Raised from infancy in a traditional, mainline Christian church – Sunday school, youth group, eventually Elder and Treasurer and Bible teacher, prayer group leader, maintenance. You name it and I probably did it.
At some point I was introduced to the subject of Spirit baptism and speaking in tongues. For a few years I searched the Scriptures, prayed, even had hands laid on me once or twice, but never really found any confirmation one way or another… no tongues.
But in visiting other churches I did meet some wonderful fellow Believers who had received a Spirit baptism; who had spoken in tongues and continued to pray and intercede in tongues, and manifest other spiritual gifts to one degree or another.
I’m a pretty savvy dude, and I knew these folks weren’t making it all up, not to mention they were some of the most devoted, active, and joyful Christians I’d ever met.
So long story short – I did receive that Spirit baptism one day merely by asking God for it and believing – actually knowing – in my heart that I would receive it. It still left many questions, but those faded quickly away one day as I was praying and interceding for some friends. As my prayer grew more intense I was suddenly praying in tongues – fast and furious you might say – the most intense time of prayer I had ever experienced, totally unplanned and unexpected.
I didn’t know exactly what I was saying but I did know it was directed at those particular people and their situation… hard to explain, but almost like mental images flashed by as I was crying out, showing me essentially the gist of what my prayer contained.
It has been a few years since that baptism, but recently I have woken up to the fact that my life still shows little spiritual power or intensity. I’m a nice guy and all, a good Christian, but still very caught up in worldly interests, hobbies, novelties… not intensely seeking the Lord or devoting myself to His service. I have never been a “living sacrifice” and, frankly, that is what I want. I want to be living a life that brings glory and honor to God, and to Jesus Christ, and be a useful vessel for what God is doing in the world today.
And as I read my Bible I realize that what I have been missing most is spiritual vitality, those “rivers of living water” that are supposed to be flowing from anyone who believes in Jesus. So that’s what I’m seeking, and that’s the journey I am recording here at Manifold Witness. God is faithful, so I know I will find what I seek.
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)