Written by Leslie Tam. Photography by Jonathan Ma.
Every December, I used to attend Tsunami Youth Conference with my church, where thousands of young people gathered to hear many prominent pastors, ministers, and worship leaders speak, teach, and lead the youth generation.
I really enjoyed these times and looked forward to it every year. However, one year in particular stood out to me. Out of all the messages, songs, cute guys, awesome souvenirs, and late night girl talks, there was one special moment that I will never forget. It was the most amazing moment of my life:
As the worship time began, teens ran up and crowded the stage, but I just stood where I was. I closed my eyes and slowly began to raise my hands up. I felt so small and even stood on tiptoe just so I could be a little closer to God, and as I reached higher and higher, I felt God’s presence for the very first time.
A bright light shone down. I was in awe and His love filled my heart to the point of bursting. I opened my eyes and tried to raise my arms even higher, longing for more. I wanted Him to take me away, to take me Home, and I realized that there was nothing in this world for me.
Now every time I sing or lead worship, I recall that moment. God wanted me to come before Him knowing I have nothing and acknowledge that He is all I need. He wants all of us to praise Him with an empty heart, so that He can fill us up. To lay aside our burdens and our worries, to simply come before Him with heartfelt desire for more of Him.
“My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2.
How often in our busy lives do we allow ourselves to be distracted from coming before the Lord? Can we really put aside our own desires and longing for earthly things to choose God first? How can we come before the Lord and sing songs of praise if God is not seated at the center of our lives?
Take some time to close your eyes and pray. Come before our Lord, and lay down your desires and thoughts. Open up your heart and yearn for more of Him. He will fill your heart and make you anew. Remember, God loves you and He is jealous for you.
1. What earthly things and distractions sometimes come between you and God?
2. What are some practical ways to deepen your appetite for God?