Transformative Power of First Words and Encounters with God

26 Aug, 2023

Transformative Power of First Words and Encounters with God

Have you ever wondered how your immediate reaction to unexpected challenges can influence the outcome? 

Picture this: almost 20 years ago, while cruising New York City in a shiny BMW three series, a distraction came my way. A woman, lost in laughter on her cell phone, recklessly swerved into my lane, crashing into my car. Instead of reacting with anger or shock, I immediately lifted my hands and declared, “Hallelujah, Lord, you’re going to do something great. This will result in your glory.” When we inspected the point of impact, my car was unscathed – not a scratch in sight. 

This experience underscored a crucial lesson I had been learning: the principle of first words. The initial words we utter in response to life’s surprises can set the trajectory for the outcome. It’s not just about what happens to us but how we respond. Our words can magnify the problem or manifest a miracle when faced with potential setbacks.

There’s power in our proclamations. Responding with hope and faith can change the narrative, whether it’s an unexpected report, an unforeseen obstacle, or any other twist in our journey.

How To Handle The Unexpected

The next time life throws a curveball, remember that your initial words have the potential to transform challenges into testimonies. This is why the Bible commands you to praise Him. The scripture says to shout unto the Lord with the voice of triumph. 

Isn’t it intriguing how some individuals come alive during joyous moments but go silent in adversity? Picture a newlywed couple’s first worship session post-wedding. The once-reserved groom is now lifting his hands, basking in joy, exclaiming praises. It makes one wonder: Was this jubilant spirit always within him but stifled by societal constraints or personal inhibitions? 

This exuberant energy during good times should be our consistent approach toward worship and praise, regardless of our circumstances.

I’m sharing this perspective because I’m hungry for your breakthrough. 

MY HEART SINKS when I see individuals in worship sessions distracted or disengaged. Because if one struggles to connect and express faith in an environment like the church, how would they fare during life’s stormy moments? 

Cultivating a steadfast spirit that exclaims “Hallelujah, Lord!” amidst adversity is vital. Just as one cheers joyfully in a supportive congregation, one should find strength to praise during challenging times, trusting that the Almighty is guiding the way.

Personality Shouldn’t Dictate Posture

Expressiveness in faith isn’t about a particular church style, denomination, or personality type – it’s rooted in biblical teachings. Every miracle from Jesus involved a receiver with fervent faith and expressive gratitude. So, just as those healed by Him leaped with joy and praised His name, we too must cultivate a spirit that continuously celebrates His presence, come rain or shine.

Isn’t it curious how some claim they’re not expressive until a jolting incident like a subway door catching their finger brings out their inner passion? If you think you’re introverted, remember that raw emotion is waiting to be unlocked. 

This isn’t about personality types; it’s a Biblical truth. David professed, “I will lift my hands to your name.” Paul urged everyone to do the same without anger or doubt. Lifting our hands in praise might seem unfamiliar or radical to some, yet I recall feeling a spiritual tug during my first year in college, urging me to lift mine. The action, often misconstrued as purely “Pentecostal” or “charismatic,” is fundamentally Biblical. 

Even secular motivational speakers like Tony Robbins attest to the power of raising our hands, noting the mind-body connection it ignites. It’s an expression of surrender, worship, and readiness to receive. This physical affirmation, coupled with the profound truth that our words wield life and death, shows how essential it is to vocally and physically express our faith, especially in moments of doubt.

There are so many exhortations in the Bible for God’s people to open their mouths and speak.

Over and over again in the Psalms, we read things like, “I will say, I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, my strength, my high tower, my fortress, my shield, my buckler.” 

I will say, not I will think, not I will write, I will say.

Unlocking Miracles

Jesus never sought to quiet anyone during His time on Earth. 

Picture Him surrounded by the sounds of daily life – children laughing, babies crying, and people chatting. Amid this, Blind Bartimaeus, against the advice of the religious leaders, shouted with fervor, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

This powerful proclamation caught Jesus’ attention and set the stage for a miraculous healing. Similarly, when the paralytic’s friends daringly tore off a roof to bring their friend to Jesus, He saw and celebrated their audacious faith instead of chastising them. Free from self-imposed restraints, actions like these invite God’s transformative power into our lives. And those excuses we make? 

Whether it’s claiming a particular act of faith isn’t our style or we prefer to express it privately, remember: excuses are essentially lies we tell ourselves. True faith knows no bounds and should shine brightly everywhere we go.

God Wants You To Have An Experience

At the heart of our faith lies an experiential Christianity. Instead of being mere observers, we’re called to engage deeply and intimately. Open up your heart, drop those walls, and if you feel unworthy, remind yourself that it’s not about our worth but His. 

Many of our patriarchs – Abraham, Moses, David, and even Jesus – didn’t just believe; they experienced God’s presence. Think of Jacob, resting his head on a rock, only to encounter the very portal to heaven. Or Jesus, emerging from the waters to have the Holy Spirit descend upon him like a dove. 

Their faith was alive, visceral, and transformational. 

In the same way, God yearns for us to immerse ourselves in His presence consistently. So, every week, reach out and ask for that touch, that guidance, that miracle. The Apostle Paul beautifully encapsulated this, wishing for us all to experientially grasp God’s love, which surpasses mere intellectual understanding.

So you’re invited into an experiential Christianity by the Lord, and if you are already experiencing that, there’s an invitation to go deeper.

God Is NOT Distant And Far Away

For those feeling distant from God, remember that it’s often our perception, not reality. 

The Bible assures us that we’ve been brought near through the blood of Jesus. But in moments of doubt, simply talk to Him. Prayer doesn’t have to be elaborate; it’s like picking up the phone and chatting with your best friend. 

Too many people approach prayer with intimidation, offering rushed lists rather than genuine conversation. However, the psalmist encourages us to pour out our complaints, feelings, and questions. 

While speaking positively and of victory is vital, there’s also room to be candid with the Lord. Verbalizing our thoughts and feelings is essential, granting permission for divine interaction in our lives. Contrary to the belief that God doesn’t need our say, He often respects our sovereignty, waiting for our invitation.

At times, life may seem stagnant, with long periods of stillness punctuated by rapid growth. We may yearn to see God’s work, to move from one phase to the next. Yet, in an instant, everything can change, propelling us to new heights. 

We’re entering a pivotal time, a “kairos” moment when time and destiny merge. 

This term represents those significant, divinely appointed moments in our lives, much like when Jesus arrived at His destined time. Similarly, spiritual growth requires clearing away the distractions and clutter in our minds. 

And while change and growth can be uncomfortable, embracing these moments is crucial, reminding ourselves of God’s omnipresence. Every morning offers a fresh start. Rather than being consumed by the day’s worries, begin by affirming, “When I awake, I am still with thee.” 

Recognize that with God’s presence, an ordinary day can turn extraordinary.


Father, I am open to what you want to do in my life. You’re the God of abundance. You’re the God of prosperity. You’re the God of more than enough. You’re the God of victory. Right now, let the anointing come. I lift my hands to you, Jesus. Let the walls break that have been keeping back all you have for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Watch the entire message here – embedded video. 

YouTube player

Listen to the message on our podcast – CLICK HERE.