THE HOLY SPIRIT
Last week, we talked about all those wonderful things that the Lord has placed in our born again spirits, and how to access them - by (1) soaking in His Word and taking them into our hearts to the point that we really believe they are ours (2) speaking them out of our mouths. We kinda got down to the nitty gritty of that. Now today, we’re going to talk about THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES. This is a big subject but I want to make it simple to understand so the Lord told me to start by telling you my story in this realm. Then we’ll go to some verses that make this all very clear.
Tell story - I have to give you some early details in my life which will make the later things more understandable.
18 months old - fever - crossed eye - glasses at 3 - made fun of - terrible inferiority complex
Family went to Baptist Church - Heard the Gospel every week - much truth from the Word - not much about healing or miracles - but lots of other Bible truth - was taught that all that healing, speaking in tongues, miracles, etc., went out as the apostles died.
About 12, going with 3 girls by streetcar to Jewish Community Center to take swimming lessons - Instructor - “Look at me” - Left pool - Went to Library - Never told my parents - Went every week to Library - NEVER LEARNED TO SWIM!
13 years old - Sunday School class - Picture of Jesus on wall - Evangelist - in service - sitting with
Sunday School Teacher and others - Went forward to accept the Lord - Then had to be baptized next Sunday - head under water - terrified - Spent the next week praying - Scared - But God said to do it so I WILL DO IT. In the line to be baptized - legs clanking together - making noise - scared - went down the steps into the water and Pastor Edwards took hold of my hand - ALL SHAKING STOPPED - MIRACLE - DOWN IN THE WATER - UP AND STILL ALIVE!!!!!!
This was a huge miracle to me as a 13 year old girl - GOD LOVES ME AND ANSWERS PRAYERS!
Then, high school, then college, then had eye surgeries - straight eye for first time in my life - Then met husband - got married - had two children
- hubby felt called to go to Bible School - First Canada - then Colorado - pastored two churches - 2nd church - 70’s in Indian Hills, Colo. - Time of the Charismatic Renewal - People meeting in homes all over America - People getting baptized in the Holy Spirit - My husband and I heard about it all but we didn’t want anything to do with it. THEN - man in our church invited my husband - he kinda’ wanted to go - tried to talk me into it - I refused - he decided to go without me - unusual - we did everything together. He went - I pretended to be asleep when he came home. I was so upset with him - Next morning - brought me coffee - and said, “I got baptized in the Holy Spirit - you wanna hear me speak in tongues?” I said, “NO!” But he did anyway.
He wanted to go the next night and begged me to go with him. I finally gave in. On the way to the house, I said, “Please park the car as close to the house as possible - cause if any of those people put their hands on my head and start that gibberish, I’m out of there!” Went in - people sitting in chairs, couches, on the floor - woman playing guitar - everyone singing in the spirit - had never heard anything so beautiful in all my life. Everybody was kind and loving - and very polite - At the end of that meeting, I had a completely opposite attitude concerning the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The next morning, after my kids had gone to school and my husband had gone to his office in the church, I got down on my knees in my kitchen, and told the Lord I was sorry - wanted it - and received and began to speak in tongues!!!!!!
It was one of the smartest decisions in my life. It totally changed my life. I began to take it very serious and to read different places all over the New Testament which talked about it. I ALSO BEGAN TO PRAY IN THE SPIRIT (TONGUES) A LOT. I WOULD GET ALONE AND JUST PRAY AND PRAY AND PRAY. I WOULD ALSO ASK THE LORD TO REVEAL THINGS TO ME THAT I NEEDED TO SEE.
BOY - DID HE DO THAT!!!!!
Now - I want to share with you what I have learned concerning the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT - in as simple way to understand as possible.
I want to read Luke 3:15-16. It’s about John the Baptist. “And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ or not, John answered, saying unto them all, ‘I indeed baptize you with water, but one mightier than I, cometh, the lachet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” That’s as explainable as possible - Jesus Christ baptizes you in the Holy Spirit. (By the way, the fire that it mentions is talked about in Luke 3:17 - that’s a whole other subject.)
When we were born again, we received a new spirit. The old dead spirit was gone and the new one was filled with all the blessings, the gifts, the wisdom, the revelation, the power, (and on and on) from Jesus. Now, it is pretty much impossible to access (or draw upon) all that just from our soul and body. We can know it’s there, but getting it out, to access it, takes more than what our human soul and body can do. That’s one of the most important reasons that we need the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Now I have discovered, through the years that many Christians who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit really do not understand what it’s even for - and sometimes even don’t see any benefit of it. Therefore, they really don’t pray in tongues much. Some try to and, after a few minutes, it just seems worthless to them.
Think of it this way - As we give ourselves over to Him for awhile, and pray in the spirit, or tongues, HE reaches into our spirit where all those wonderful blessings and gifts are, and brings them into our understanding. Remember - God doesn’t just whoosh down and change things on the earth because He gave authority to mankind. It takes man yielding to Him - or, as I like to say, opening the door to Him. We are humans and we have been given authority on this earth. When we say, in one way or another, (in this instance - praying in tongues) “I open the door to You, Lord - show me what I need to see”), He accepts our invitation and comes through the door - with answers.
He releases the wisdom and revelation of God. He comforts, teaches, and reminds us. Listen to this verse. John 14:26. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things; and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (Just as a side note - Here Jesus says that the FATHER sent the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. In other words, the Father was the One who sent the Holy Spirit - through Jesus - and in His name.)
I have personally experienced many, many times, the Comforter bringing comfort into my soul, as I just spent some time praying in the Spirit. Nothing had changed in the thing that had been bringing DISCOMFORT to me - but - I WAS NOW AT PEACE (OR COMFORT).
He guides into all truth, listens, speaks, shows things to come, glorifies Jesus and shows truth and revelation to you. When you are praying in tongues, you draw on, and release the wisdom that’s in the born again part of you.
Isn’t that just amazing - that God has already provided this wonderful blessing for us, His children, and yet - so many have not, and are not experiencing it. When I began to get ahold of these things, it really changed my life. I’m not saying that I do it all perfectly - none of us do - but I have seen these kind of results more in these later years than I did in the former years.
Now - I love Jude 20, which I’ve mentioned before - but I have to mention it again. “But you beloved, building up yourself in your most holy faith, praying in the Spirit.” It’s not just making you feel better emotionally but it helps you release the wisdom of God within you.
Now I want to tell you a story about something from back in the 1980’s. We were living back in the Kansas City, Mo. area, our home town, and had started a church. We were meeting in a community center. We desperately needed a building for our church. Just like most big cities, there are smaller towns all around K. C., and people just consider themselves just part of the K.C.
Community. We were in the northern part - where there were several smaller communities. We had been praying and praying, we had looked and looked. We just didn’t know what to do. We were living in a home that looked out on a lake, and we had a window seat in the dining room. Nobody was home but me. I sat down on the window seat, looking out at the lake, and began to pray. I prayed in tongues for awhile and then I prayed with my understanding and said, “Lord, we really need Your help. You know we’ve been praying, and looking for a place for the church. I know that you have an answer. I’m just going to pray in the Spirit for awhile concerning this issue. I love you, and thank you.” Then I just began to pray in the Spirit. I really don’t know how long I prayed because I wasn’t looking at a clock or paying attention to the time. It was quite awhile though. Then - the Lord began to speak to my heart. I didn’t hear a voice - I just had the words coming into my mind. He said, “I want you and Jerry to take a drive and go up and down the streets of the main downtown area of North Kansas City. You will see a building which is for sale and you will be able to buy it.” I wrote down the words exactly as they were said to me. I sat there for a moment just in awe - and then began thanking and praising Him.
When my husband got back later, I told him all about it. We talked and talked and were in complete agreement that this was from God. We made a plan to do it the next day.
So - the next morning, after breakfast, we got ready for our drive. We were about 15 or 20 minutes from there. We got on one end of the main area and began our drive - up and down - looking very closely at everything. We were close to the end of the area and hadn’t seen anything yet. THEN, we saw a big building, which had a parking lot and the bldg. had been a school - AND IT HAD A FOR SALE SIGN ON IT. We wrote the name and number down, as we drove around the parking lot, looking at everything. As soon as we got home, Jerry called the phone number, and talked to the man who owned the building. They talked for quite awhile and the man ABSOLUTELY DID NOT WANT TO SELL THE BUILDING TO PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO MAKE IT A CHURCH! He was in no way willing to have it become a church. It was very sad for us - BUT WE MADE A DETERMINED DECISION THAT WE WERE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP. THIS INSTRUCTION CAME FROM GOD - AND WE WERE GOING TO KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON!
We shared it with most of our people who came to our gatherings. Everybody was praying. A week went by - Jerry called him again and asked him if he had changed his mind yet. He yelled at him and said No. Another week went by - same thing. Another week - same thing! Several weeks later, Jerry called him, as he had been doing, and the man did not yell at him this time. He told him that he had changed his mind - that he had decided that this was what he was supposed to do. He said, “In fact, I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve never seen anyone so determined when they’ve been told No - so this is what I will do. Instead of you borrowing money, or getting some kind of way to pay for it, you and I will sit down and make a deal. We’ll decide on an amount for you to pay every month, that’s best for you, and you can pay that to me. We won’t get anyone else involved.” Jerry and I both almost fainted!
We agreed. He and Jerry met together. He was a man who owned several different kinds of buildings, so he was knowledgeable and the deal was done quickly. Within a few days, we (and all the people who were coming to the Community Center) began to turn it into a church. In fact, that’s the building we were in when Andrew Wommack came to our church to preach - and John Taylor was raised from the dead.
PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT IS VERY POWERFUL!
Now I want to share some things regarding praying in tongues - or in the Spirit - which have helped me get ahold of the power of this very special gift that the Lord has made available to us. I want to read 1 Cor. 14:2 - “For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not unto men but unto God; for no man understands him; howbeit in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” Now in this portion of Scripture, Paul is talking about the spiritual gifts, like prophecy, which can be spoken forth in the language that people can understand, or it can be spoken in tongues, which no one can understand -and thus needs to be interpreted. But in the teaching here, he also makes some statements which are very helpful in understanding speaking in tongues. LIKE THIS VERSE! When we are speaking in tongues, we are speaking to God - we are speaking mysteries. As I began to get ahold of this truth, it made ‘praying in the spirit so much easier and comfortable. In other words, as I would be sitting there, praying in tongues, instead of getting bored, and worn out, I began to realize that I was speaking in mysteries to God and, all I had to do was open up the door to understanding by asking Him to give me the interpretation - or UNDERSTANDING.
When I began to get ahold of that, is when that verse about “building up yourselves in your most holy faith” began to make sense to me.
So - some other verses in this realm are these. 1 Cor. 14:4 says we edify ourselves; 1 Cor. 14:14 says that the spirit is the part of us that prays in tongues; and 1 Cor. 14:17 says that we are giving thanks unto God when we speak in tongues. Often the Apostle Paul spoke in the epistles about explaining the mysteries of God. Paul spent much time praying in tongues and LOOK WHAT GOD DID - HOW HE USED HIM - A MAN WHO HAD BEEN AGAINST CHRISTIANITY - TURNED INTO A WHOLE NEW PERSON - AND EXPLAINING THE MYSTERIES OF GOD!!! We need to take the words of Paul seriously - He was speaking the WORD OF TRUTH!
I really believe that He wants to help us in our lives - to understand, to have revelation, to help other people, to be able to get answers from the Lord concerning things in our lives which are difficult to understand.
He has given us the baptism in the Holy Spirit - not just as one more thing to put on our spiritual check list - BUT, TO HELP US THROUGH THIS LIFE.
I really believe that 1 Cor. 14 gives us a clear picture of truth - that speaking in tongues is primarily the most useful to us individually because the Lord can give us understanding in so many different areas of our lives. Speaking in tongues in a church gathering needs to be interpreted. He didn’t say it was wrong - but it did need interpretation.
It is so obvious to me, as I have studied these verses and prayed and prayed and prayed - that this wonderful BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT is such a precious gift from the Lord to help us live our lives while we are here on this earth. It’s really so sad that so many Christians do not understand that. They go through their lives wishing that God would just help them understand things - and HE HAS ALREADY PROVIDED A WAY.
Now I want to include something else in here, which is really one of the most wonderful ways which praying in tongues can benefit our lives here on this earth. AND THAT IS THE ABILITY TO PRAY FOR OTHERS. The most precious people in our lives are our mates, our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren, our close relatives and friends. Brothers and sisters, I have mentioned this verse before in another teaching but it really is important in this that we’re talking about today. Romans 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes interession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Now these two verses have become very precious to me and have become part of my everyday life. When we sit down to pray for our loved ones, as close as we are with them, we still don’t know what is going on in their hearts - only God does. Several years after we received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we had a a difficult time with a precious person in our family. I’m not going to go into it now - I tell about it in my first book, “Journey in Grace,” - but I can tell you that, if we had not been able to pray in the Spirit through that time, for that person, things would not be as they are today. Praying in the Spirit got us through one of the most difficult times in our lives. Today - here in this room - and in the lives of people in our church, there are situations which can only be changed by the power of God. Praying in the Spirit (tongues) is the way to access that power.
I have grandchildren that I pray in the Spirit for almost every day. God is the only one who can bring people across their paths who can do or say something that can cause a change in their way of thinking. In each of their lives, they know that I pray for them - they don’t want anything to do with God - BUT, for the most part, they are fairly kind and respectful toward me. I WILL NOT STOP PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT FOR THEM.
God has ways, that we have no way of knowing, to show truth to people - BUT HE USES MANKIND, WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN AUTHORITY ON THIS EARTH TO DO WHAT ONLY HE KNOWS TO DO. WE HAVE TO OPEN THE DOOR FOR HIM TO COME INTO THE SITUATION. THUS - PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT OPENS THE DOOR.
So many Christians are just begging and pleading with God to do something. He wants to use us - and He has given us this wonderful gifting to access His wisdom, knowledge, insight, and on and on and on. As older Christians, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that we have time that younger Christians do not have - time to sit for awhile and PRAY IN TONGUES FOR OUR LOVED ONES! We don’t have to understand it all - but we do have to believe THAT IF HE SAID IN HIS WORD TO DO IT, THEN WE SHOULD DO IT. It really is one of the most powerful ways to allow ourselves to be used by God. We can just set aside some time each day and sit alone with HIM, and pray in the Spirit. We can yield the right of way to Him and therefore OPEN THE DOOR. Believe me, He will reveal things to you, give you understanding, comfort you, and lots of other things. It is one of the most UNUSED blessings among Christianity. It is not discussed much because it’s a very delicate subject.
Now - I want to end this with these words. I had been working on this teaching on Saturday and, in the afternoon, I was PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT for all of you - And, as I was, the Lord spoke this to me and told me to write it down and say it to you.
“THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE WANTS TO USE YOU - BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN AUTHORITY IN THE EARTH - TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND PEOPLE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!!! IT’S UP TO YOU WHETHER YOU DO IT OR NOT!!!!!
Now - I thought that was the end of this teaching - but yesterday afternoon I was spending some time PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT for this meeting today and all of you. While I was praying, the Lord spoke to me and told me He wanted me to add something to it. So this is it!
He wanted me to read the next verse - Rom. 8:28 - and make some comments about it. So here goes!
Rom. 8:28 - “AND we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Did you get it - that the verse begins with ‘AND’???
That means that it is referring to the things which had just been said and is related to it. Now a lot of people have taken that verse out of context and said, “Well we all just know that all things work together for good - and no matter what, God’s gonna’ make it all good.” That is not what this is saying. In fact, I have heard it said that this is one of the most abused verses in the Bible. I think that’s the reason He wanted me to mention it.
This verse is saying that, when you spend time cooperating with the Lord - kinda’ like partnering with Him, praying in the Spirit, giving Him the right of way into a situation, by praying in tongues, trusting Him to show you, reveal to you, help to have clarity, help a loved one SEE THE LIGHT OF THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL, bringing clarity to someone, and on and on and on - all the things that need to take place - and only God can do it - GOD WILL WORK THINGS OUT IN THAT SITUATION YOU’VE BEEN PRAYING IN TONGUES ABOUT.
What a wonderful promise and Word from the Lord! What a comforting Word - What a reward!
That verse is connected with the whole thing of spending time as a tool in the HANDS OF GOD! It is not saying what so many people have said - and He told me to include it in this topic today!
So I did!
Scriptures used for this lesson
1 Corinthians 14:2
1 Corinthians 14:4
1 Corinthians 14:14