Friday, July 29, 2011

The Holy Spirit vs Religion

In my enthusiasm for the Holy Spirit - the witness of Jesus on earth - I just couldn't contain myself. I somehow rounded up a bunch of friends from the local evangelical church and invited them to one of the conference meetings. They were nice folks, loving, but always struggling. By there own admission, they were saved, but each one confessed that they didn't seem to be going anywhere with God. Religion for them was boring and bit dry. They had been told that tongues were of the devil, and that any worship of the Holy Spirit and not about Jesus, was a cult.

Off we went to the meeting!

“Do you believe God?” shouted a loud and fiery preacher from the platform; right in the midst of worship. There was such a sense of the need to repent, that I hit my knees as soon as I found a seat. Closing my eyes, I quietly cried out, “God forgive me, God forgive me! Oh Jesus, please forgive me.” I wasn't looking around me—it was me and the Lord right then. A few minutes later, when I felt a release, I stood to my feet and I noticed that hundreds were on their knees around the sanctuary. Except for an Anglican mass, I had never seen such a sight.

The meeting went on going between worship and preaching, to prophesying and praying, and back to preaching again. The air was filled with anticipation. I hung on every word, every note expecting something to happen. What, I didn't know.

At the first of many altar calls that evening; a couple that I was with went forward. The husband asked for healing for his a lung disorder. As the presence of God came on him, the preacher asked him to recite the sinner’s prayer. He just began to cry as he mouthed the words.

“Are you full of the Spirit?” she asked. “You know, God won’t give you a scorpion when you ask for an egg.” She continued. “Do you want to be full of His spirit, His Holy Spirit?”

He barely eked out a “yes,” and the power of God caused him to lean forward 45 degrees to the floor. As he started to speak in tongues, he just hung there, almost suspended in thin air.

“Now do you want to be healed?” she asked.

“Yes” he said, and hit the floor, overcome by the power of God.

The preacher leaned over and grabbed his hand, “Get up and run! Show everyone what God has done for you tonight!” She exclaimed.

He got up and ran around that sanctuary! “I can breath!” he shouted as he took his victory lap down the center aisle. People clapped and gave God praise as he returned to the seat next to me.

Next it was his wife’s turn. They had been trying to have a baby for nearly five years. One of the ministers laid hands on her belly, and shouted. “I break the curse of bareness over your womb!” She fell to the floor.

A few weeks later my friend’s wife was sick in the mornings and went for a pregnancy test. The doctor determined, not only that she was pregnant, but that she had conceived the day of the conference! We laugh about it every time we bump into each other. Because of her healing that night, they went home and believed God for her miracle.

What do you think, is it God or not?


Anonymous said...

Definitly God my friend!

I love it when the Spirit moves like that in our services...

He is amazing beyond compare!
His power is Matchless!

Mina said...

Totally God! I love it when we just allow God to be in charge and do what He loves to do!

SethC said...

It's awesome when God moves in ways we aren't comfortable with. As I read your post I was skeptical (I come from a conservative background) but I'm glad to hear God is doing amazing things in people's lives. It always makes me smile when He does things I don't think He should, or acts in a way that makes me uncomfortable :)

David-FireAndGrace said...

@Arny - Amen!

@Mina - another Amen!

@Seth - yeah, I remember the days when I felt that way. I was even afraid. But I knew these people, and more importantly,I learned to know Jesus even more deeply. Thanks for reading along!

Andrea York said...

@Seth, I can relate completely but I love your willingness to accept that God might be outside your comfort zone.

The first time I went to a church meeting that was outside my box, I closed my eyes because I didn't want to be distracted by the crazy happening around me.

Now I close my eyes when I'm at a "normal" church service because I don't want to be distracted by the lack of excitement in others.

I totally believe it's God because I've seen crazy stuff like that.

I especially love the story and testimony of the miracle birth.

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful account. Our God is so good and I'm grateful that He chooses to work among us - however it may look.

photogr said...

I can attest that God does heal others not only to edify His super natural powers but also to give loving grace and mercy to those that might need solace or healing.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

yee haw love the stories David. I need to hear them. I love that the couple went home and, well, tried - after a church meeting.

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