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(About a 5 min read… if you read fast… )


When I was 27 years old… I was part of a small Pentecostal church… as part of my seeking experience, I tried many things to discover the power that the Bible mentioned over and over again…


The church had started weekly prayer meetings… I was excited to go, because I’d heard that “powerful things” would happen and I didn’t want to miss it…

The pastor began talking on Sundays about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and how we need it to take our next steps with serving God… I was intrigued… I wanted to know more…

I arrived at this prayer meeting… the air was thick… the room reverberated with a grand array of different dialects… the windows were wet with moisture and the aroma in the room was that of a unventilated gym… but I didn’t care… I wanted to know the truth…

I began praying… “God give me your Holy Spirit!!… please, give me your Holy Spirit!… I’m ready! Is now a good time?… “the chatter would die down and someone would start speaking loudly in a strong foreign accent…” then another person would say something encouraging and the chatter would pick up again…


Everyone’s arms were in the air… I tried to compete and blend in… I just didn’t have the deltoid strength… I didn’t have the stamina…


This would go on for hours… sometimes into the very early morning of the next day…

I would leave disappointed… I would think to myself “I must not be praying well enough…” and eventually I started believing that I wasn’t worthy of the honor of receiving…

This went on for a total of nine months… month two: I fasted for 30 days on only water… month five: I fasted 30 days on only juice… and finally month 8: I fasted for 40 days on only liquids… but nothing happened… that is except for rapid weight-loss… job loss… and hope deferred…


My life was a wreck, my faith was a speck, my strength was gone and my life was in shambles…


I woke up early the next morning… Sunday… I got into my truck and drove to the church… it was 5am… I went into the small storefront church building… stood before the alter in the front of the sanctuary… and cursed God for being a deadbeat… I’m not one for crying… but I felt 9 months of wasted expectations… frustration and anger built up… deep inside like a champagne bottle ready to pop… I went and hid myself behind the stage… feeling unworthy to pray at the alter… and fell into tears… I was there… feeling defeated and condemned… religion, like a noose around my neck… alone for six hours feeling hurt and manipulated…


I came to the end of myself…


In a low whisper I said… “God… I thought that you wanted me to have your Spirit more than I even wanted it… just give me your Holy Spirit…”


I fell into a trance… it was like the heavens opened and a roar of rushing water hit me from above… upon contact, I immediately began speaking…. I had no idea what I was saying… an over whelming peace flooded my heart… my mind… I felt loved… accepted… it was beautiful and weird…


Here’s the problem with spiritual encounters… nobody believes you… but they don’t need to… because it’s yours… there was an issue though… no one in my circle seemed to know what to do next… it was like an accomplishment with no next level… and I sunk back into my life worse than I was before… Still lost… I continued my search for truth… in pantheism… and pagan rituals… unsettled and misguided…


People often see God as an achievement… they try to see what they can get… they don’t know that at the heart of God… is love… because that’s who He is… and that receiving the Holy Spirit isn’t a challenge… it’s a gift…


The element that I missed for 10 years after that experience was that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to help us become better in this world… to give us wisdom… direction… and grace-equipping to become overcomers in this life… we were made for this… If you’ve come to a similar place… if you’ve been seeking and seeking, but like Bono… you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, this free gift awaits you…


If you’ve never received the Holy Spirit… pray this prayer with me… “Thank you Jesus for sending Holy Spirit to equip me and build me in all Truth… I believe that you are the Son of God… I believe that you died to free me from a dead end life… Jesus, I receive your Holy Spirit, I believe that you want me to have it more than I even want it because it’s the power of God alive in me!”


Then start speaking… and message me about what happens.


Michael




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