“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
Virtually nothing can be done of value in the Christian life without the Holy Spirit. As He is God, the Holy Spirit, He brings the full love and power of God into our lives. The Holy Spirit takes what belongs to Jesus and makes it real to us. Instead of a drab life of programs and religious tasks, He brings a full life of fire and passion for Jesus. You see, this whole thing is about loving Jesus, but it’s the Spirit of God that makes Jesus knowable to us. He makes Jesus real. When I encountered the Holy Spirit, my life changed forever.
From games to God
When I was younger, I started playing video games. I was your typical young boy, and teenage boy. I was addicted to both video games, and pornography. I would play video games for hours. Hours upon hours. Sometimes late into the night and into the morning. Sometimes I would play so long that I would forget to eat. The interesting thing about this was, I could never just stick to one game. It was either Zelda, or Metroid, or Runescape, or Skyrim, or Smash brothers or something else. I never stayed just with one game. I would find an obsession (or idol) for a few months and then switch to something else.
The other interesting thing is, you don’t realize how full of yourself you are while you are in that lifestyle. (My poor parents)
I remember lying to my dad’s face when he confronted me about pornography that he found on the computer. He knew I was lying and I knew he knew that I was lying, but I couldn’t tell the truth. I was way too ashamed and scared of someone knowing who I really was. I was even going to church during this time. Going on Sunday, hearing the message…. blah blah blah, back to my life during the week. Now, of course I fully believed Jesus was the only way to be saved, however, my understanding of the gospel was, I have my ticket to heaven, and that’s it. No more needs to be done. I’m in. Thank you Jesus, I’ll visit you on Sunday and hope you’re having fun in heaven.
Around 2013, I started to think something was wrong. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that I wasn’t living like a “good Christian” should. God was chasing me from around the fall of 2013, to April 2015. And in April of 2015, I was sitting at my computer (playing Runescape) and I saw a video on YouTube called “The End of Churchianity.” (<–click to watch) I didn’t particularly like the title, since it was describing my lifestyle. But I had a thought that wouldn’t leave me. “Watch this movie right now.” I argued with what I thought was myself for a few minutes but eventually I gave in and started to watch the movie. It changed my life. I realized that I had been living for myself, and that I didn’t even know God. I knew about God. So I decided that He could have my life. I gave Jesus my everything. I deleted the history of pornography on my computer, I threw out dungeons and dragons, and old pictures of girlfriends.
WAM. Heaven opened, and for the first time in my whole life, I encountered the manifest presence of God. I was scared, and wasn’t sure what was happening. But I began to enjoy His presence so much.
Almost immediately I began to be so hungry for the things of God. I was praying a lot more, I was reading the Bible a whole lot, and worship wasn’t a chore. Worship flowed out of me. Why? God came to live inside of me, and it was no longer something I had to do. I had been changed. I was free from lust and pornography, and I quickly became bored with video games. I wanted Jesus. Over the few weeks after my surrender, I began to experience things with the Holy Spirit as I talked with Him. My physical heart felt like it was a ball of fire. It was vibrating and actual heat was emanating from my chest. I remember on multiple occasions having to tell my heart to calm down so I could go to sleep. Every night the presence of God would rest upon me. I remember another night as I was adoring God for His goodness, this overwhelming sense of joy flooded my whole body and soul. I was warm and tingly and I felt drunk. (Now mind you I’ve never been physically drunk before, so this to me was as close as I’ll get.) I was laughing so much, and I said to God “oh I love you so much, you’re absolutely amazing!”
And with each encounter with God, Ive become more hungry for him. A lot of people are afraid of what will happen if they let the Holy Spirit do what He wants. Stop it. I’m serious. Who cares if things get weird! The fruit of those encounters with God are so good, that it’s worth having your mind offended a little bit. Church did not happen in the early church the way we try to do it here in the West. People’s main goal was encountering God! The churches that grow the quickest are the ones who allow the Holy Spirit to do what He wants. We need personal revival before corporate revival ever hits. We need individuals on fire.
Power to change
Following my first experiences with God, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in August of 2015, and began to speak in tongues. A few months later I started to see people healed when I prayed for them. What happened? I didn’t try methods. I encountered the living presence of God! His Holy Spirit grabbed a hold of my life and SHOOK ME. He shook me to my core. Now I’ll never be the same.
So now, my question to you is, is your life dry? Do you seem to be bored, wether you’re a Christian or not? You see, God loves you so much, and He desires to be close to you. I dare you to say this out loud, “come Holy Spirit.” And wait for God to show up. A lot of people wouldn’t even think to try that because that’s outside of our frame of reference here in western culture. It shows us how far we’ve come from thinking biblically. But if you ask God to come and touch you, He will.
Ask Him. Say “come Holy Spirit.”