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Monday, September 26, 2011

Let the Spirit flow!

     We were having a night of silent prayer, accompanied with beautiful worship music.  We are usually there for an hour or two, every other Sunday evening at the Church.  It's a time of quiet reflection, and praise to God for all that He is, has done, and will do in the future.  Our purposeful intent in this time in the Spirit, is for our hearts and minds to uplift Him in whatever situation we may currently find ourselves.
     At the close of the evening, we come together from the various areas of the sanctuary.  We take the last remaining moments to share as a group, and voice the feelings, burdens, and thoughts that we might have had on our hearts during this time.  We use it mostly as a time to vocally share our prayer requests with one another.  Doing as the Bible asks us to "bear one anothers' burdens", and "pray one for another".  In these moments, God's presence seems to seal our earlier offerings of deep heartfelt worship.
     Various members of the team spoke, each sharing a concern that they would like us all to agree with them in prayer for for victory.  Then, one woman spoke up in an assured voice.  She directed her statement to a believer, whom I will call Hannah.  She told her that," God was going to fill her with the Holy Spirit to the degree that she had wanted for a long time".
     Hannah was a little shocked, but then was overcome with excitement, sprinkled with a bit of trepidation.  You see, Hannah was a devout believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  And she wanted the fullness of God more than anything.  She had sought the Baptism in the Holy Spirit for decades.  She had come to similar moments like this many times before in her journey in Christ.  Each time to only come away not obtaining that overflowing presence of the Father's promise that she so earnestly desired.
     At various times in her past, people had prayed for her to receive the promise.  Most having a specific form or model of " how" a person should receive this gift,then pressed her into their mold.  Instead of simply ushering her into His presence to simply receive Him.  Yet, with each "failure" so to speak, there was being built up inside her an invisible wall.  Doubt, the enemy of faith, was being created in her heart.  A feeling/thought pattern that she may never be able to receive what her spirit longed for, for so long.  Yet, through all of the trials, and years, she had never lost the desire of her heart to know God fully.  That someday she would receive the gift that she had so valiantly sought.  So, here she was once again, faced with the hope and the promise, yet still having a spiritual track record of not obtaining the prize.
     The group being led by the lady who spoke, were united in faith for Hannah.  Believing that tonight was her night!  Praises rang out to God.  We asked Him to grant our friend the desire to know Him more.  Hannah was simply asked to receive what the Lord had promised as a gift, by faith, and to speak any words that He might be sharing on her heart, whatever He would put in her mouth to speak.  As you might have guessed, after a few minutes, nothing happened.
     May I share with you some insight at this moment?   There are times when Christians operate not by faith, but rather out of hope.  Which can easily be sidetracked, or even derailed because we base it on our current condition, or our past experiences.  Faith is based on God's Word, and His character alone!  Sadly, for our sister, she had had past experiences that were very similar to this moment in time.  So, in her heart that invisible wall had to be torn down, before she could obtain her victory.  This is in no way an indictment of her condition, but is meant to help others, and shed light on somethings that sometimes hinder all of us in our Christian walk.
     So, back to our story.  As you remember, prayer and praise was going forth for our sister to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and her spiritual language.  Suddenly, I felt a prompting, which I shared aloud.  " Hannah*", I said "  I see that you have already received this gift in your spirit, but there seems to be a blockage in releasing it in you.  I see you like a bottle of champagne, and the cork just needs to Pop! So speak out the joy and words in your mouth!"  Within a moment of those words leaving my mouth, she literally exploded with joy!
     This middle-aged woman seemed to be filled with electricity and emotion that burst forth like light in the darkness.  She laughed, she cried, euphoria seized every ounce of her being.  And then out of her mouth came a language that she did not know, faster than the tongue seems to have the chance to form syllables.  Interspersed with the loudest, "Praise the Lord's" that I have heard in a long time.  She knew that she had received her personal gift from above.  Joy had seized her, and His name is the Holy Spirit.  As we all observed, and would later testify, this was one of the most exuberant cases of someone being filled with the Holy Ghost as we had ever seen in our lives.
     Hannah slowly melted to the floor; shedding tears of happiness, and laughter full of praise.  Her spiritual language melodiously pouring across her tongue.  I can truly say, that the only time that I have seen such a state of euphoria before, is seeing a child on Christmas morn.  I believe that it wasn't just Hannah that received a blessed gift that Sunday evening, but the group as a whole.  Even in a Spirit-filled Church, we can become stale to the things of God.  In pursuit of ever more of the wonders of His grace,and power; we become bored with what is presented so simply before us, this, awesome and treasured gift given for all who believe. 
     There was a great lesson that we learned by observing another of His children receive Him as a little child.  We must always, always, remember to both come to Him in joy of anticipation, and in that a child has for a parent.  No wonder Jesus taught in Matt 19:13, Mark 10:13, and Luke 18:15; that we needed to be like a little child to enter this majestic Kingdom of His, and His everlasting presence.

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