Hey everyone! I really miss you all and I actually care about how you're doing, I've just been terrible at keeping in touch :( Feel free to hit up my inbox if you wanna catch up! :) (I wanna do more of that now that I'm on break from school). And if I don't know you at all this message still regards you and its important so read on! So I have a cool story to share! But first...
(: Shout-outs :)
*NPCArians! - si nimewasahau! Hope you are doing good :)
*STATERIANS especially former 3Esians!!!!- Woi! si nimewatupa! Poleni! (Si mulingoja niwatumie letters na success cards! Lakini wapi! lol woiye poleni.)
*NPC V. road- miss you guys! Wish I could have gotten to know more of you guys.
*Family- Love you guys!
*None of those categories lol- I still care about you! Yeah we may not be close at all and just "facebook friends" but I care about you enough to want to share this information with you. Thanks for reading :)
As I was saying, I have a cool story to share!
Here is some background info: I was stuck in a rut (spiritually) for the longest time- like from class 8 onwards- I'll have more info about that in an upcoming post called "Story of my life" lol- but I got "born again" (revived) at the beginning of Fall when some "crazy things" went down lol :D Here's the exciting news!!! (and if you know me, I find it hard to leave out details lol).
So before I started Fall quarter of school, the Christian group I'm involved in, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, had a leaders retreat.
On the second day of the retreat after our Bible study this one person went and told the staff leader that during the Bible study (about throwing away idols and cleaning God's temple) he felt a resistance within him and he left the room. So the staff leader called us together into the room to pray for him. When we started praying for him he started breathing heavily then he was falling backwards so we laid him on the floor and kept praying for him.
So he started convulsing on the ground (he had an evil spirit) and we kept praying. We started praying louder and some people started praying in tongues (that doesn't usually happen in American churches), other people were kneeling down crying.
So basically, the Holy Spirit was being poured out on us (like in the book of Acts). At that point I was just praying for people but I wasn't feeling anything (the Holy Spirit). Then someone told us that the devil wants to keep us from knowing who we are, children of God. He likes to lie to us in our minds that God is not with us. So they told us to say out loud who God is and who we are in Him. So I started praising God for who He is (My Father, Almighty, king of kings, all-knowing, creator, provider, etc) and for who I am in Him (loved, His daughter, redeemed etc). I still didn't feel anything but I just kept praising God instead of being discouraged.
The the staff leader told me to pray (two days before that when I went to him to pray for me, God told him that He will use me to baptize people with the Holy Spirit). So when he told me to pray I was like, "Ok, I don't feel anything but I'll go ahead and pray."
So I started it like I would any other prayer, "Dear God,..." so I decided to start by praising Him since I didn't know what "baptizing people with the Holy Spirit" was.
So yeah I closed my eyes (we were all standing up in a room with no furniture) and I started praying and thanking God for who He is. And then as I kept on praying, I had started with my normal voice but as I continued I started shouting out the prayer and then still with my eyes closed while praying I started walking around backwards in random circles (without intending to), and then in the middle of praying for God to pour out His Spirit and to wake us up to who we really are, His children, I started laughing (nothing was funny) and I kept laughing for like a minute. Yes I know all of that sounds crazy, and yeah I didn't know what I was doing, I wasn't controlling that, but I guess it was Holy Spirit laughter :D (Ephesians 5:18)
After that people were praying for each other, others started singing spontaneously. All of that took place and it felt like 15 min but we had actually prayed for 3 hours!
So at the end, we all came together to debrief that experience (many American churches haven't seen any of that before how the Holy Spirit can take over causing some people to cry others to laugh others to fall on their knees, praying for someone who had an evil spirit.)
So many people had visions and most of them were similar.
-> So basically God was confirming that a great revival is coming but the enemy will bring opposition to try to stop God from working but in the end God will win and many people will turn to God (revival).
-->There was a woman called Katherine Kuhlman in Anaheim, California in the 1970's (she was like the Benny Hynn those days) and she prohesied that one day a great revival would come out of Santa Barbara and would spread to the whole world.
(Back to my story)---> Two people got visions about false teachers and "false Jesus"
"Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour." (1 John 2:18)
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood." (1 John 4:1-6)
--->Many other people got visions that there will be a lot of spiritual warfare going on so we have to be prepared by putting on the full armor of God. We spent a lot of time reading about that in Ephesians 6.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6: 1-13)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~TAKE-HOME MESSAGE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So we are in the last days and Jesus is coming back soon (no one knows when but He gave us signs which we can use to tell when He is close to coming) and He wants us to be prepared for His coming.
1.) He wants us to remember who we are - Watch this lion King clip (it's when Mufasa tells Simba to remember who he is, his son):
->In the same way, God wants us to remember who we are, we are His children and He loves us and He still has good plans for our lives even when we forget about Him, don’t talk to Him, and when we make our own plans for our life without Him, He wants us to know that He is still with us and He is waiting for us to go back to Him. He wants to carry all our burdens.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)
2.) He wants us to hide ourselves in Him, He wants intimacy -> a close relationship with us. He wants us to place all our hope and all our trust in Him. Actually, He wants everything : our fears, our stress, our sin, our shame, our worry, our minds, our hearts, our all.
- Surrender- Pray. Let go and let God. He has the power to set you free (He did it for me). He wants us to trade our sorrows for His joy, peace and strength.
- Read the Word- It's spiritual food and a weapon against the enemy's sly attacks. If you haven't done this in a while you can start with a Psalm a day.
Africans, Kenyans, friends, God has good plans for you. You don't know how lucky you are to be born in a place where people actually believe in God and in His power (our external poverty makes it easier for us to realize our internal poverty, that is, the need to cry out to, to surrender to and to fully depend on Supernatural Power. This is hard for many in the West since they may think they have it all hence they may not see the need for a Supernatural Power to take control of all aspects of their lives). So because we believe, I think it's time for us to wake up to the truth that we already know.
Here's a word for us: (Isaiah 60:1-3)
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
Here's a song we can meditate on and apply with God's help:
( Like the song says let's ask God to search us, transform us, fill us and use us)
Let's be set apart and let us prepare the way for the Lord! He is coming back soon! All Glory to God!!! =)
♥ Love Charlene ♥
(Feel free to share your thoughts or questions. Also, I'll keep blogging the stuff that I'm learning)_________________________________________________________________________
Update 3/27/13: So yeah that was my experience being baptized with the Holy Spirit at Pre-Fall leaders retreat. God set me free from my junk and He filled me with His Spirit of love and He restored joy to me (More about that in the post: Quick Testimony: FREEDOM!). That day God showed me how powerful He is. I was not the same after that experience. However not everyone in the room had the same experience like all the disciples did in Acts 2, (I explain some of the reasons why in the post: HOPE) and many people left confused about what just happened. So when it comes to the baptism of the Holy Spirit preparation is necessary. That's why in Acts 1 Jesus tells His disciples to wait for the gift of the Spirit (expectancy is key) and after that the disciples came together in prayer (communicating with God. agreeing with God. asking God...) constantly until pentecost happened. And even before He ascended into heaven, Jesus had taught His disciples about the gift of the Holy Spirit that He would leave with them (like in John 14).
So yeah understanding the functions of the Holy Spirit is also important. So after my experience, my life got funner :-) The Holy Spirit's been giving me new songs, (I'd just start singing spontaneously) and insight and revelation in Scripture about the time we're living and transitioning into. So I have loads to share and I've been using my blog for the most part. I've learnt that that's the gift of prophecy. "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions." (Joel 2:28)