Sunday, 10 April 2011

21 Day Fast Diary... Oh, what a day!!!

From the day I realized that nothing is more important in a Christian’s life than the Holy Spirit, I began seeking Him above everything. Oh, how I desired Him! Every time I’d close my eyes to genuinely seek Him, I would be flooded with very strong feelings. I’d feel joy, excitement, peace and many inexplicable things. The Presence of God was new to me and It ignited all these wonderful feelings I had never felt before. But, as much as these feelings were wonderful and thrilling, now looking back, I believe they delayed my baptism with the Holy Spirit. I kept expecting to feel more, because I thought if experiencing the Presence of God felt that good, then the baptism with the Holy Spirit should feel super good. So, I’d close my eyes to pray and wait for that ‘out of this world’ feeling to wash over me, but it wouldn’t come.
During one Night of the Holy Spirit we were given the opportunity to seek Him. I remember the Pastor giving us the freedom to find a spot in the church, a spot where it was going to be just us and God. I found my corner, my Holy Ground, and began seeking the Presence of God, expecting those good feelings to wash over me again. But, they wouldn’t come. I made the same worship prayer I always made, ‘I love you, Lord. You are everything to me. King of kings, I exalt Your Holy Name.’ And, I felt nothing, nada, zilch!
Out of frustration, I took off the mask of prayer. I stopped praying and started having a sincere conversation with God. This conversation changed my whole life. I wasn’t repeating words I’d heard the Pastor pray on the altar. I was pouring out my soul to God, expressing my genuine need of receiving Him, no feelings involved, just my faith. This happened 17 years ago, so of course I can’t remember the exact words, but the gist of what I said was, ‘I need your Spirit, Lord. I can’t do this on my own, you know. I’ve tried my best to walk with You, pleasing You and being faithful, but You’ve seen how I struggle and I’m tired of struggling. You said you’d help me, so where’s the help? Where is the Spirit you promised me? Aowa, I’m doing my part, You need to do Yours. I depend on You. If you don’t baptise me with Your Spirit and I leave your Presence tomorrow, don’t blame me! Remember that I asked and you did nothing.’ This wasn’t a typical prayer. This was me talking face to face with God. And so the sincere conversation went on.

Somewhere during that conversation, I began worshipping Him in truth, praising Him, telling Him what He meant to me. ‘I’ve never met anyone as holy as You, Lord, You’re so pure, so blameless. I really admire You. Oh, how I desire to be like You. You are my Idol.’ While I adored, I still felt nothing, other than the sincerity of my words. These were my very own words, complete with my own peculiar expressions of a seventeen year old, nothing religious, no repetition of what I’d heard before, just a mirror of what I had inside. I praised Him for a long time, giving Him everything I had inside of me. Of course by then, I was filled with joy and peace. At the end of the prayer, when the Pastor told us to open our eyes, I received my baptism with the Holy Spirit – the assurance! The Spirit testified with my spirit that I had been sealed. I will never forget that moment. For the first time I heard the Spirit of God speak from within me. His voice was so pure, so distinct and so assuring! He was no longer speaking from outside of me. He was now living inside of me. Oh, what a day!!!

You who are seeking the Holy Spirit during these 21 days of Daniel’s Fast for the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit on April the 17th need to know this. Don’t worry about an outpouring of feelings, worry about expressing your sincere need for Him, telling Him why you need Him, why He’s important to you, what He means to You. Don’t place so much importance on what you feel at that moment. It’s kind of like expressing your feelings for a loved one. If you use famous lines you’ve heard in movies, while you might mean them and they might appreciate them, it is not the same thing as expressing what’s inside of you. When you begin pouring your heart out to someone, they can’t help but stop all they are doing to pay attention to you. And naturally, they want to reciprocate. The same goes for the Holy Spirit, many will be praying that day, but those who are sincere with Him will grab His attention faster and He will reward them with His Spirit.

Next time we’ll talk about the assurance the Holy Spirit brings, otherwise this will be too long and you might end up missing key things. 

2 comments:

Saziso said...

I can relate to this post, because me myself, I have been through similar. In fact, it wasn't until today when the penny dropped and God revealed to that after all these years I had been praying in the church, I was not sincere with Him most of the time.

It all goes back to this morning as I was getting ready for church. I was sat in the bath, and had an opportunity to seek God, as in these 21 days we are encouraged to seek God at every given opportunity. However, during that moment, I couldn't. I had no words to say and I couldn't express myself to Him. Where was that feeling of excitement, of thirst that I get when I sought Him in church? It was then when I made a sincere prayer to Him. I can't remember everything I told Him, but I recall asking Him to reveal to me how I can towards the end of the prayer.

Today's message in the service was VERY strong. We learnt about emptying ourselves before God. Emptying ourselves completely of things such as grudges, bad thoughts, pride, the love of money and so on. In the afternoon meeting, the Pastor spoke of one 'stone' that can be harmful. That was a lack of sincerity. This spoke to me strong. The reason it was easy for me to seek in church was because I was feeding o the excitement that was surrounding me. I was feeling good inside (naturally, as I would be in the presence of God), and I was repeating the same old words; "You are King of Kings", "I need you more than anything". There have been times in the past when I have realised this, and began the prayer trying to be sincere, but I always ended up rambling the same words.

Sincerity, that is what God is requiring from us right now. More than beautiful words, and lengthy prayers. By recognising this, I was able to start being sincere, even telling God that I didn't feel like praying to Him when it came to the prayers.

If anything, after today's message, when it came to seeking God, I didn't want to be surrounded by many people, I was desperate for some alone time with Him, maybe for me to be sure of the words that I would tell Him.

God is revealing more and more to us everyday and I am so thankful. He truly is a gracious and merciful God!

Sabrina said...

Thank you so much for this post. I found myself getting so excited before seeking the Spirit of God and now I realise that this was really impeding me. I would say things in the spur of the moment or say things I thought I was meant to say in order to receive the Holy Spirit. When I was sincere with God, I thought I was praying in the incorrect way as I would hear others praying in a more “sophisticated” way. That’s when I realised that faith is personal and regardless of how I feel, I must be honest. I remember someone once telling me that God never rejects a sincere prayer. This is so true because every time I pray SINCERELY to God, I have the total assurance He has heard me. Thanks again for this post. Sabrina, Hackney.