Many Christians tend to put God into a box as big as their heads and limit his operations in that small space. I believe it is impossible to gain the maximum benefits that God has for us when we are unable to conceptualize and visualize a God who is bigger than our sphere of operation. For me, I didn’t know much about baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues. I was raw in the faith.
I got chased down by the Holy Spirit and He overtook me on an I95 section of the highway in Maryland when I was running as far away from Him as possible. So I finally got an understanding at that point what it means to be cops and robbers, myself being the robber. I didn’t know and wasn’t really interested in learning any new languages; as a matter of fact, I flunked Spanish when I was in high school, so I never was particular about languages.
I got baptized and even before I hit the water, I had these weird things happening to my body and I was like one of those puppets you see someone yanking. Yea, that was me; and if you know me, I believe in the stiff upper lip kinda behavior. Respect yourself in public. So this loss of control was, after the fact, “embarrassing”. Some well meaning soul had taken the liberty and shot pictures of me all over the floor and they thought that was admirably.
I did not give up without a fight, at the time I wasn’t familiar with the scripture which said “quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 KJV), so He had to show me that I wasn’t in control. Nevertheless, I recognized that something was going on here; maybe He needs to do something with me, or probably fix something with me. I can deal with that, because I know with being an ex-sailor and all, I cursed, smoked the occasional beanies and had a sip of Jack Daniels every now and then and let’s say, those were not the only vice I had picked up in the military.
Through process of time, I recognized that things were not as they used to be; I was dropping off things. I was starting to be uncomfortable with being on the job during the week cursing and hanging with co-workers who was comfortable letting off steam with f-bombs, then going to church and as soon as I got there, I got knocked down. I probably need to stop doing those things. Maybe He needed my body for a particular reason. That was my rationale and emotional swing as I tried to understand what was happening to me. I hadn’t read the scripture about “renewing the mind” and “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor 5:17 KJV).
I think I begun to understand a little about the gifting when I started to actually read beyond the Psalms. Yes as a new Christian, I diligently ready the Psalms and nothing but the Psalms every day. You could not accuse me of being a heathen, I read the bible. I understood, that some people got called, because they have assignments. Any Christian who after five (5) years does not understand that there is a purpose behind their calling: run from them.
So back to my assignment: I was so proud. I didn’t realize all through the assignment that I was working for the Kingdom. I did not speak a lick of tongue, only my national English language, didn’t know anything about any foreign language or the possibility of doing so without learning the language. I had read the book of Acts by this time and Corinthians, saw the words about the different tongues, yet didn’t understand the concept. I didn’t fight and cry for it as I see some people do now, I was pretty ignorant about speaking in tongues, all I was focused on was that I was baptized, Hallelujah, I am going to heaven now.
I was dealing with someone who was hospitalized; spent a lot of time with them. Ultimately, they were admitted to the hospice and I followed the ER vehicle which transported him to the hospice. I was driving my vehicle and there were two church members in the back with a Deacon sitting next to me in the car. It was a somber occasion; hospices don’t have good reputations, because people tend to enter and never leave.
I put the car in park and was about to get out when I was knocked down and I had no control over my body; yes, just like the day I got baptized. In hindsight, I have to congratulate the Deacon and one of the sisters for their knowledge of scriptures, especially the part which says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God (1John 4:1 KJV). They were all over me to make sure that something bad had not happened to me. But this is the important part of my story; within minutes, something was happening to my mouth and it was not a single phrase or word. Bullets were coming out of my mouth. I was shocked, frightened, ashamed, frightened, shaking, and frightened.
I didn’t understand or have a name for what was happening at the time, but, my baptism with the Holy Spirit occurred in the car park of a hospice; I ultimately spent the night at the bedside of the person we had brought to the place. The Holy Ghost in His wisdom, decided to use me to bring last-minute instructions for His son who would soon be leaving this world. My assignment: travelling instructions. I did not understand a WORD which I spoke and I never got the compulsion to stop, but at times, he would shake his head in agreement at the words coming out of my mouth. At one point throughout the night when my mouth was on a short break, one of the sisters who had accompanied us to the hospice touched the patient and asked if he understood the WORDS, he indicated that he did.
Saying this to point out how we can gain access to the gifts, miracles and healings that God has for us because they are available to us if we want them, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29 KJV). Many church-goers believe they can figure out the move of God, but I believe that this is totally impossible, you see with God, He operates on a different level, plane, altitude than we do, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
My take away with that experience is that as believers, we need to disabuse ourselves of familiarity with God and find our purposes and try to accomplish them to the best of our ability with the assistance and guidance of the Holy Ghost.
Beloved there is no time and space with God. Do you remember where you were when you got baptized with the Holy Ghost?