When I was 12 years old, an awesome young lady came by to ask my mom if she could take my sister and me to church. Her name was Suzy. She picked us up in her little car and took us to church every Sunday and Wednesday until I was old enough to drive. I had been to church many times, but I had never gone because I had chosen to go. It had never even crossed my mind that I could even choose to go until then.
I still remember that night like it was yesterday. I sat about halfway back on the right side at the very far right end of the pew. I had a bad headache that started on the way to church. In my lifetime I’ve probably had about ten headaches or less. At 12 years old, a headache was even rarer for me. God was up to something.
At the end of the service in Pentecostal churches, they give what is called an “altar call.” This is a time to come up front to pray and respond to the preaching that you have just heard. I had never responded to an altar call. I thought it was something only the older people did. A friend of mine, David, came back and personally invited me to the front to pray. I told him that I didn’t feel like doing anything because my head was killing me. He said that the altar is the best place to go for that.
I remembered how every time we were sick papa would pray for us as kids. He didn’t reach for the medicine cabinet; he reached for his bottle of anointing oil. Somehow his prayers always made you feel better, but I didn’t even think about why. I figured it was worth a shot to go up to the front to pray. Anything to get rid of this terrible pain.
When I reached the front, I was greeted by some elder men that asked me if I wanted to pray for something specific. I told them about my headache. They laid their hands on my forehead and began to pray.
I felt something.
Something began to move over me. Something that I had never felt before. My headache was gone instantly, and now I felt the urge to lift my hands and thank God for that. As I began to praise God, my lips began to quiver uncontrollably. I felt something like a fire down in me that wanted to get out.
I realized later that this was God’s Spirit all over me. This was certainly a supernatural experience. It didn’t just happen once. It happened every time I went to the altar. In fact, for two years I went forward after service, lifted my hands, praised God, lips quivered, and felt a fire within me. It was a repeatable process.
As awesome as this was, God wanted to do more with me. I was told and had studied it for myself that the true sign that you had received the Holy Spirit was to speak in a language that you have not learned. Every instance of someone receiving the Holy Spirit was followed by this miraculous sign in the Bible. I’m going to take a whole blog post to teach on this subject later, but for now, you have to take my word for it.
For some reason, I couldn’t get past the quivering lips. I was always so close, but it was like I was hitting a wall. I know what the wall is now, but hindsight is 20/20. I have one of those brains that is always trying to figure things out. I want to know how things work, and I’ll take something apart to see what makes it tick. This, however, was something that I couldn’t figure out.
In October of 2000, we had a redheaded preacher named Brother Fuller come to town to preach a 3-night revival. On the first night, I hit the same wall in the altar. On the second night, the same wall was there. I then felt someone pushing my arms down. This was a first. Most of the time people are trying to help you lift your arms higher when you are praying to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, but never down.
I opened my eyes to see the preacher standing in front of me. He told me that when I got home tonight, I needed to say “I’m going to get the Holy Spirit tomorrow.” Then when you wake up, say it again. Then when you get on the bus, say it again. Then when you… Basically, everything that I did that day I was to repeat, “I’m going to get the Holy Spirit tonight.”
He also told me to be the first one up there for the altar call, and to stand in the exact same place, we were at then. He then told me that he would come right to me, lay hands on me, and when he did I would receive the gift.
The next day I did everything he said to do, and that night…
I GOT IT!!!
October the 15th, 2000 I spoke in a language that I did not know. God was speaking through me, and His Spirit was in me. It was like a fire. I blacked out for about 45 minutes. I came to on the other side of the church laying down against a wall. I have no idea how I got over there. If you want to know a real God, let me introduce you to the One that sends His Spirit to live inside you. It is a real thing. It is supernatural. It is the best evidence that He is real.
Yes, people fake it. Yes, people teach people how to speak in tongues in some churches. I do not doubt that, but I know that I have the real thing. There will always be counterfeits to the real thing. But I have the same gift that fell on the church in Acts Chapter 2 and was promised by Peter to be available for everyone that wanted it.
You can have this gift too. You CANNOT doubt that God is real once you have it. I guarantee that.
Thanks for reading. If you have never experienced the gift I have spoken of, I can tell you how. Leave me a comment, or visit my contact page. If you are skeptical that speaking in tongues is the only sign of receiving God’s Spirit, then follow this blog. I’m going to teach on that subject soon, and remove any doubt.
Special thanks to Suzy and David for making this story possible, and the many others that gave me rides to church or labored with me in the altar those 2 years. Also, thank you Brother Fuller wherever you are. My mind needed a logical process, and you let God use you to give me that process which opened my faith.
Don’t forget to like and share this post with your friends!