The Holy Spirit in Action

For many year my family and I were fully involved in a denomination that is know for it’s emotional and demonstrative worship and for the freedom to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  And we loved it, knowing the pure and powerful presence of God in our midst.  Then we moved 450 miles away, just the two of us.  We searched for a church like back home but we didn’t find one.  After five years we found a church home, a Baptist church.  We used to kind of look down on the Baptists to tell the truth.  Well, you know, they are saved but they just didn’t have what we had, we thought.  But we were happy in this Baptist church.  We had fellowship, we were being fed, and the Holy Spirit was there, just not in the same way we were used to.

A couple of weeks ago I got to missing the old feeling I got in the old days.  The emotion, the power, the fire.  We had a pastor who used to call it ‘ecclesiastical  doodads running up and down your spine.’  So I think I said something about it to God.  One of those prayers that’s not really a prayer, more thinking out loud to God.

Then last Sunday I was in church, a Baptist church,  and the worship team was singing.  They had barely gotten started when the pastor got up and interrupted.  He told the guys in the control room that he was calling an audible.  He talked about the words of the song, something about not having to hide.  He talked about not having to put on a front, not having to hide your pain, your troubles right here in church because God understands.  And I remembered how sometimes people would do things like that, interrupt the order of the service.  They would say something like ‘the Holy Spirit spoke to me told me to say this.’  He didn’t say that but it was just like that, like the Holy Spirit stepped in and gave us a word straight from God.

We went back to singing then.  The last song we sang had this repeated line ‘God is good’.  The worship leader started talking about how that phrase is repeated over and over in the Psalms and what it meant to the Israelites then and what it means to us today.  The words came out of him in an extemporaneous uninterrupted flow, inspiring and uplifting and I thought ‘You can’t fool me.  This is not some glib orator trained in the ways of swaying the emotions of an audience.  I know what this is.  This is the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  I know because I’ve seen it, I’ve heard it, I’ve felt it.’

So what do you think?  Was this an answer to my prayer?  I’ve thought about and I think it was.  I think it was God saying to me, “It may not be like you used to experience it.  It may not be the way it used to be.  There may not be dancing and shouting but I want to make this crystal clear to you.  The Holy Spirit is still at work.”

I think that is what He was saying to me.  And He got through to me.  And at the end of it I think I did feel some of those ecclesiastical doodads run up and down my spine.

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About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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4 Responses to The Holy Spirit in Action

  1. manoahswife says:

    Sometimes you find the annointing of the Holy Spirit in the most unusual places-a Baptist church! 🙂 Once you have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in this way, you aren’t satisfied to “have church” without it. Good thing. Doesn’t it seem a bit ludicrous to think we could have church without Him?

    I think that God is moving in all kinds of churches. He is looking for a people whose hearts are open to Him and ready to stop what they are doing and listen. It looks like you may have found such a place. Only man creates denominational labels, God is singularly unimpressed with them.

    We too have found a church where God gets through to us every Sunday: a blessing that is not to be taken lightly, that’s for sure.

    • Angus Lewis says:

      I don’t think the Holy checks the sign outside before He comes in the door. I suspect He doesn’t carefully study the doctrinal statement to discover errors in interpretation. He’s only looking for people who will listen and obey.

      Thanks for your comment.

  2. manoahswife says:

    I am absolutely certain that you are correct. Having been raised in an American Baptist Church (more liberal than its Southern Baptist cousins) I couldn’t resist making a poke at the Baptist church angle. I remember a standard joke in my family when I was growing up that if God decided to visit us during church, we would have to tell Him that since He wasn’t listed in the bulletin for the service, there was no time for Him. A rather sad joke, if you think about it, but happens in many churches today as well.

    • Angus Lewis says:

      Looking back it seems to me we were a pretty arrogant bunch. ‘We have gifts and you don’t.’ They are gifts. Nothing to get arrogant about.
      I know now that there are a vast number of Spirit led Baptists just like there are a great many so called Spirit filled people who make a lot of noise but can’t seem to get the daily walk right.
      It’s a mistake to make judgements based on denomination just like it is on race.

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