There’s a big difference between knowing about God and knowing God. We can study the Bible, learn all the great stories, and examine historical accounts, but until we experience God in a deeply personal way, we’ll never be changed.
Although I met Christ as a child, I never had any faith teaching. By my early 20s, I was spiritually adrift. About that time, I went to Denver to visit some Christian friends. They asked if they could pray for me to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-5). I was reluctant, sure that either it wasn’t a legitimate thing, or if it was, God wouldn’t give it to me. So I sat in a chair, crossed my arms, and dared them to “Go ahead.”
To my everlasting amazement, I felt a blast of air fill my spirit as if someone took a bellows and pumped it into my lungs. Immediately I began speaking in tongues. For many days afterward, I literally felt FILLED with the Spirit. Now, no one will ever convince me that it’s a gift that passed away with the apostles.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “A man with an experience of God is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” You see My friends, God wants us to revere and hold fast to His word, but He doesn’t want us to just know it in our heads. He always and forever wants us to experience Him in a vibrant, personal, NOW-WOW way. When you experience God in a life-changing way, you can’t be argued out of that experience.
So that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did].
What it means for you
This is important because we can easily slip from pursuing God to pursuing knowledge about God. The Bible isn’t meant to offer information, but transformation. When we study to know about God, we’re informed. When we study to KNOW God, we’re transformed. And it’s exactly the same with prayer. We aren’t meant to pray to get God to hear us. We’re meant to pray to hear Him, to find out what He’s already doing, and to get in synch with His plan.
It’s all about intimacy. He’s waiting for you to seek Him, and when you find and experience Him in a deep way, you’ll never be the same.
It is that the Spirit is the outbreathing of God, His inmost life going forth in a personal form to quicken. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive the inmost life of God Himself to dwell in a personal way in us. When we really grasp this thought, it is overwhelming in its solemnity. Just stop and think what it means to have the inmost life of that infinite and eternal Being whom we call God, dwelling in a personal way in you. How solemn and how awful and yet unspeakably glorious life becomes when we realize this.R.A. Torrey
If you’ve never received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, contact me, I’d love to pray for you to receive all God has for you!
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