was heavy and light at the same time. I was empty, but it was filling, and my emotions were high. Joy was all over me. Nothing about the actual issues in my life, challenges, or unfavorable circumstances had changed physically, yet somehow, I felt better. I felt hopeful, and positive energy exuded from me. After that encounter, I wanted to feel God all the time. I wanted to experience the tangible feeling of Him. 

In the God-first lifestyle, seeking Him automatically positions you to feel His presence. His presence is strong and full. It evokes all of your senses and can cause you to have all kinds of emotions. Tears of joy and thanksgiving overwhelm you, and power is deposited into you. It is not fully able to be described with words, and once you feel it, you are forever different. 

The only way to understand is through first-hand experience. After an encounter, you never forget how you felt. You always long for that feeling again. Psalms 42 describes how strong the desire to have an encounter with God can be. It is like a deer’s thirst for water. As we seek after God and place ourselves in the posture for an encounter, and as we encounter God, we, too, will begin to thirst after the life-changing experience that comes from being in Almighty God’s presence. God’s presence is a prayer away, a worship song away, and a seeking Him through scripture away. You can experience it, and He is available to you. 

Today will be your action day. Set aside 24 minutes of quiet non-interrupted time to invite God’s presence. Start with inviting God’s presence into your time. Then read scripture for 8 minutes. Begin to pray for 8 minutes next. Finally, ascribe worth by declaring who God is or singing a song that explains His worth. Get ready; you will feel God’s presence. You will experience and encounter God. After, journal your thoughts, feelings, and experience in His presence. God may speak tangibly to you, show you a vision, or remind you of a promise. He is faithful to come and dwell when we seek Him in this way.

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