How I Met The Holy Spirit

The most essential thing you need after you are born again is the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  You may or may not be familiar with the Holy Spirit, despite the fact you may have been raised in a church. This was the case with me. In fact, I rarely even heard anything on the subject of being born again.

When I was younger, I was hungry for God, faithfully attending a denominational church.  We went through the normal religious routines on Sunday morning. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. I remember the service orders well: three hymns and a prayer followed by a silent moment of meditation. We always quoted The Lord’s Prayer and then the pastor had a quick sermon and a benediction. It was all laid out the same way every service. I’m not saying order is a bad thing, but I never saw much happening spiritually in that congregation. I never saw the reality of the gospel in people’s lives changing or sicknesses being healed.  There was no demonstration of the Kingdom of God.

I was eighteen years old, running my dad’s pizza shops, when one night a guy came in and invited me to a revival. It was at a Methodist church, and the guest speaker was an evangelist who spoke about Jesus doing the same things today as he did in the Bible. Now that caught my attention, because I wanted to see that! It sparked my hunger.

Following the revival, I met a group of women who held a Bible study at the church. They were talking about something called the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and I had never heard of the things they were discussing. Apparently, they had been going to the Women’s Aglow meetings, and they were so excited. I asked them if I could come to their Bible study. I was so hungry for God that I didn’t even mind being the only guy, an eighteen-year-old at that.

The women began to go through the scriptures and share with me about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Then they took me to a Women’s Aglow meeting, where for the first time, I saw a demonstration of the Holy Spirit. People were being healed, overcome by the power of God, singing in the Spirit and rejoicing. I was really overwhelmed.  I was so excited to find the reality of the gospel operating in the earth. They helped me receive the baptism, but I struggled with it because no one before then had ever said it was real. I went back and forth for probably three years, and many kept saying it wasn’t of God. I finally came to the conclusion during this time period that I was going to study what Jesus said about it.

Several months after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I was placed in a youth leadership position at the Methodist church I attended.  There were about fifteen kids in the  youth group, and I wanted to tell them about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, because I realized there was more to it than what they were experiencing singing those three hymns and praying that same prayer. I was oblivious to the fact that some people might not be happy about it.

I didn’t get the Pastor’s permission or anything, and he came to the meeting.  I started sharing with them about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and I did not even mention speaking in tongues but asked them to raise their hand if they wanted to receive it.  I didn’t know what to do; I mean, I had never seen anyone minister to someone about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  I said, “Let’s bow our heads and pray.”  We bowed our heads and prayed, and all of a sudden seven kids started speaking in tongues.  As they started speaking in tongues, I saw the most unusual glow on their faces. They were lit up like light bulbs - I was shocked, not really expecting that. 

The Pastor was definitely surprised, because, during the meeting, he pulled me out of the room and said, “This is of the devil. You cannot be the youth leader here any more; we are not going to have this.”  I was thinking in my mind, “How can you say this is of the devil? I mean, look at these kids - they are glowing.” You could see the anointing physically on them.  Of course, I didn’t even know what the word anointing was back then.  I just knew they were glowing. 

I returned to church the following Sunday, still kind of in the dog house because of the youth meeting.  During the service, there was a silent moment of meditation and prayer; everyone’s head was bowed, and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I was on the end of the pew, and I felt someone tap me on my shoulder. I looked up, and one of the kids who had been in the youth meeting and gotten baptized in the Holy Spirit was standing there. He said to me, “Let’s go!”  I was thinking, “Let’s go? Let’s go where?”  Amazingly, he was glowing just like the night he received the Holy Spirit.  You could see it. I knew God was doing something. He said. “I’m going to go pray for my mom.”

 I knew his mother. She was a small, thin woman and had been sick and in a lot of pain for a long time. She had five vertebrae in her back that doctors wanted to fuse together, and she was scheduled to have surgery. She happened to be sitting in the front pew. He said to me, “Let’s go!” I didn’t know what to do! I thought he was just going to go up there and lay his hands on his mom, but that is not what he did. He went up there, picked his mother up right off the pew, carried her up on the platform, and began praying for her as loud as he could in tongues. This all took place during the silent moment of meditation! Then he turned to me and said, “You explain what’s going on.”  So there I am, standing in front of the congregation, explaining what God was doing while he prayed for his mom in tongues.  Do you know what happened? She was instantly healed!  That was faith, plain and simple. Let me just say, the baptism in the Holy Spirit will give you the boldness to do the works that Jesus did, despite what people think about you. It will change your life!

If you would like to receive this simple gift of the power of God, just ask. It says in Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Also, it says in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” You can do what Jesus did with the power of God in your life. Just ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill your life. Put on some worship music and just begin to thank Him for it. Speak what comes out of your spirit. Once you taste the raw power of God, you will never want to go back. Listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit to give you direction as you live this life. No longer do you have to rely on your own wisdom and power. Meet your best friend, the Holy Spirit, today!

~Gary