Things become clear to me when my heart rate is at its maximum capacity in beats per minute. Unlike most people, I think best when I am moving and usually in a beaded sweat. Relax and think? Not so much. Not for me. Tonight, after getting Noah in bed, I worked out so hard that I actually threw up and that has not happened since high school when I would train for softball. Nothing beats the feeling of pushing your body’s limits. I forgot what that felt like. Anyway, I am inspired to write tonight about a recent revelation I have had. Acts. The Books of Acts in the Bible. I will be absolutely transparent and admit that the subject of the Holy Spirit has always been a fuzzy area for me to comprehend. Father, YES. Son, YES. Holy Spirit, Yes…I think…kinda. Let me sort out why. First thing is first, I need to take my shoes off. (I cannot write with shoes on).
I am going to start by giving every bit of credit to Pastor Beth Jones and her book, Getting a Grip on the Basics. Tonight in my class at church we were going through chapter nine in the book, “How to Be Sure You Are Filled With the Spirit.” My first thought, when I went through the material and studied all the scriptures LAST WEEK was, “Well, yeah. I am. I am solid in my faith and I believe it all. Everything. Not just pieces and bits. I pray and sing praises to the Lord daily.” I had already been through the material because I simply could not wait to find out more about what His Word had to say about this topic. I didn’t want to wait. Something kept prompting me to read Acts. I was hungry for Him and His Word. Well, this chapter and the entire Book of Acts made it all crystal clear to me. You should read it in its entirety.
I need to first tell a little story that has been on my heart for years. When I was in college, I had an experience that I have NEVER been able to make sense of or process in my mind. Now I know why, my faith is not based on information and feelings that the brain can produce. I found myself one morning, at a church with my family for my nieces dedication. I knew right away that it was not like a church I had ever been in before…and the church was decided on by my nieces mother (whom is no longer part of her life). I will say that I was in a season of life that usually led to me feeling like I got hit by a bus, often in the mornings. I have never used a drug in my life, but alcohol used to be my weakness. I didn’t drink it often, but when I did, I would drink too much. The idea of limiting it was unclear to me. Anyway, I was at this church with my family waiting for my nieces dedication. The pastor did it and I think everyone thought we were getting ready to go. All of the sudden, out of the clear blue sky, the Pastor says, “You there, in the pink sweater. Can I pray for you?” Ps. I was wearing the pink sweater. I was mortified. First of all, I had a pounding headache due to my poor choice the prior evening. Secondly, I was not at a good season in my life. I was confused and unclear about the future. Needless to say, my heart was not 100% set on my faith and the God I had grown to know and love. So I stood up and let this man prophesize to me. He went on, and on, and on about how the Holy Spirit was talking to him about ME. Why me? I was thinking, “Why did he pick ME out of all the people in the room.” He said, and it stuck with me to this day because I think about it often still wondering, WHY ME, “You are a leader. You have power to make changes and to make a big impact. You are a leader. Lead. Run and lead. I know you will lead. There are big plans in store for you.” WHAT?! What was this guy talking about? At the time, I sat there thinking, “What a total joke! Did the Holy Spirit mention to this guy that I am still under the influence of alcohol from last night? I sure hope God can’t see me today. I just wanted to go to bed and hide.” Then, it happened. He started to speak in tongues with his hand on my shoulder. My left shoulder. I really left thinking he was nuts as I had never been in a church that spoke in tounges! I also knew enough about God to go home and ask for forgiveness in prayer. I will NEVER forget that experience.
I share this story with you because I have finally reached the point in my faith to realize that the Holy Spirit is very real. I always knew he was, but I was just unclear about it. WHere exactly was He? He is real and He is Alive inside of me. I am SO glad! What a relief! I now can explain to people “where I get all that energy” and “why I am always so happy” because I was not really sure. Why did Steve and I not shed one tear, conquer the fear and beat all odds when he suddenly lost his job unexpectedly? What prevented us from a season of major depression, confusion, and worry? It is God. God did that. Our faith. I am living for an audience of ONE. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is something one simply receives by faith. Reading through Acts and 1 Corinthians has made the purpose for praying in the spirit perfectly clear to me. It answered my questions and filled that spot; that wonder. I have learned that speaking in tounges is not necessary to be filled with the spirit and that every prayer language is different. For me, it is a song. It is praise, worship and melody straight from my heart. Maybe tounges will come later, I don’t know. But for now, I plan to master prayer in my native language. Not to say whether of not the pastor I encountered as a college student was the real deal, but one thing I do know is that I have found myself the past several years trying to figure out what it is he was talking about. Until next time, I will keep living in Crazy Faith. My friends and family already think I am crazy, so why not keep up the expectations?! All my thanks and gratitude to Valley Family Church, Pastor Beth and Jeff Jones, and The Basics!
My book mentioned one that stuck with me. 1 Corinthians 1:27, But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
Going forward after my recent revelation, I am going to spend much more time in purposeful prayer. Real prayer. Not just the boring and repetitive mutterings. No more trailing off in prayer and falling asleep before I am finished. I now know what God intended for us in prayer. I cannot wait to see what our God has in store for our future.