Archive | June, 2013

God likes to Share Secrets…

15 Jun

 

 

Sitting in a Bible Study one morning, I was tired and cranky and having a hard time finding anything of interest in what was being taught. Just at my most uninterested moment, God stepped in and brought life to his word.

 

In John’s account of Mary at the tomb after Jesus’ resurrection, it reads “but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.” John 20:6-12

 

I’ve read the passage many times, but this time God spoke. “Do you want to hear something interesting,” he said to my heart.

 

 “Yeah,” I responded eagerly, excited for revelation that was about to hit me. The Bible is a fantastic book; it’s full of history, life stories and the guiding principles God intends for his people. I have read the whole Bible, actually several times over and over again for the last twelve years. Many times I’ve read simply out of obedience. I would read a chapter and not understand it or even forget that I had read it altogether.

 

However…there is this other, deeper side to the Bible; one that is full of revelation only accessed through God’s Holy Spirit. When you hit that vein…it’s like striking oil.  Words that never made sense or seemed to be just words, suddenly pop of the page, grabbing your heart in both hands and usually sending your mind reeling. Your entire being seems illuminated and ringing in tune with the Truth. Yet, at the same time you feel small and insignificant compared to the size of the revelation you’re trying to digest.

 

“Do you know why two angels were in the tomb, one at the head and the other at the feet of where Jesus had been placed in the tomb,” God said coyly.

 

I didn’t know; I just thought it was because there were two angels standing around in the tomb to testify about Jesus’ resurrection.  “No, why,” I asked.

 

“They are the real, manifested angels who had been only symbolically portrayed at the top of the Ark of the Covenant.”

 

Understandably, this might not mean much to you or make much sense, but for me it was a moment of pure bliss and revelation…the Bible coming to life and giving imagery to the gold covered Ark with two angels at the top which the Israelites carried through the desert, described in Exodus 25, “And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends.”

 

For me, this revelation sent my mind into outer space and gave me a whole new appreciation for God’s intricate timing and structure regarding his interaction between heaven and humanity.

 

For you, I hope it brings a comfort and a challenge. Comfort if you currently are reading the Bible and find it dry and boring at times; but a challenge that there is more. Before God’s revelation came about the Ark, I had read the passage several times. I had questions in my heart regarding what was written, but I allowed them to linger unanswered and wasn’t offended that my questions weren’t being resolved. That is always fertile ground for God to plant in; He loves a hungry heart.

 

What’s a passage in scripture that challenges or even offends you? Keep it close, lose the offense, but seek the Truth and God will eventually bring revelation through the Spirit that will blow you away!

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Face to Face with the Holy Spirit: Receiving the Holy Spirit Part 4

2 Jun

At first, I didn’t tell anyone about my “Night of Terror.” I was unsure of what exactly had happened and felt that if I shared the experience, they might get spooked out or wonder about my sanity. “This Holy Spirit stuff is terrifying,” I thought to myself. “THAT, THAT…whatever that was, is exactly why I wanted nothing to do with this spirit nonsense!” Resolved to shut out the supernatural for good this time, I decided to put this Holy Spirit thing behind me and move on!  

 

Apparently even though I was determined to be done with the Holy Spirit, God wouldn’t let it go. A few days later I woke from a terrifying dream. I was shaken with fear and back in that dark place; however, very slightly, to my soul I could feel God almost reprimanding me. “There is no fear in love,” he prompted me sternly. “If you have fear, you are not in Christ. It’s impossible to be in Christ and fear.”  Then he issued a command, “Try again.”

 

Not so sure God really understood the circumstances, I finally decided to open up and share about my situation and God’s desire for me to take another whack at this filling, or baptism, or demonic open house deal. After explaining the situation to my parents, they reassured me, “It’s a counter attack.”

 

“What is this,” I thought to myself, “World War Three!”

 

My dad went on, “Satan used your childhood fears to scare you out of moving forward. He capitalized on your weakness because he’s worried you’ll find out who you really are in Christ.” I was surprised there was no surprise on his part. “He’s especially concerned about you becoming a Spirit filled Christian who walks in the power and authority of Christ Jesus. That’s Satan’s worst nightmare…you moving from a ‘good Christian’ to a believer relying on God’s Spirit.”

 

So, tucked under my covers that night, I made another attempt at inviting the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure why I was so formal, but my journal notes record that I kept repeating, “may the Spirit live in me, may the Spirit live in me, may the Spirit live in me…” As I was drifting off to sleep, suddenly, what felt like 1,000 volts of electricity, bolted through my body.  Like a closed circuit, power was running on loop from my head to my toes, vibrating every fiber of my being with energy. Yet instead of being deadly and draining, it was energizing and life giving! It felt as though light was streaming from every pore, and my whole body slightly trembled from the “surge.”

 

Swimming in bliss, I slowly opened my eyes to the “real world.” Directly over me, hovering parallel to my body, with five inches between us, was a figure. The general form of a person, I could make out a head and shoulders with a “body” that continued down the bed. Face to face, I encountered the living Spirit, the Holy Spirit, of God Almighty. S/he was majestic. Though the face had no distinct identity, the being swirled with every color of the rainbow in an iridescent light show. There was the sudden awareness that while I was in my room, I was not in this “reality.” The whole space seemed to be transcendent…other worldly.

 

Paralyzed in awe, the Holy Spirit leaned down just slightly and gently kissed my forehead. I winced in shock and closed my eyes tightly. Over the next twenty minutes, God continued to energize me with his power and I eventually drifted into a deep, peaceful sleep.

 

Waking up the next morning, I was still me. All the “feelings” were gone, and there was no evidence of the experience. While the event was transformational, the change in me was almost imperceptible at first. It was over the years looking back that I could quantify the now living and active Holy Spirit in me, working through me, empowering me to hear and do God’s will in my life and the lives around me. I was now, a girl on fire, a girl on a mission…