The Holy Spirit And Me
A TESTIMONY OF POWER Part 2
The Holy Spirit And Me
I’ll begin Part 2 where I left off in Part 1...
In yet another place we hear the Apostles ask,
"Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?...Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
Mama and daddy and I hadn’t , but we soon would.
So my parents persisted to hang around that creek bank. As dangerous as it was, I soon joined them there. And talk about slippery when wet, was that creek ever slippery! Upon that bank, the teachings of the Bible were playing tug-of-war with the traditions of men.
Daddy was the first to fall in, but only slightly ahead of mama and me.
Soon, the day came when daddy got out his Bible and we began searching the word together to see for ourselves what it said.
For instance, did God really say the baptism of the Holy Ghost is for us all? And if so, what else did He say?
Really, was there more? Our inquiring minds wanted to know.
That day, as we searched, I remember asking daddy the one question that pushed all three of us over that slippery bank and sent us splashing into the water below. Or in this case, the waters above. Jesus tells us,
" From your bellies shall flow rivers of living water."
I said to daddy, "Didn't Paul say, ‘I thank my God that I speak in tongues more than ye all’? And didn't he also say, ‘I would that ye all spake with tongues' ?"
Daddy sat and studied these verses silently and prayerfully, first one then the other. Then, he exclaimed, ""Well, it's in the Bible, and if God said it, then I believe it!"
Hear his words carefully, as I did that day, "If God said it, then I believe it! "..."If God said it, then I believe it!"...If God said it, then I believe it!"
The impact of these words hit me and daddy, and faith rose up in us like a giant. That did it for me, and that did it for him. I don't know what did it for mama, but God won that tug-of-war in all three of us.
Now let me tell you something about my Daddy. He was a gentle soul, but everything he did he embraced wholeheartedly with the greatest enthusiasm. Soon, his feet were not even touching the ground. He said it was like he had liquid fire flowing through his veins.
In the meantime, mama and I had received too, though not as dramatically. Neither of us had great feeling with it. Mama said to me, "How come your daddy has liquid fire in his veins and I don't?" I couldn't think of a thing to answer. I hadn't any liquid fire in mine either, but God did have a surprise for me that lasts longer than the an experience.
Jesus said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe...they shall speak with new tongues...”
Does this sound like something that has “passed away”?
There are ones who speak in tongues with a huge vocabulary of different languages from the start, but not me. My vocabulary was meager at best. My mouth would open and only a few phrases and syllables would come out and those would be repeated over and over.
The devil tried to tell me, "See there, you didn't get anything; what a bunch of gibberish!" I refused to listen. I knew that if God had said it, then it was true. I believed God and I believed His word. So I was not to once question what I had. It's just that I didn't yet recognise the importance.
And power? What power? I was completely naive on about power or dunamis. As you can see, I hadn't yet studied all the scripture on the Holy Ghost. But, if I'd known then what I know now, that dunamis, the power to reproduce itself like a dynamo, was at home in my earthen vessel, I would have jumped up and down in excitement.
And Spiritual gifts? What are those?
When I was filled with the Spirit, as the baptism is also called, it was as quiet as a setting sun, and as gentle as a whisper. The Holy Spirit did not descend like a dove to rest upon me, as He did with Jesus. Neither did cloven tongues of flames appear on my head. No, I received the Holy Ghost the exact same way I had received Jesus. By faith, not feeling.
My experience was an ordinary one. Unlike daddy, I didn’t walk around with my feet not touching the ground. No liquid fire surged through my veins. It was just one of those moments those that came in like a lamb. But it was every bit as powerful as daddy’s lion experience, and just as precious, and I was not ever to forget it.
It was nighttime, and I was alone. In my heart, I determined that this night I would receive the Holy Spirit, so I got out my Bible,and turned to the book of the Luke, to chapter 11, verses 9-13.
I hear some say, "What you got is not real, it's not of God." But how so? The Bible teaches, "Ask and you shall receive...for everyone who asks receives.."
Next, follows three important questions: "If a son asks for bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone (instead)? or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent (instead)? or if he asks an egg, will he offer him a scorpion (instead)?"
Then comes the pointed question we are to ask ourselves when approaching the Father God for anything, whether promise or need, plus any other time we are tempted to doubt. "If you, being evil (being finite, human and unrighteous), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much MORE shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"
How much more direct can Jesus be?
Since I asked of God, my heavenly Father, would I instead receive of the devil? This passage and others say, No! No! NO! God tell me here that what I ask, I get. He is not powerless. And He does not speak with a forked tongue. He tells us, if you can give your child what he asks for, how much more will I,the heavenly Father, give the Holy Spirit?
How much MORE...How much MORE... now, there's the "MORE" I was after: The Holy Spirit.
Well, you know what? That night I reasoned that I’m a born again child of God. He is my Father. So I didn’t just take a stab in the dark when I asked for what He promises to give to all of His kids who ask: the Holy Spirit.
Come as a child He tells us. Come in faith. I came and I was rewarded. Just as He said I would be. Just as He says you will be.
First I reminded Him of His own words, “Father, you say here in Luke 11 that if I ask you for the Holy Spirit, you will give me the Holy Spirit, so I’m asking. You say you won’t give me something evil instead. May I please have your Holy Spirit?”
I felt nothing. No rapturous joy, just calm. So I thanked Him. Still, I felt nothing. Might as well of been a rock. But, I wasn’t any less filled than the original Apostles, or Paul, or daddy,or mama; or millions of others, all of whom got what they came for as well. So I proceeded to the next step.
I continued where I left off, “Father, I believe I’m now filled with your Holy Spirit. I have received by faith. The evidence is speaking in tongues. Now I will open my mouth and speak anything but English.”
I then did exactly as I prayed. I opened my mouth and spoke. Not from my head. This beautiful prayer language bypasses the head, or mind, as it is not a product of our thinking.
The Holy Spirit’s Words; our voice. He gives the utterance, we do the speaking. By faith.
That night, I believed. I said. I received. I acted.
Not by feelings. By faith. If I waited to feel baptised, I’d still be waiting. We do it, then we have the evidence of it. Never do we get the evidence first.
You receive the same way. Your experience may differ but the faith formula is the same:
Believe. Say. Receive. Do.
And don’t forget: Give thanks.
Above all, I will say again: Bible promises aren’t ours by “feeling”, or by the way things look. These are not the ruler by which to guage who has been saved or who has been filled with the Spirit. God doesn’t say, “You have it when you feel it”. He says, “You have it when you believe it.” Hear the words of Jesus,
“Therefore, whatsoever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it, and you shall have it.” Mark 11:24.
He is saying the same thing I did. Believe when you pray...Believe when you pray...Believe when you pray.
Believe what? That you receive what you believe when you pray or when you say (speak the same thing as God).
Believe. Say. Receive. Do.
Remember that big surprise I mentioned, the one that came on the heels of God filling me with His Holy Spirit?
A few days after I was received, I was up at my parents house. The girls and I spent much time there as our place was so tiny and cramped. The phone rang and I was closest to it, so I answered. The caller was...
TO BE CONTINUED...