Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
I love the Holy Ghost, Friend.
My good friend and coworker, Eric Sonera, said something a few weeks back that has been haunting me. He had been in Mexico doing a Bible school. Several folks were filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues. Someone asked him why we emphasize this aspect of the New Testament so much. His response left me speechless, “This experience was lost to the church for centuries. We can’t let it be lost again.” As I visit churches and talk to preachers, it seems to me that we are headed for just such a day. Many churches don’t ever speak of such things, and certainly don’t invite folks to practice them. This breaks my heart. What we usually refer to as being “baptized with the Spirit” has been such an integral part of my personal life since 1980, I can’t really imagine trying to serve the Lord without it. It’s my reality. I speak with tongues every day, sometimes it seems almost all day.
I remember hearing my friend, Judy, (she soon became my wife) talking about this experience in January of 1980. I was totally ignorant of such things. What little church background I had was in the Southern Baptist denomination, and they never talked about it. Judy’s aunt invited me to a little Bible study and gave me some mini-books to read. I went home and looked up all the verses. I could see it in the Scripture: those people spoke in a language they didn’t know, given to them by the Holy Spirit. I went back to Aunt Sue’s house the next Tuesday, where three ladies prayed for me. God touched me in such a powerful, tangible way that I could not stand up for the better part of an hour. My only thought was, “This is real!” It felt like liquid love. To this day, when I begin to pray with other tongues, I am reminded of just how real the power of God and the love of God are. It’s not a religion or an organization or a doctrinal statement. It’s the tangible Person of the Holy Spirit who hovered over the face of the deep in the day of creation moving to me, through me, and on my behalf. This is real, and I want everyone with a hunger for God to have it.
Somebody Said: Too many people today know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Ann Landers
Scripture Reading: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Act 1:8 NLT)
I am painfully aware of the excesses and lunacies that have been foisted upon us in the name of the Holy Spirit. All that aside, this is real! He is real. The Baptism with the Sprit is real. If that is weird to you, I encourage you to suspend judgment for a bit and ask the Lord to show you truth. To those of you who, like me, have enjoyed the wonder of the Spirit coming upon you, please, let’s not let this go back into the closet of religious relics. I am an unashamed Holy Ghost guy, and a grateful one at that. Consider joining me.
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