Wednesday, 2 January 2013

How to Receive the Holy Spirit

Soon after I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues at the age of twelve, I witnessed to three of my classmates at High School. The three of them prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior under a tree by the school sports ground. Then I laid hands on them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. All three of them spoke in tongues and one of them also prophesied.

Ever since I received the Holy Spirit at the age of twelve, I've always seemed to know how to get others baptised in the Holy Spirit. Even if someone was a hard receiver, somehow I always felt I could help them no matter who they were or what they felt their issue was.

(Healing, on the other hand, is something I've had to study. It sometimes baffled me why some were not healed. Thankfully today I'm learning a thing or two along the line of healing too. But when it comes to the baptism with the Holy Spirit, if someone said they were unable to receive the Holy Spirit, I just seem to have always known how to help them, ever since I was only 12 years of age.

I think anyone can receive the Holy Spirit through the following simple steps:

1. Know it's the will of God

2. Ask the Father in Jesus' Name

3. Believe you receive. You don't have to feel anything. Just believe you receive.

4. Since you believe you receive, you know you can speak with tongues

5. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words to speak in tongues

6. Believing that He has heard that prayer, go ahead and speak, trusting that the sounds you speak will be sounds given to you by the Holy Spirit

7. And you shall have it!

I've seen people receive the Spirit and speak in tongues who didn't even know beforehand that there was any such thing as speaking in tongues. No-one even laid hands on them. Yet they were filled with the Spirit and spontaneously began to speak in tongues. But the seven steps above can help anyone who knows about the Holy Spirit and who wants to receive.

If you've never spoken in tongues before and desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit, go ahead and receive the Holy Spirit right now.

Led to Give 20 Cents

One day as my custom was, I visited our church's drug and alcohol rehabilitation and discipleship house. I met a new resident, and spent time making him feel welcome, and encouraged him in the Lord.

Then I left, and got in the car to drive home. And the Lord said to me, "Go back and give him 25 cents".

If the Lord had said, "Give him $10", it might have been easier to do. To give him 20 cents sounded almost embarrassing!

But I still felt compelled by the Lord. So I turned the engine off and went back upstairs.

"The Lord told me to give you this," I said, and handed him 25 cents.

A big grin came on his face. He told me that when he was at church the previous Sunday [the house program required that residents attend the church], he heard it promised during the offering message that if you give to God, He will give back to you.

"I'm going to test this out," he said to himself.

And he dug into his pocket and gave his last 25 cents in the offering.

And here God was giving him back his 25 cents.

It left an indelible impression on him. It was one of those experiences which helped lay a foundation in his early discipleship. He went on to graduate from the program, become a leader in the program, get a full-time job with a car, return to the program as Director - and now he is married with children and is in full-time ministry.

You never know what will be the significance of your obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit - in someone's life, or in the overall scheme of God's work in the earth - even when what He's leading you to do doesn't make a lot of sense to the natural mind.

God has some roles for us to play which cannot be planned by the natural mind. So ask for His leadings in your life, and you'll experience the joy of knowing that you were part of His work in ways far more fruitful than you could ever have strategised.

Finding God's Plan for Your Life

On January 26, 1993, speaking in Brisbane Town Hall, Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, said:

"Ask God, 'What do you want me to do?' - and expect an answer within two weeks."

I prayed that prayer.

Some days later I was driving to work, and suddenly God spoke to me. He told me to give away my car, give up my job, and go wherever He would tell me to go and preach the Gospel, and to trust Him alone to provide everything.

In my spirit I seemed to see a picture of the path I was meant to take on my first trip. All I had to do was act out what I'd seen in my spirit and go to the places He told me, when He told me.

This began a whole new lifestyle - a new ministry direction - something completely different from anything I had previously done or was imagining.

God did things which I wasn't even looking for. I experienced His support in miraculous ways. All my heart's desires began to be fulfilled. I went to places I never imagined going and did things I never imagined doing with results far wider than anything I'd imagined.

Leaving behind the ministry function I had and stepping into what God really wanted me to do also made room for someone else to step up into the ministry role I had been doing. And that person is still fulfilling that role today almost 20 years later.

Stepping out as I did in that way, prepared me for other steps of obedience - with their resulting blessings - which the Lord asked me to take in the future.

Since then I haven't always accurately understood or followed His perfect plan. Like Peter walking on the water, I sometimes feared and began to sink. But if the fish on the line gets away, you don't quit fishing - it just lets you know you need a stronger line, and then you get back to it as soon as you can.

God has something prepared for you which you haven't imagined. He will use you in effective ways you never imagined. Since His plan can't be imagined by the natural mind, it can only be revealed by His Spirit. That's the reason I invite you to receive revelation from the Spirit concerning what His plan is for your life and ministry.

Following His plan for your life rather than following your own understanding, will enable you to play a far more strategic and significant part in the overall scheme of God's work in history. And you'll find greater personal fulfilment too.

And finally you'll hear the Lord say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord". You'll have all eternity to marvel at the far-reaching impact that your actions had in His Name.

So ask the Lord today, "What do you want me to do?" And expect an answer within two weeks!