Perhaps you think I have gone over the edge. Perhaps you’re thinking—I was taught this or I was taught that about the Holy Spirit. He does not act that way any longer. I was taught the same things but I lived as a prisoner in a religious and emotional box. I could see freedom from the window of my cell but stretch and strain as hard as I might I could not reach it—it was just beyond my fingertips.
I finally got so desperate that I began to read the Bible with a ravenous hunger. I refused to accept what some denomination, or professor, or preacher, or teacher, or theological system that limits God had said, and instead I sought to find out what the Bible said. I came to the point where I was willing to accept what Jesus said at face value. As I read, I began to cry out for what he promised his followers. “God I want what you promised and gave to those believers back in the book of Acts. I want the same thing! I want all of you! I want nothing more, but I refuse to accept anything less!”
All the verbiage and deductions that sounded so good in neatly packaged sermons, lessons, and lectures was not producing the kind of life I was reading about in Scripture. It was not working for me. I talked to friends and mentors and their advice was to read the Bible more and prayer harder. I had heard this kind of advice for most of my Christian life and it never worked. I had plenty of information but no saw little transformation. I was filled with knowledge but not the power of the Holy Spirit. I was like a power saw fitted with a brand new blade, but my electrical plug was lying inches away from the power outlet. I was close but not plugged in. I was close but no cigar. Close is not good enough. I was frustrated, empty, and boxed in.
So I began to do what Jesus told us to do. I began to seek—to ask—to knock. I read the Scriptures through with new eyes and listened to what God was saying with new ears. I put my presuppositions away. I laid my theological systems and excuses down. I humbled myself and ask God to forgive me for my arrogance and stupidity. I asked him to forgive me for attempting to put him in a box and I did what Jesus told his disciples to do.
Please listen very closely and carefully this is not rocket science. I am not talking about being slain in the Spirit or falling down under the Spirit’s power. I am not talking about speaking in tongues or any other manifestation that may or may not have occurred in the experience of other believers in the past. I not saying it won’t happen either. So just relax a little whichever way you lean.
No—I am not talking about an experience (though there might be one)—I am talking about an encounter with Jesus where the empowerment of the Holy Spirit comes and that encounter or experience or whatever you are most comfortable calling it changes you forever. It plugs you into the power source and your spiritual motor starts to spin at a high RPM and the boxes start exploding like firecrackers. I’m talking about knowing for certain that you are walking in the presence and the power of God. I’m talking know so not hope so.
It is possible if you obey what Luke 11:13 tells us to do—what Jesus told us to do. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?
I found when I obeyed God’s Word that God honored my obedience. “What did you do?” you may be wonderking.