Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Testimony 1-11-09

It happened to me in an instance and I will never be the same…

The last year of my life has been one of the hardest I have had to walk, but I have grown closer to the Lord in it than during the rest of my walk with Christ.  Despite all the challenges I was having to face with losing my job and trying to provide for all of my family’s needs, not once have I felt alone.  That is not to say I wasn’t ever afraid, but I clung to God’s word knowing that because I love the Lord and am called according to His purpose that He is going to work all things out for good.  Paul tells us to bear one another’s burdens and that it was for freedom that Christ set us free.  There is nothing that feels better than knowing you are walking with and yielding to the Holy Spirit in your life.  It sounded crazy in my own mind a year ago when we gave our problems to the Lord until I truly realized how faithful and true my God is.

The second message was a confirmation of the first message that God was preparing to do something major in my life as I was praising Him saying, “Here I am, send me.”  God doesn’t give us gifts to keep to ourselves; He gives them to us so we can share them with others.

 I truly serve an awesome God!

My journey as a Christian had been all over the map, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind how awesome my God is.  The closer I move to Him, the closer He moves to me and the more He occupies my heart and my mind.  For a long time, I was fixated on removing all sin from my life and yes I did have some major things God dealt with, but I soon realized we weren’t created to be sinless.  God doesn’t keep a tally sheet tracking all the good and bad things that we do.  He does however want the very best for us and He knows the desires of our hearts and He wants to give us a hope and a future.

If I could see a snapshot of my past life from heaven, I wouldn’t pick to see any of the rough spells because I already can picture the angelic multitudes interceding on my behalf.  Instead, I would want to see the celebration that took place when I cast away all the ways and things of my old life and became sold out to the Lord.  The devil used to have at his disposal so many things in my life that became very effective weapons in hindering and sometimes derailing my walk with Jesus.  It is amazing how the Holy Spirit can quicken your spirit and point things out in your life that don’t align with His will for us.  It truly humbles me to see God’s closeness in my life.  I praise the Lord daily for the mighty work He has done in my life and for the supernatural things He is continuing to do.  The last thing I want to do is what the children of Israel continually did.  They would be amazed and awestruck when God did something great, but how soon they would forget and turn back to their wicked ways.  I know that we are a slave to anything that controls us, so if we have sin in our life, we are a slave to it.  In my own life, I thank the Lord for His two outstretched arms, one to comfort me when I need it and the other to rule justly and swiftly over my life when I stray.

Forgiveness is a strange thing.  Once you have dealt with the giants in your life and have been cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb that does not mean those same giants won’t try to make their way back into your life or that the enemy won’t try to bring those memories back into your mind.  Instead of asking for forgiveness over and over and doubting that God could still use me to better His kingdom, I began to praise Him in all things especially when those memories of my past crept back into my thoughts.  Nothing makes the devil more upset than when we praise the Lord and the longer I denied my flesh the closer I drew to the Lord.  I needed to realize that every sinner has a past, but that every saint has a future.  I wish I could have learned some other way that Jesus was all I needed without feeling as though He was all I had.  But, because I love the Lord and I am called according to His purpose, I knew that He is causing all things to work together for good in His perfect timing.

Being saved and having salvation in my life was a wonderful thing, but when I was in filled with the Holy Spirit something wonderful happened.  It was a divine encounter that still amazes me as I think about the events that led up to it.  My personal revival was a day that I will never forget.  I now truly know that God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will and when we seek the Lord, He will find us.

When our old priorities don’t go with our new life, we either return to our old ways, or we adopt new priorities.  My old ways were road blocks in my walk with the Lord.  I knew a part of me had to die and my failure to decide might has well been my decision to fail.  When the world is pressing you so hard from one side and the Lord is pressing from the other, the only way I can describe it was giving into the Lord and falling into His grace and mercy.  You can’t amputate your history from your destiny.  My destiny is tied to my history and that is what redemption is.   I will never forget what the Lord dragged me out of.  The Lord declares to us that He knows the plans; plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans for a hope and a future.  Our past and our future share the same root and that root is Christ.  Once we are in Christ, Satan has no authority to destroy us, so he settles for the next best thing, threatening to destroy us or trying to convince us we are already destroyed.  Sometimes God’s invisible hand is so close in our lives that it covers our eyes.  Christ’s purpose in calling us to deny ourselves is that we would deny our selfishness, ambition, pasts, or any damaged emotions the right to cheat us of His far higher plans for our lives.

God through His Holy Spirit has transformed me.  He brought me to a place where I was willing to do anything to get out of the pit and everything to stay out.  To be out of the mud and mire and have my feet upon a rock.  He has put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to my God.  I pray many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord and I thank God for using the hammer of His word and the anvil of His unfailing love to transform and reshape me forever.  He spared no expense for us including His own son.  So, is anything too big for our God?  Is anything too wonderful for our God?  Even when we don’t see a way doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a way.  We need to let go and let God.  When we remove ourselves from the equation we allow God to do something supernatural in our lives.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  God not only wants to meet our needs, He wants to give us the desires of our heart.


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