John 14:16-17 – “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” NKJV
It was a typical school day, but it changed my life forever! I was already a believer, and I enjoyed reading the Bible, even though I didn’t always understand it. Going to church was not just something that I did, but somewhere I enjoyed being; although few people could actually answer my questions about God. I taught Sunday School, I sang in the choir, and I had preached my first sermon. However, I was crying out to God for more of Him. I wanted to know Him, understand Him, and see the God of the Bible in my life. I was ripe for the Holy Ghost and didn’t even know it!
I still remember walking down the walkway and running into my classmate and high school friend. She was different, yet the same. She went to a holiness church, and although she had a lot of restrictions about her dress, when she got to school she became “normal”. So here we are talking, and she says to me, “You need the Holy Ghost!” What? I thought! Where did that come from? I probably ragged her about that fact that she must need it too, because she didn’t believe what she was being taught, hence, the changing of the clothes. You know how we do, when we are uncomfortable with something, we deflect!
That statement rang through my head so much, that I begin to try figure out, what did it mean to “need” or to “get” the Holy Ghost? Of course, as a Bible reader, I knew the Holy Ghost was in the Bible, but I didn’t know I could “get” the Holy Ghost!
Not long after that, a different classmate invited me to his church. I agreed to go, and when I got there, these people also believed in “getting” the Holy Ghost, and “needing” the Holy Ghost! Instead of running, I started asking questions, and paying attention, and there was something special about these people who “had” the Holy Ghost.
I tried to get the Holy Ghost. I went to the altar and tarried for the Holy Ghost. The things that I was told to do were pretty ridiculous in hindsight, but my heart was genuine. However, I didn’t “get” the Holy Ghost. I was saddened, thinking that it was so special, and I must be pretty unworthy. But I didn’t say anything.
Time went by. Then one weekend our choir was invited to sing at another church. I really wanted to go, but I had a serious toothache. My dear sister in the Lord convinced me to go anyway. While we sang, I was completely pain free, but after it was over, the pain was pretty intense. We had arrived back at our church, when she asked the choir members to pray for me. As they laid their hands on me and prayed for me to be healed, I was filled with the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It was amazing! Immediately, fluent words of a language I had no prior knowledge of, flowed from my lips. As these words flowed, I was healed. I didn’t understand all that was happening, but I felt so honored by God that I was filled with the Holy Spirit. Finally! I didn’t “need” Him, or have to “get” Him, because He just filled me with Himself and literally changed me.
I know there’s a huge debate in “Christendom” about the authenticity of “speaking in tongues” and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but it matters not. All that matters is what God’s word says about this aspect of His Being! And I am a witness that it is true. When I was baptized, I didn’t become weird and flaky, I became solid and strong in my faith. Not only that, I began to “experience” God in new ways. Ways that I later discovered were “manifestations” of the Holy Spirit that Paul discussed in 1 Corinthians 12. I have been desiring for a while to write about the amazing possibilities that can happen in your life and through your life when you open yourself up to the Spirit of God. However, I didn’t feel it was the right time. Today, I will begin!
My classmate was right! I did need the Holy Spirit! However, I think she spoke more prophetically than experientially! Having this second important experience in the Lord, has been rewarding, fulfilling, and life impacting for me. Here are a few things I now understand that I did not know:
- I didn’t have to tarry for the Holy Spirit to fill me. In Luke 24:49, Jesus told His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. This He told them because the Holy Spirit hadn’t yet come. However, no one needs to tarry now because He has come! We just open our hearts and receive Him!
- Your initial “baptism” will be amazing, but He will fill you again and again! Why? In Acts 4:31, Luke wrote that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. These are the same people who were filled in Acts 2. After we minister, and as we live, we will find ourselves operating in our own strength, or no strength. This is a great time for a re-filling of the Holy Spirit for He adds strength, power, and even encouragement to the weary.
- Originally I thought that I could only speak in tongues when the Holy Spirit initiated the action, but Paul wrote that it was his wish that everybody spoke in tongues, even encouraging that we sing and pray in the Spirit.
I would like to take some time to take the fear out of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and to introduce you to a more intimate fellowship with our God. For those of you who are already filled, but not as expressive, or new to communing with the Father through the Person of the Holy Spirit, I would like to help you walk with Him. I wish someone would have taken that time with me. I learned things about Him through trial and error at first. Later, I eventually met my sister in law who shared many wonderful truths with me about this communion with the Holy Spirit. The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn, so I have read many books about Him, trying the Spirit by the Spirit and the Word of God.
I won’t use religious terms or cliches that I don’t explain, and I won’t belittle you into thinking you have to agree with me. However, I will share the word, and then you be the “Berean” and search the Scriptures for yourself! I look forward to sharing my dear Friend, Holy Spirit, with each you! Wonderful Jesus!