Before I went on the encounter, my Christian walk was becoming routine. I was going through the motions. For a long time, I have wanted to learn more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I struggled trying to live out my Christian walk in the flesh. I struggled with social anxiety and felt that it inhibited me from living the abundant life that I read about in the Bible. Although I knew about God, I didn’t know Him personally. I prayed that God would break the chains that Satan had on me—my anxiety, fear, inferiority, emotional hang-ups. I wanted to let go of all of those things. Luke 24:49 Jesus said he would send the Holy Spirit just as his Father promised…the Holy Spirit comes and fills us with power from heaven. That is what I desired: the power to witness and the power to resist the Devil. I wanted to be totally filled and surrounded by God. I wanted to let go of the fear and anxiety that inhibited me. I asked God to liberate me totally from the fear and anxiety that were taking away my joy. I wanted to be set free to love and serve the living God.
The encounter was incredibly awesome! It changed my life. That Saturday morning during my devotion, I asked the Lord to speak to me. I wanted to hear from him. I had heard of people opening their Bible to a random page and getting a direct answer from God. This had never worked for me before, but I asked God what His purpose was for me at this retreat. I opened to 2 Chronicles 17 which is about strength. “being strengthened to stand against attack. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he…sought God and obeyed his commands instead of following the practices of those around him. He was committed to the ways of the Lord. He knocked down the pagan shrines…the fear of the Lord fell over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them declared war on Jehoshaphat…so he became more and more powerful and built fortresses and store cities throughout Judah” So the message was basically that the Lord strengthened him to fight the enemy. I thought that made sense, that God wanted to strengthen me to fight Satan, but then the Devil put a thought in my head that I was just making that up and that God really wasn’t talking to me. So I took another chunk of pages and turned it, and this is where I landed: Psalm 144 “Bless the Lord who is my rock. He gives me strength for war and skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my deliverer. He stands before me as a shield, and I take refuge in him…bend down the heavens, Lord, and come down. Release your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies! Release your arrows and confuse them! Reach down from heaven and rescue me; deliver me from the power of my enemy. His mouth is full of lies. I will sing a new song to you, Oh God! Rescue me from the power of my enemy. Happy indeed are those whose God is the Lord.”
My biggest prayer that weekend was to break the chains that Satan had on me, primarily the spirits of fear and inferiority. Later that evening, the pastor was giving his message. I had never met him before, so he didn’t know me. I was sitting there with 80 other women. All of a sudden, the pastor stopped, looked at me, and said, “Jaylin. Your name is Jaylin right?” I was totally dumbfounded. I didn’t even respond because I didn’t think I heard him right. He said, “Honey, you are going to be delivered this weekend. When you leave here tomorrow, you will be a different woman. All that fear that you feel will be gone. God is going to deliver you.” All I could do is cry! I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I was the only one he addressed from the pulpit like that.
Then we went up to the altar and were anointed with oil. My guide placed a handkerchief with oil to my forehead. As we prayed, I felt the Holy Spirit gently push me and I fell backwards! I tried to stand up straight but I couldn’t! The person behind me caught me. Later I found out that when the Holy Spirit fills a room like that, our physical bodies cannot handle His presence. I confess that I have seen things like that on TV and was critical and doubtful, but I will never be judgmental about what the Holy Spirit can do, because I have experienced it.
Then the pastor walked up to me and started to pray over me. I started to fall back, but the pastor urgently said, “Get up, get up.” And he looked into my eyes and said, “There is some serious demonic activity here.” I know that sounds crazy, but no wonder I felt like I was in so much bondage! Not that I was demon-possessed, but that I was oppressed by evil spirits trying to stop me from serving God. He had me put my hands up and rebuke the evil spirits by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. He asked God to lift the stress that I was under, and he asked for the Spirit of Peace. It is difficult to describe what happened next. An incredible burden was lifted from me, and I was so calm. As soon as I felt that, the pastor said, “There it is.” Everything was going on around me, but I was protected and sensed that everything was going to be okay. It was such a beautiful feeling of peace that I had never experienced before.
Carolyn, my mother-in-law came up to me and asked me how I was doing. I said, “I am tripping out right now!” I just couldn’t believe what I was experiencing. Then the pastor walked up to her and said, “Carolyn, come here.” Now he doesn’t know her and she wasn’t wearing a nametag. He proceeded to tell her things that were specific answers to prayer that she hadn’t told anyone about. She told me later that what he told her was what was deep in her heart.
Then Carolyn told me I should ask the pastor to pray for my skin condition and she brought me over to him. I told him that I had eczema and that the dermatologist said that I would be this way for the rest of my life. He said, “I don’t believe that. See that girl over there? She had eczema behind her knees and it’s gone.” And he started to pray for me. I felt like a wave of something leave my body and right when I felt that, he said, “There it is.” I stood there thinking, “Wow. I hope this works. It would be awesome not to have eczema anymore.” I am very happy to report that it is healing. I have dealt with this for 11 years. My skin used to bleed because it was so severe, and the strongest creams could not heal it, and now it is going away. Praise God! That night, I could not sleep. I just lay there with my eyes open crying and smiling. I felt tremendous joy that I hadn’t felt in a long, long, long time. As far back as I can remember.
The next day, we learned about baptism in the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist said that he baptizes with water for repentance, but that after him will come one who is more powerful than he (Jesus), and that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit. John 7:38 Jesus said if anyone is thirsty (for God), let him come to Jesus and drink. Whoever believes in Jesus, streams of living water (Holy Spirit) will flow from within him. By this he meant the Holy Spirit.
As I was praying, I felt a quivering sensation inside my belly, and it rose up and my jaw started to chatter very quickly. I experienced the jaw chattering again in a worship service when I felt the presence of God strongly. I read later that when praying to receive the Holy Spirit, people will sometimes experience involuntary trembling, stammering lips or chattering teeth. These are physical reactions to the Holy Spirit that may indicate His presence. They probably arise out of our resistance to Him. Once I got over the fear of the supernatural and stopped resisting Him, He blessed me with a prayer language.
I have noticed that since then, when I talk to others about the Lord, that quivering feeling in my belly returns. My faith is so strong now. I also can’t stop thinking about Jesus. He is so much more exalted and honored in my life. I just want to pray and read the Bible constantly. The first day after the encounter, I studied the Bible for 10 hours. I wasn’t even hungry. All I ate that day was a handful of almonds until it was time for dinner. I can’t stop worshiping the Lord. Every worship song that I hear just gets to me. I just want to be in church worshiping with others. My prayer life has been rekindled. Before, I would have trouble thinking about what to say when I prayed, but now my prayers are very long and involved. I feel like my spirit keeps praying while I’m asleep because I wake up praising the Lord. I also can’t stop singing. I sing in the shower, in the car, everywhere. I have a new outlook on life. All those negative thoughts about myself are gone, and I can look people in the eye with confidence. Also, the Bible makes so much more sense. It is so much clearer. Sometimes my flesh tells me that I am going crazy, but my spirit knows that this is a good thing, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Praise God!
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