"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26

My Encounter With The LORD

On Wednesday, February 29, 2012 I was at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ for the Service just like every Wednesday.  I was leading the Praise & Worship that night.  After we finished with the Worship, I went to the back as I usually do as Pastor Sophocles Christodoulou started praying before the preaching of the Word of God. I wasn’t very pleased with my Worship (not with the Worship in general but from what I had given to the Lord).  It was then that I said from my heart to the Lord: “My Lord, this was not what I wanted to give to you.  I didn’t want to give you just this much, I wanted to give you more!.”  Immediately when I said these words, God’s presence fell on me so strong that I could hardly stand or speak.   I got to a chair at the side next to the drums and sat for a little while in order to come to, but the presence of God was upon me stronger and stronger.  I struggled to get up and walk to my seat next to brother Pavlos Arnoukakis.
The Pastor kept on praying.  I fell on my knees and started praying with everything I had.  When I tried to speak, I couldn’t, and the only thing that came out of my mouth was whispering in tongues.  My breathing went heavier and heavier as if I was breathing thick air.  When the Pastor stopped praying and started preaching, I finally but barely got up and sat back to my seat.  During the whole time through the preaching I was trying not to fall off my seat because of the powerful presence of God on me.  I was so tensed that later on I was told that those who saw me thought that I was in pain.  I remember brother Pavlos asking me twice if I feel ok and if I feel pain.  I couldn’t speak to him but I nodded that I was ok.
At the end of the preaching, the Pastor asked everyone to stand up and he made an altar call.  Usually at this point I move quickly towards to the front and start singing but God’s presence was so strong that I could hardly walk and I struggled to reach the seats next to the musicians and sit down.  I nodded to brother Nicos Doritis that I couldn’t sing and that he should lead the rest of the Worship.  He asked me if I was ok but I don’t remember if I answered anything to him.  He started singing and I fell on my knees and released myself in God’s presence. Immediately when I fell on my knees and started praying, I felt like someone pulled me up with a power I have never felt before and I cannot explain.  Actually the whole experience after this point on is very difficult for me to explain with words but I will try to explain it as simple as possible. When I felt this power pulling me up it was like I was separated from my body.  I was in my body the whole time but I felt like my body and I were two different things.  My body started trembling and at the same time I felt still and very calm.  I moved my hands to the right and to the left to understand what was going on. It was then that I realized that I could feel my hands moving to the right and to the left but at the same time I could see my hand right in front of me at the same point, crooked and shaking. I did the same once again and felt like the first time my hands were moving but my “bodily hands” were right in front of me shaking like my whole body and my fingers were straight and turned in a very strange way.  I tried my best to move my hands by opening and closing my fists and I managed to do it but when I let them loose they again returned back to the same condition.  The fingers straighten and turned in, my whole body shacking ceaselessly.  I then thought to myself, “It’s fake, all these are fake. This body is fake, everything I see is fake.”  I felt as if my body was just clothes, or like the gloves we wear and then take them off. At the same time I felt absolutely peaceful and also an unending love, as if I had access to the whole knowledge and wisdom of the universe.  I could not hear an audible voice but I believe that I could hear the Lord speaking to me in a different way.  The best way for me to describe it is like when you type a word in the dictionary of your computer and press search and immediately you have the translation or the meaning of that word that you typed.  Every answer was there without even taking the time to think about it.  I am not one of those who question or doubt everything but at that moment it was like I had a billion questions and they were all answered, every problem solved, every fear or insecurity gone.  I felt the Lord speaking to me continually about thousands of things at the same time and me being able to understand everything. I don’t know how long I was kneeling there but at a certain point I heard the Pastor and brother Balazs Toth praying over me.  I felt hands touching me but again it was like they were not really touching me but as if they were touching a cover over me.  It was like I was in a plastic vessel.  After a while they picked me up and made me sit on one of the chairs behind me.  They were talking to me and I could understand everything they said but I could not say anything else but whisper in tongues.  They placed some tissues in my hand because my face was full of tears.  Pastor Andry came and gave me a bottle of water. I couldn’t grab the bottle (my hands being still shaking, stiff and crooked) and I couldn’t open my mouth to drink until sometime later. As I started coming to, I slowly started forgetting all these wonderful things the Lord was speaking to me about.  That was the only time I felt worry but immediately I had a confirmation and peace inside of me that I will remember everything when the time comes.  I started speaking for the first time and said “I want Him, I want Him” (meaning the Lord).  I heard the Pastor saying: “tell Him Christos, tell Him” and with everything I had I cried to the Lord: “I want you my Lord Jesus, Jesus I want you”! I tried to open and close my fists again.  My hands now felt freezing and numb and even if I could move them easier, they turned back to the crooked situation after every try. “Something happened Pastor” I said turning to face him.  “Tell me Christos” he said, “what happened?.”  I said nothing more.  I didn’t have the strength to speak and even if I had, at that point I couldn’t explain anything of what I experienced.  I had to take some more time to come to and be able to get up and with people holding me get down to the second floor and from there to the ground floor so that we could go home.  My steps were very slow and I felt like I was walking in water.  The numbness on my feet and hands was there even until the evening of the next day. Every time I speak about this experience until today (Sunday, March 4, 2012) I feel trembling, only this time, from the inside out.  I don’t remember many things from the things that the Lord spoke to me that night but what I remember and is in me very strong is that for everything that was coming to me, I felt the Lord asking me very strongly “will you glorify Me through this?  Will you glorify me with everything you have?”  I was going to answer “Lord this is so small, or ugly or this is nothing before you.” And He would always say “will you glorify me through this?  Will you glorify me with everything you have?” For me this encounter with the Lord was something that changed my whole life and the way I see things from that day on.  As a worship leader, I don’t want to search for “nice” songs anymore.  I want to glorify Him with every song I sing.  I stopped saying I want to do this and I want to do that.  Now I want to say “I will glorify the Lord through this and through that.”  I understand that it is not through our own strength that we need to accomplish things, but in everything we do to give Him acknowledgement and say “Lord, I want to give you the glory through this thing I do and if this thing does not give you the glory, then I don’t want to do it anymore.” I now understand that if we do that, the Lord gives us His supernatural power to accomplish everything in life.  I don’t wish to see things like I used to see them anymore.  My wish is to give Him the glory through everything. Amen. Christos Gazanis Assistant to the Pastor Apostolic Church Of Jesus Christ
APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST