Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly Akintayo Emmanuel Shares 3 Ways to Encounter God’s Presence Anytime and Anywhere

One of the most profound, startling, inspiring — and yet, misunderstood — passages in the Bible is found in Luke 17:20–21, in which Jesus tells the antagonistic Pharisees that “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

It is easy to appreciate why Jesus’s remarkable proclamation is profound, startling and inspiring. However, why is it also misunderstood by so many non-Christians and Christians alike? According to Akintayo Emmanuel, the Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly, it all comes down to how people perceive time in their daily lives.

“Most of us are never living in the present,” commented Akintayo Emmanuel, who in addition to his work with God’s Remnant Assembly also serves as President of G42-Global Reformers, The Bridge, and GRA Mission Squad. “Instead, we are constantly anticipating the future, either with desire or dread. But life, which is an expression of the kingdom of God, exists in the here and now. When we keep looking to the future, we miss the only opportunity there is to encounter God’s presence and enter His kingdom.”

What’s more, there is no need for people to perform elaborate rituals or complex rites in order to encounter God’s presence. They can do so as long as they have a relationship with God and through any of the following methods:

1. Be Grateful

Perhaps the simplest and most immediate way that anyone can encounter God’s presence is to stop focusing on what they don’t have or what hasn’t been given to them, and instead celebrate all that they have been given, and indeed, all that they have been spared. As proclaimed in Philippians 4:6–7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

According to Akintayo Emmanuel, an attitude of gratitude is immediately transformative, and fills our hearts with love and peace. This gives us an assurance that God is within us.

2. Strengthen One’s Faith

Another powerful and profound way to encounter God’s presence is to strengthen one’s faith by thinking lovingly of the Lord, and praying for His protection, guidance, and deliverance from sins and temptations that can put us on the wrong path. As proclaimed in John 6:35: “Then Jesus declared, `I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”

Akintayo stresses that individuals do not have to be in a place of worship to turn their hearts and minds towards the Lord. They should do this throughout the day. It should be the last thought they have before they sleep, and the first thought they have when they wake up. By strengthening our faith, we invest in and honor the only relationship that ultimately matters, and from which everything in our lives springs forth: our relationship with God.

3. Forgive Others

Last but certainly not least, forgiving others breaks down barriers and obstacles that prevent us from encountering God’s love. As proclaimed by Mark 11:25: “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Akintayo claims that to truly forgive others — and encounter God’s love anytime and anywhere — we must work on ourselves and remove all resistance to forgiveness. Depending on the people and situation, this can take a while. It may even take years. But we should never cease in our efforts, and should always call upon God’s help and support.

Overseer of God’s Remnant Assembly. Married to Pastor Sarah Emmanuel, founders of GRA Mission Squad.