Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit - Revisited

So, what is up with God? How come He comes in and changes everything in one’s life and then really rocks the world and challenges one’s very own doctrines that have been a part of life for many, many years?

For those of you who don’t know here is a synopsis of what has been going on in my life for the past few months:

In September of 2011, I was contemplating my place in life, the church, and in general in the Christian world. I read a portion of scripture which nagged me. I read Mark 16:15-18. I was put into a “cocoon” of metamorphosis as Del Tackett (from Focus on the Family’s “Truth Project”) so readily calls it. God was wanting me to change and so he allowed me to be in this cocoon.

I read Mark 16:15-18, where it says: “…these signs shall follow those who believe…” and then it lists the signs, and my cocoon was formed. I realized that in my life, these signs did not follow me and I questioned why. It so happened, that we were having a guest speaker in October that did have signs following him. Pastor Louw Ronquest from South Africa had been wanting to visit Manning for a couple of years and finally the opportunity came.

I was interested in what Pastor Louw would be saying. When he came it was evident that the signs listed in Mark 16 did indeed follow. One of the other scriptures that Pastor Louw used was 1 Corinthians 4:20: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” Also, 1 Corinthians 2:4-5: “My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” These were some of the verses that I pondered over the past 8-9 months.

Then Louw did the unthinkable, he invited me to join him in Zambia in March 2012 for supernatural training. How was I supposed to go to a foreign nation and preach the power of God and have signs follow after the message when I was unsure of the whole thing myself. This left me in a place of feeling slightly intimidated by the whole process.

The trip to Zambia did occur with four others from Manning and it was an awesome time. We did see many things occur outside of the natural. The theme of the time in Zambia was “Naturally Supernatural, Supernaturally Natural” and it did occur. I won’t go into the examples of this right now, maybe in a future update.

Our church has begun bringing back the evening worship service. We began at the end of January 2012 and have basically used this extra opportunity to purposefully seek after the heart of God and what He is wanting to do for Manning Family Worship Centre and for our community as well.

The prayers of the Zambia team were that the things we learned in Africa were not just for the Africans but that we would come back and be able to minister to the people of Manning. These prayers are being answered.

Our services in the evening have been tremendous times of meeting with God. We sing a little, speak a little, and pray a lot. Sometimes there have been dynamic things happening. Other times it has been quiet reflective moments. But we always pray for each other in some way or the other.

That is the background to this blog update. On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012 at the evening service, I spoke with one person about being baptized/filled in the Holy Spirit. There was a matter of semantics and definition of terms that we could have gotten into because of different upbringings, however, we decided to bypass all the words and just let God do.

We went to the front to pray. I called others, that had the filling of the Holy Spirit, to pray as well. Our focus was unapologetically to see the gift of tongues imparted. As we were praying, the person was mouthing words but they seemed to be English words. Those around us who were praying, myself included, in our “heavenly” language. It seemed the person was distraught over what was going on, whether with us, or within their mind. So I casually mentioned, “Whatever words are in your head, no matter how strange just speak them out.” The person started speaking very quietly, but the words were in English. I encouraged them to speak them out once again and the person stopped letting words come out.

At this point, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and my doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues was blown out of the water.

It was amazing.

Here’s what happened:

The Holy Spirit told me to speak to this person with these words: “The fun part is… English is a tongue!”

As soon as I spoke those words to this person, the tongue was loosed and they began praising God loudly and boldly, … in ENGLISH!

Directly after this, I asked the person how they felt. The answer: “I don’t know.”

Later I spoke to the person and they said that they knew how they felt … completely full. And I agreed that they looked like they were full. Of the Holy Spirit of course.

So why is it that we are always expecting to be speaking in tongues in a language other than English? Why is it that when someone speaks in a native language of some other country it is looked at as supernatural, but when we speak in English, under the same influence of the Holy Spirit, it is looked at as a natural occurrence. Of course, prophecy being exempted in this case. Think about it for a minute. In other countries, where English is not the primary language, it would be considered tongues, but for some reason, here it is not.

How many people are walking around in the world, feeling like second-class Christians, speaking with more boldness and power than most Christians, and yet they are as full of the Holy Spirit, or more than, these others but classified as not being baptized in or full of the Holy Spirit?

Could it be that we have been doing the Christian world a disservice? I know the chances of “imitators” is greater with doctrine such as this, but isn’t it so with any of the spiritual gifts?

I encourage you, especially if you have been seeking after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – continue doing so. And when you are in that situation and you have the mindset of speaking in English and not in some other form, DO IT and don’t be discouraged, be encouraged, because the Holy Spirit HAS TOUCHED YOU. For those of you who do have another language, continue praying in that language as well, because the Holy Spirit has touched you too.

I would also like to encourage all of you to continue seeking God for a different language, simply because I think it is cool. However, when it comes to praying in ANY language, be it English or otherwise, don’t just speak words. Grab hold of the Holy Spirit and add FAITH to the words and see what God can do!

GRAB HOLD OF THE HOLY SPIRIT and DO SOMETHING!

Just a thought ... in a Field of Roses