At first I was going to church only to please my “Aunt Eliana” (at the time she was just my boyfriend’s mom, now she’s my lovely mother-in-law.)
She constantly invited me to the meetings; most of the time I didn’t want to go but I did so anyway just to stay on her good side.
Nonetheless, my going to church seemed pointless because the pastor’s words were coming in through one ear and out the other.
I was sure that sooner or later she’d get tired of inviting me, but boy was I wrong! Each day she would come up with a better reason…
"Nanda, today is a special day and I would really like it if you accompanied me,”
"Nanda, there’s a very special purpose taking place today. We can’t miss out on it!”
"Nanda, why don’t you join me? I don’t want to go all by myself. I thought that one was a low blow, but of course, I didn’t want to displease her… lol
Despite all of my apparent indifference, there was always a message that stayed with me after the meeting.
Then one day…
“Speak to God… Tell him how much you love him… Tell him that you love him more than anything in your life… more than your friends, more than your dad…”
“No way!” I answered.
Clearly, the pastor that was leading the prayer didn’t hear me.
I remember that was the first time I really spoke to God without repeating or reciting empty words; instead, speaking from within, sincerely.
“God, I can’t say that I love you more than my dad because it isn’t true!
My Dad is my darling, my love! I know who my dad is but I don’t know you Lord!
But you know something God: someday I want to be able to tell you I love you more than anything in my life.
I want to get to know you!”
I never forgot that day or those words.
It was the day I finally decided to take God seriously, it was the day my life really began to change. It was also the last day that Aunt Eliana had to insist on inviting me to church because I decided to do my part in getting to know God.
Shortly thereafter- a day that I will never forget, the day that I remember being able to finally say “My Lord, I love you more than anything in this world, even my dad!”
It was the day of my encounter with God, it was wonderful!
From that moment on I realized how important sincerity is for God.
That is why I am extra careful with my words, especially in church, when we go before the altar to seek His presence.
How many times have you found yourself repeating the pastor’s words without thinking if what you are saying is actually what you feel/believe?
How many are the times that while you are seeking God’s presence, you walk to the front, raise your hands and begin to say lots of words, but your mind is somewhere else: at home, with your kids, your long to-do list, and so your words are completely empty.
Don’t be embarrassed to admit and face reality, for when I am not vigilant I find myself doing this as well!
That’s right, the devil is astute and he doesn’t want us to praise God.
That is why he brings forth the most varied thoughts into our head while we are in prayer. When this happens if you do not resist him, then you end up returning to your seat feeling empty and far from God.
There are times in which we are all in the front seeking God’s presence but I feel troubled or worried about something, so, I open up to God first and let go of what is troubling me. Sometimes, everyone around is already speaking in tongues and I am still there unburdening myself…
Next time you are in the front seeking God’s presence, remember these words and above all, be sincere. Without a doubt you will attract God’s attention.