I celebrated a 40-year anniversary this past Tuesday… April 15, 1974 was the date. You can read about it on one of my other blogs, Esther’s Petition, if you’re interested: http://estherspetition.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/testimony-adventures-with-the-holy-spirit-part-i/
The last part of that post from 2011 reads, “I realized that the events of that night were an answer to my prayer for help. I wasn’t sure exactly what had happened to me, or if anyone else on the planet had ever had a similar experience. But I was determined to find out.”
I have spent the last 40 years finding out. It has been an adventure, to say the least. Other posts in Esther’s Petition catalog some of that adventure.
So why am I writing these thoughts over here, on this blog? This is where I used to jot down musings, opinions and advice about politics among other things. I say used to, because I don’t write the same way I did some time ago. I don’t spend my time the same way. I don’t read the same things, watch the same television shows, go to movies the way I used to.
The adventure of life in the Holy Spirit means that your life isn’t really yours to direct any more. That was the very first thing I learned, taking spiritual baby steps as I struggled to walk a whole different way.
It was almost like when I had the old-fashioned flu in high school. I was out of classes for two full weeks at the end of the first semester that year. When the fever finally disappeared and I could think straight again, my strength began to return but I’d forgotten how to walk.
I had trouble balancing when I stood upright. Taking slow steps, I wobbled, fell against the walls and had to hold on to the furniture. Always I needed to be supported by somebody’s arm as I went. It took another week or so before I could return to school.
In April 1974, though, I had no-one else’s arm to support me. At first I didn’t think anyone else in the world would know or understand what had happened to me. Then as the days went on I began to realize I was being led to do things that wouldn’t naturally occur to me, from the inside out.
For instance, driving home from work one afternoon I felt I should go down East Palmetto Street, not the Pamplico Highway. Passing a particular block, I had an urge to turn into the parking lot of a Christian bookstore. Okay, I thought, this is strange, but I did it.
Inside the store I was greeted by a friendly clerk, browsed down a few aisles, and suddenly one book “lit up” on the shelf as though it was illuminated from within. That book? “The Holy Spirit and You” by Dennis Bennett. I read that book straight through late into the night. All my questions were being answered, in language easy to understand.
Other books soon joined that one, and at that bookstore I began to meet other believers who had also received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. There was an ongoing revival in the Pee Dee area, I learned, with an outpouring of miracles, signs and wonders.
Many things took place in the ensuing years, some of which were very unpleasant, some of which were quite wonderful. http://www.bettecox.com/resumes.html recounts some of the more mundane activities of those years.
I experienced quite a few miracles, signs and wonders in my own life as I learned how to hear more clearly and follow more accurately the voice of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Back to why I’m writing these thoughts over here, on this blog… the world has changed a great deal in a short time. Time itself seems to be accelerating. Disturbances in the atmosphere, disturbances in global infrastructure such as earthquakes and volcanoes, disturbances in economic and geopolitical dynamics — all are occurring more and more frequently.
Natural and man-made disasters, new deadly diseases, chaos, panic, revolutions, famine, fires, floods, you name it. And persecution of Christians on an unprecedented scale is happening more and more, too.
A year or so ago I awoke one morning to find my interests completely changed. My attention had been totally diverted as I slept. As I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, I could tell something was quite different in my frame of mind. I simply wasn’t interested in the usual stuff, like the TV murder mystery reruns I usually watched in the mornings.
Instead I wanted to watch and read the global news, consider the spiritual significance of whatever I saw, and intercede. The next day was the same, and the next. Soon I discovered that an amazing worldwide miracle revival is going on in many nations. I began to follow those, watching every service I could find that was being broadcast live or available on videotape.
My time has being spent differently since that day. Listening to the Holy Spirit’s voice, watching and praying is what I do most. Laundry, vacuuming, interceding. Studying a scripture passage, worshiping, praising, and praying. Reading the morning paper, watching TV news, and praying. Buying groceries or gas, greeting and praying for store clerks or other shoppers.
Always looking through Jesus’ eyes, or letting him look through mine, I’m not really sure which, I’m looking for opportunities to smile, speak a word, offer a hand or a hug, pray silently, even out loud sometimes (with permission, of course). Sometimes that’s in church, sometimes it’s in the marketplace.
Several months ago a friend and I went to lunch at the Olive Garden. A waitress helping another table suddenly turned, looked straight at me and said, “I have a terrible ear infection.” Now, this wasn’t our waitress. I didn’t know her at all and had never seen her before to my knowledge, but I reached out my hand to her.
She took my hand and I just said, “Be healed.” Touching her ear she said, “Really?” I said, “Really.” She thanked me, turned back to helping her own customers and my friend and I went on with our lunch. I haven’t seen that waitress since but I know a God-incidence when I see one. There have been others like that over this past year, one just this past week.
Mornings nowadays find me checking internet news from around the world, reading and writing Twitter and Facebook feeds, and praying. Not just praying whatever seems to me like a good spiritual idea, however; praying or commanding or declaring over the particular situation whatever the Lord wants. Often they aren’t at all the same thing.
And meeting many new people online and in person. Corresponding and praying with people I may never meet in the flesh, sharing in what we believe is an end-times scenario.
It’s been a fascinating 40 years, I must say.