I grew up and still attend a Pentecostal church. When outsiders hear the word, “Pentecostal,” they immediately think of weird people that do unusual things during service. When I was a kid, I saw all kinds of weird behavior, I think some was genuine and others not so much. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, but I guess I don’t see it the way others do. There are things I hear a few people say at our church that I get tired of hearing like, “The spirit isn’t here like it used to be.” I don’t agree with them at all.
I will admit that I’ve had strange things happen to me that I know was the Holy Spirit. When I was in college, I was very down and depressed. I had been running from God and had given into some bad habits. But, one Wednesday night at chapel, I felt God’s love smack me right in the face. I started laughing uncontrollably and couldn’t stop. God gave me His love and His joy, I was overwhelmed. It was definitely not me, because I was the cool kid, I didn’t want to look like a fool. If I was in my flesh, I wouldn’t have literally kept laughing out loud. After I gained my composure I felt led to go to my old boyfriend who hurt me and I told him that I forgave him. That was monumental because I was hurt greatly by him, I hated him. But, that night things changed and I saw him as a human who made mistakes. That was God, not me.
In my adult life, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit during different services. One service, my shoulder was healed. It had been aching for a long time. God touched it and that pain hasn’t returned. I’ve spoken in tongues a few times, but it’s been mostly at home during my private prayer time. I’ve attended long services where the spirit was thick and people kept falling out. I know the Holy Spirit was there, but this is where my thoughts start to shift. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit visits the same way every time the church doors are open. In fact, I don’t think the Holy Spirit comes and goes. Once you receive Him, He’s there. He doesn’t go on vacation. He doesn’t move to another church down the road. He’s in you. He’s in me. Here’s the key to the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t travel like a ghost possessing Christian people. He comes inside you and you become the vehicle of transportation. The Holy Spirit doesn’t want to be confined to a church, He wants to go out into the world and touch lives. You cannot have the fruits of the spirit without first having the Holy Spirit.
So, to make the statement, “The spirit isn’t here like it used to be,” what does that say about those that think that way? This is how I think it is. I think those who feel that way are looking for a quick gratification. I don’t think they realize it either. I think it’s like someone who wants sex and not a relationship. They want to feel good, but don’t want to carry out the good. I know that’s a jaw dropping statement, but it’s just my thoughts. Why do I say that? Because when the Holy Spirit comes and resides in you, others should see Him. Others see it by the fruit it produces. If someone lives in my house, others know because I talk about who lives there. Jesus said go and make disciples. How do we have the motivation and determination to do it? The Holy Spirit instructs, convinces, and aids us to do so.
There are moments in my everyday life that I get sidetracked. These moments are the Holy Spirit guiding me to do something that my flesh doesn’t want to do. Those moments include things like, stop everything to give someone a ride to the store that doesn’t have a car, smiling at the cashier that is slow at checking out while I’m in a hurry to get out of the store, giving money to someone when I don’t think I have enough for myself, listening to someone hurting, writing a note to someone, or just saying hello to someone passing by. But that’s so small, you might think. But it’s not, its little things that open doors for bigger things. When I carry out these moments, I feel satisfied. When I ignore doing what the Holy Spirit wants me to do, I feel frustrated. So, my final statement is this, are you looking to meet the Holy Spirit or carry the Holy Spirit?