Love Encounter With God
By Angel Mercy
On the 13th of May 2018, my husband and I were in Sweden attending an evening service of Hillsong Church. We were with our friends Spandan and Mahesh. The worship band started to sing "Open Heaven" from River Wild and I was worshipping the Lord without any expectation. There's a stanza that goes like this:
Dreams and visions of the Son
As I stand in Your presence
Revelations of Your love
As I look to the heavens
As soon as we finished singing, I felt a whole new, heavenly realm open up to me and I couldn't control my own emotions. I started feeling a deep love that God has for people. My tears were uncontrollable.
I was trying to hold back my tears, but I was unsuccessful. Finally, worship ended and the congregation sat down to listen to the Word from the pastor.
When I sat down, eyes still watering, I began journaling. Spandan leaned over and asked, "Is everything ok?" “Yes,” I said and continued to journal and tears continued to roll down my face.
All that went through my mind was the depth of God’s love. From that day on God has been revealing and teaching me how to love people the way He loves.
He transformed how I was loving others and how was I being an extension of his unconditional grace and mercy.
From that day on, the supernatural encounter I experienced from the heavenly realm is how God expanded my vision to love. You can even say he healed my heart to love better. I feel the bubbling love for God and it is increasing day-by-day.
When someone asked me what my goals were for 2019, in my heart I felt the Lord smiling down on me, telling me to love Him more than before, love myself more, and love people more.
That evening in Sweden is forever etched in my mind and heart. I can’t get the Word “love” out of my mind, but God’s love, not man’s love.
Ways God expanded my vision to love others more:
Don’t take people for granted: For example, I'm more punctual. People’s time is precious. If I value them, I should be sensitive to their schedule. If someone is giving of their time to me, I value their time and remain committed to being on time. “I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.” I Corinthians 10:33
Be flexible: Whenever possible, I try to be flexible and help lighten their busy schedules. Whenever possible, it’s not about what is comfortable for me. Yes, I need to set up healthy boundaries, but being flexible is a simple way to show love and them above myself in the daily routines of life. “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10
Be more appreciative of the people God puts in your life: I express their importance in my life more often than before. “Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.” Philemon 1:7
Less judgmental and more open to the perspectives of others: I am more willing to allow people to make mistakes and learn from them instead of forcing my ideas and thoughts on them. Prophet Bob Hazlett said, "If you don't see right, you cannot prophecy right things into people's lives." God asked Jeremiah “What do you see?” I feel God asks me the same when I see people. It's important to have clean eyes for us to see people the way God sees them. It is then we can love them the way he loves them. Jeremiah 1:11
“Walk in the shoes” of others: If I take time to see people through the lens of God’s love, I’m more forgiving than before, and quicker to forgive. It’s in trying to understand their circumstances that I react to their behavior against me with compassion with patience and kindness. I Corinthians 13:4
Passion to serve the Lord increases: For instance, when I pray for people whom I've never met, there is this immense, unexplainable love for them. It is a love that goes deep within my spirit that God wants me to remain focused on them because he is. His love is so great for the one needing prayer that I can’t ignore he picked a stranger like me to pray for them. I take this responsibility of God’s extension of love for others more seriously. “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. I Timothy 2:1
Love through correction: I used to think love is not confronting their wrongs with the hopes they will learn on their own. I was wrong. With God’s help, when it is appropriate, I confront people in a loving way for correction. If you love someone you have no reason not to address them from repeatedly making the same mistake. We serve a loving Father who prunes us with His word, and he wants to use us to walk alongside our friends with gentleness, and that includes honesty. “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” Galatians 6:1 John 15:1-7
It wasn’t that I didn’t love others in these way prior to my love encounter with God, it’s just that I am more purposeful to operate in love not only in the areas that appear spiritual, but in areas that appear unspiritual. And, to do it more often, with greater zeal, and to be more mindful doing so.
I am to follow God’s example in everything I do,” and the way God’s love looks on others has increased immensely. Ephesians 5:1.
His love is rapidly growing in me from the time I had this encounter. If I try to love people without God's help, I feel limited. When I let God fill me with his love and his presence the way he did on that morning in Sweden, he equips me to pour into other people and to do so generously. For this to happen I need to spend enough time with the Source.
As time goes, just like God is love, love won't be what we do, it is what we become. We become love. 1 John 4:7-21
It is who we are and not what we do. For it is out of who we are in Christ Jesus that “the light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesians 5:9
If God lives in me and I see God’s love as he sees and is, we will be an extension of his love. I John 4:19
Pray and ask God:
To see people through his eyes and to increase your love for them.
To show you how to be more sensitive to their needs.
How you can relieve their load, even if things “appear” to be going well for them.
To discern when to reach out and ask, “How can I pray for you? “
To recognize more thoughtful and say, “by the way, thank you for being my sweet friend who …”