“How can I know the truth about being baptized by the Holy Spirit, which is evidenced by speaking in tongues?” I thought to myself. Several Christians, with differing opinions, had confused me.
Now, five years after moving my family to this place, I believed God was doing something new in my life. When we first moved, the Lord led us to a wonderful Christian church. God used that Christian family to minister to us and heal our brokenness. I got born again. We became part of that church family, and we loved them dearly!
I served this church by leading a Single’s Bible Study. One evening three men from a charismatic church joined us. They asked about our beliefs on “baptism by the Holy Spirit.” My church believed these gifts were for the time of the original twelve apostles. Our pastor didn’t teach on them, and they were foreign to me. Not knowing how to answer the men’s questions, I went to speak with our pastor.
“Just tell them we don’t do that here,” he said. He wouldn’t explain the gifts, and he avoided the issue. Frustrated, I left without answers.
About this time I met Steve, who became my second husband. Steve belonged to this same charismatic church. We came know each other as we briefly conversed when our paths crossed, in the apartment complex where we lived.
The three men returned to our Bible study. They wanted to take the singles into the community for fellowship. One man, Ken, wanted to help organize it. But I knew nothing about him!
I remembered Steve attended this man’s church so I asked him about the man’s character. He confirmed my doubts, and answered some of my questions. Then we visited briefly, and I left.
Being confused by men about the charismatic issues, I felt like I was being torn in half. I knew I needed the truth—straight from the horse’s mouth—God’s. I sought God through prayer, and researched the scriptures. Then one day, as I opened my Bible, the words of 1 Corinthians 14:39 (NKJV) seemed to leap off the pages at me: “(…) do not forbid to speak with tongues.” The verse hit me like a ton of bricks, and I took my Bible and showed my pastor. He answered with the same response as before.
I continued seeking God, and periodically attended the charismatic church with Steve. I sensed God’s power in Pastor Dave’s messages, as the words reached deeply into my heart. One Sunday, while visiting this church, my answer came--straight from God--in a way I will never forget! After the sermon, Pastor Dave asked those who needed prayer to come to the altar. Steve went forward. Then he asked anyone wanting to pray for the needy to come forward. I decided to pray for Steve. As I stepped into the aisle to go to the altar, something happened. The next thing I knew, I was behind Steve at the altar, and Pastor Dave was asking me, “Sister, do you want a healing?”
I was caught up by the Holy Spirit and couldn’t respond. Then Pastor Dave repeated the question. Bewildered at finding myself at the altar when I knew I hadn’t walked up there, I didn’t think clearly. I answered, saying, “No, I just wanted to pray for my friend, Steve.”
After service I quickly went home. I didn’t tell anyone about my experience, and I didn’t understand what happened. I prayed, asking God to explain it to me. Then I opened my Bible and looked down. The story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, in Acts eight, appeared on the page below. As I read, I understood that God translated me from the pew up to the place behind Steve at the altar. Now I knew the answer, as it came straight from God. The charismatic principles were Bible truths, and God wanted me to believe them, and bring my family to this new church.
Now I’ve been baptized by the Holy Spirit, and I speak in tongues. I learned that believers need baptism by the Holy Spirit to be empowered for service, and to receive boldness. So if you need answers to Bible questions, go to God and get your answers straight from the horse’s mouth!
Scripture taken from New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Radmacher, Earl D., Th. D. (Ed.) (1997, 2007) NKJV Study Bible, 2nd. Edition, Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U. S. A., p. 1817.
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