Hang on—I’m about to stretch you.
Most of us are familiar with what it is to minister for God. I want to shift our focus a little bit from ministering for God to ministering to God, and, more specifically, to ministering to the presence of God.
Ministering to God is what one-third of all the angels do all the time. Think of it—hundreds of millions of angels were created for no other purpose than to minister to God. Their entire existence is to do nothing other than look at God’s presence and express admiration for him and His virtue. You may be thinking, Yeah, that’s fine for the angels, but I’m no angel! Fair enough, but you must admit, if God likes it enough to create millions of angels to minister to Him nonstop, He must like it a lot. And if He likes it that much, He might also like it when we do it too.
Not only did God create a sizable percentage of angels to minister to Him, He also assigned priests to minister to Him. No fewer than twenty times does the Bible document the exhortation to priests to minister directly to the presence of the Lord. If the Old Testament priests were the only people in the Bible assigned to minister to God, we might be able to exempt ourselves, but they are not.
Watch what happened in the first upper room:
Once the upper-room disciples received the manifest presence of Christ in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, they immediately began ministering to the presence of Christ among them. The record tells us that they began “telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11).
Since they were in prayer, it is only logical to assume that they were declaring the mighty works of God first to God Himself. This word, “mighty works,” is translated from the Greek word megaleios which means “magnificent, splendid, wonderful, perfection.” In fact, this is the only place in the entire New Testament where this exact word is used. It refers to the highest, most wonder-filled expression of worship.
All the upper-room disciples were choosing words that were extraordinary and awe-filled, words that were celestial, exalted to the highest place, words that were fit only for God Himself, words never heard before in this fashion. The disciples were using words they had likely never used before to describe things they had never seen before. These were words crafted by the King of Glory, describing the King of Glory and given to those in the upper room to describe the unique manifest presence of Christ they were now experiencing for the first time.
This is the only place megaleios appears in the entire Bible, and for good reason: This level of praise and worship in this first upper room was intense.
Imagine having received the overwhelming tangible presence of Christ—how are they going to respond? I guarantee you one thing—they weren’t yawning, looking at their watches, or checking their schedules to see what would come next. They were riveted in awe on His presence. They were drawn to His presence and responded to His presence. This was more than a sweet fragrance or a gentle breeze. More accurately, He was like a mighty rushing wind. He was on fire and He was setting people on fire. He was setting the whole place on fire.
So what are the people to do—start preaching? No way. They are mesmerized, transfixed. They are actually in the presence of Christ in a more dynamic way than when He was with them physically, and they are taking it all in. Like drinking from a fire hydrant, they did their best to receive. Their souls had never been so stretched in their lives. They are doing what anyone does when they feast their eyes on something more majestic, more magnificent, more spectacular than they have ever before seen—they are going to stare in wide-eyed wonder.
Stop for a moment. Think about what it was like when God first manifested His spectacular presence to the disciples. It is certainly reasonable to expect these disciples to turn to the One who is now manifesting Himself and give Him praise and to select words they’ve never used before to describe the presence of One whom they had never encountered on this level before.
Parts of this article have been developed with permission using material from Author and Rev. Fred Hartley, International College of Prayer.