Man, God is a good God indeed! I know it seems every blog entry seems to begin with that, but it’s every time that I feel lead to post, it’s due to an extreme moment of grace…
I think I had my first or second moment of being “baptized in the Holy Spirit,” this evening. To explain what that means, as I understand it; Once you accept Jesus as your savior, you have inside of you, the fullness of the Holy Spirit. You can gain no more, and you can lose none of it. It is like the fullness of God in a dam inside of you. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is like breaking that dam and letting it all flow everywhere. It’s like complete immersion in the Holy Spirit, like a physical dunking in a way… I never fully understood what that was like until tonight.
A couple of friends of mine had been going through a rough patch in their relationship, and I felt like I wanted to help so much, but like always, I didn’t know what to say or do. As I’ve grown to understand, that immense feeling of empathy doesn’t come from me. That’s the Holy Spirit inside of me looking at this damage and crying out for them. Having no idea what else to do, I simply took a moment to pray to God about it, just asking Him to speak through me, to give them a word, or anything He wanted to do to help them- I wanted to be a part of it. After a moment of prayer, all I got was “open your mouth and speak, and I will flow.”
It’s a scary thing when you go to face a giant, and all God says is “when you go to fight. just open your mouth.” Our human nature is to want the full answer, to go “THEN what, God!?” But God wants us to trust that He will walk us step-by-step, and our only duty is to take the first one! So I did. I believe God had some good stuff to say, and after it all, the two friends of mine got to talk while I remained in the background (via Skype), praying in the Spirit. When one prays in the Spirit (or praying in tongues) it’s just a matter of physically speaking babble, but praying with your heart. Your spirit has secret things unknown to even your conscious, that it wants to tell the Lord, and by praying in the Spirit, it bypasses the conscience and goes straight from heart-to-God.
I had such an incredible experience unlike anything I had before… As I began to pray, I didn’t even know what I was praying or really thinking, but as one friend was asked to speak, my language changed, and I began to swell up with this great feeling of… I don’t know how to explain it… anxiety? More like, a releasing of a great sorrow, begin given up to God. She didn’t speak, but I believe that her spirit spoke through me to God. Crazy, innit?? Well it doesn’t end there…
For a few days now, I’ve been praying over a recent relationship of my own, and during my friends’ prayer, they brought me and my significant other up as well. At that point, I asked God what His will was for us two, and what I heard in response was… “Come with me. I have something amazing to show you.” It was weird. I was already praying in the Spirit, I was alone in the dark, I felt at peace with Him already, and I had just recently come off of a 21 day fast where I just experienced fellowship with Him, so I asked, “…How? I am already with you.” And again, I felt the calling “No, come with me, and I will show you something amazing.” Not knowing how, or what that even meant, I was just like, “Okay…”
I just felt like I had been taken to a whole other level! I can’t explain the feeling. Not quite “out of body experience,” but just this crazy depth… I felt just swept away as I continued to pray in the Spirit, and as I did God began to show me the spirit natures of my two friends. It’s also hard to explain, but I just had these mental visages of the man in the relationship being a fire, a stubborn, determined strength. Then the woman, I felt this soft spoken peace, this humble and gentle, sweet nature, but such a silent peace that was really powerful. The image I got is hard to explain, but like gentle round, rolling waves, but grey. I was amazed, so I asked rather selfishly, to show me the spirit of my love interest, because I desperately wanted to know if that’s where God wanted me. It was hard to see, it felt almost hidden, still mysterious, but God was telling me, “There is more to him than you know.” I was taken aback. The image I got was of a barely open oyster in a rocky ocean surrounded by crashing waves. Then I felt God saying “There is more to you than he knows, and than you even know.” I wanted to know more, and strongly felt God say “Come together and abide in me, and I will show you both something amazing.”
Man. Never before had I ever felt anything like this in my life, and SOoooooo very rarely do I ever get to hear God’s voice so booming and loud in my ear, especially accompanied by such visuals. This was no doubt, what it must be like to be “baptized in the Holy Spirit,” this complete immersion into another level where God and you are just so intimately close, that God can begin to show you the things and secrets He has planned for you.
Do you feel like you can’t hear God? Are you praying on something in FULL faith, but just not knowing how, or why it’s going to happen? Friends, I challenge you to really begin to spend time with Christ. He desires an intimate relationship with you, like a friend who has a secret garden. He has things to show you, and He desires for you to have full knowledge of that which you ask for. How you can achieve that, has everything to do with that one-on-one time you have with Him. It’s not something you have to work hard at, it’s not something you have to be “holy” to do. Just simply spend time with Him, in whatever way that looks like for you. Maybe it’s spending more time in the Word, or maybe it’s putting away that tv, computer, or video game system, and just sitting in silent meditation. Maybe you’ve been talking to God so much lately that He hasn’t gotten a chance to speak! So maybe for you, it may look like just sitting in silence and listening. Whatever that thing is, I encourage you to listen closely to the secrets God has to tell you by spending that time, and just “going with Him.”
Man, God is a good God!
The other day, my grandfather who was never known for being a man of faith to say the least, stepped out in faith for the first time! After witnessing to him about how my life-long flat footedness was cured through prayer, he took me aside later and asked if I could pray for his brother’s heart condition. I knew at that moment, that was the mustard seed of faith that was all that was required to see the healing manifest in his brother’s life! My grandfather’s never asked for prayer before, and only has recently started going to church though still trying to fight it now and again. But praise be to God, just stepping out in faith by asking for prayer was all that needed to be done in order for God to release the floodgate of blessings He’s been WAITING to pour into my grandfather and family’s life for a long time!!!
I’m excited to say that his brother is out of ICU, can speak cognitively and recognize everyone enough to call my grandfather today to tell him he’s better! MAN!!! God is a miraculous God!
Be encouraged today, that even if you’re not typically a strong person of faith, or maybe you’ve heard of it a few times, but was always afraid to really pray about it, that God is WAITING to release the physical manifestations of the blessings He already has bestowed to you, and all it takes is you extending a little prayer of faith, believing that it will be given unto you.
Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Sorry for the delay since my last post. Not much has been going on between now and then, but God’s placed some amazing people in my life lately, and though I feel like it’s been a bit slow and uneventful, I can feel God preparing me for something big soon to come. Maybe you’ve felt like that too? Like nothing’s been going on in your spiritual life, or in your life in general? Well don’t lose hope; God still has a plan for you. God doesn’t change, though the events in your life have. If you once felt like God was leading you somewhere, but you don’t see signs of it now, have faith in your conviction, and know that the silence may be because God is arranging the things around you to move in your life. Maybe you feel a bit discouraged, because things’ve been going to pot even after having an incredible moment at church, or amazing revelation in the Word, but suddenly things you’re doing just don’t seem to be fitting your identity in Christ? Well let me encourage you again, to know that you are the righteousness of God (2Corinth 5:21), and you can’t fall from His favor no matter what you’ve done. Check out this passage in Jeremiah 31:34: “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” “
Can you imagine that? God doesn’t remember your sins any more. As in, He forgets them. He wipes them from His mind, so that He sees you as the perfect holy and blameless righteousness of God (Ephesians 1:4).
If you’re feeling sedentary in your life, like you need movement and change, may I challenge you to bless someone today? Just send someone a text or email them, or even give them a call, and let them know they are loved today. It could be your grandma, maybe a friend, maybe an old grade school friend that’s been on your mind lately, or even someone you haven’t thought of in a long while. Don’t miss out on this chance to be a blessing in their life, if even for a few seconds. The Kingdom is missing out when you aren’t there! You are needed today. You have a purpose, and maybe it’s just letting someone know that you care.