Memorial Stone #4 - Power
It was November of '85 and I had just turned 16. My dad called (my parents were in the middle of a divorce - more on that in another post) and asked if I wanted to visit a new church with him. It was about 70 miles from the town where we lived, but he described the music as being more "contemporary" and I was intrigued. Sure enough, there were guitars, keyboards, and drums...in an adult church service. It was a new concept for me. I was also fascinated with the fact that people seemed happy and free. There was a contagious enthusiasm for more of God. The pastor gave an altar call and one of the invitations was for those who wanted the power of the Holy Spirit. I just knew I needed more. I responded to the invitation and the altar worker I met with prayed with me to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Unlike my salvation experience (see Memorial Stone #2), this time I felt virtually nothing, and I sure wasn't going to speak in a language that didn't make sense just because the guy prompted me to. I had read about speaking in tongues in the Bible, but I had never been taught on it, and I guess I am one of those (and still am) who needs to completely check things out in the Word before I "buy into it". I totally believed I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit when I had prayed and I was thrilled about it, I just didn't feel that I had to "prove" it. I began to study it out in the Word, found the backing that I needed, yielded my tongue to the Holy Spirit, and it just flowed. Having a Helper to help me pray when I didn't know what to pray was (and is) so wonderful.
Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit, told His disciples to "wait...until you have received power from on High." They needed to be properly equipped in order to accomplish the tasks God had planned for them. The Great Commission still applies today, and the Holy Spirit is still here, wanting desperately to equip you with power and help you to be all God wants you to be. Have you ever thought about how long eternity is? When I think about the fact that forever has no end, it makes my brain hurt, but just because my finite mind cannot fully grasp it does not make forever any less real. I encourage you not to let a lack of understanding keep you from seeking all that God has provided for you. Two books I would highly recommend are "The Bible Way to Receive the Holy Spirit" and "Why Tongues?", both written by Kenneth Hagin. I would also highly recommend "Good Morning, Holy Spirit" by Benny Hinn.