I clearly remember the day that I first received the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Many people are overcome with such joy at receiving the Holy Ghost for the first time that they are caught up in an exuberant display of praise and worship. This is normal and to be expected when the God of all Glory comes in to make His abode with you. While I have experienced this joyful elation many times since that first encounter, it’s not what I remember the most.
We lived out of state at the time, and were in town visiting family. It was Sunday morning service at Rushing Chapel, where my husband’s family had attended his whole life, and that we pastor today. (But that is a different story.)
I had been baptized in Jesus’ name about five years earlier, and had been seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost ever since. Service after service, year after year, I would sob and pray and beg God to fill me with His Spirit, until I was embarrassed to go to the altar yet again. I felt like I had “worn out the saints of the Most High.”
This morning didn’t feel any different…at first. I was with my husband in about the third pew from the back on the right side, when I felt it. The pull of the Spirit. Just a gentle tug, easily ignored…at first. A few minutes later the gentle tug became a persistent tapping. I dug my fingers into the back of the wooden pew in front of me, my knuckles whitening. The third time He passed my way, He spoke to my heart. Not an audible voice, but one that I heard just as surely. You might think that He wooed me with pleasant words of comfort, but He did not. As shocking as it may seem, He said, “This is the last time that I will call you,” …and I believed Him.
The Pastor was right in the middle of his message. It didn’t matter that he wasn’t finished or that it wasn’t time for the altar call. I could wait no longer. I stood up and stepped past my husband into the isle, lifted my hands to the Lord, began worshipping Him out loud and speaking in a heavenly language that I had never learned. Pentecost was mine.
As I said, upon receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, many understandably break into loud and joyous praise and worship. I just remember being so filled with sweet relief. My desperate soul had found rest in His Spirit.
We often make receiving the Holy Ghost so much more difficult than it need be. After a few minutes of quietly speaking in tongues I wondered why I had taken so long. As soon as I gave everything over to Him, even the small, dark recesses of my mind, He came in to abide with me.
If you are seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost, don’t make it hard on yourself. Remember:
-The Holy Ghost is a gift. God wants you to be filled with His Spirit. His Word says He is our Heavenly Father, and He will withhold no good thing from us.
-The Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 is the only time in scripture that people “tarried” for the Holy Ghost. This was because it was appointed to be poured out on this particular day, so they had to wait for it. You don’t have to wait now.
-Do your part. Repent of your sins and be baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of those sins. (Acts 2:38-39)
-Lift up your hands and begin to praise the Lord out loud. The Holy Ghost comes when we praise Him.
-If you have been seeking the Holy Ghost for a lengthy time, it is always good to check yourself and ask, “Have I given over every part of myself to Him? Is there something I’m holding on to? Blatant sin, habits, addictions, attitudes, pride, fears? No matter what it is, how seemingly small or insignificant, if you are thinking about it right now as you read this, there is a good chance that is the thing that is keeping you from experiencing your own Day of Pentecost.
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isaiah 28:11-12)
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