I am a big proponent of the supernatural power of God. I came into it when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost shortly after my conversion. I will never understand men who reason away or dumb down the supernatural workings of God and His sacred gifts. I realize there are sensationalists and religious fanatics who abuse and misuse God's gifts and power, but that doesn't do away with the real. Once you've tasted the genuine move of the Holy Spirit it is difficult to settle for anything else.
Jimmy Horton was a frontline soldier in the Vietnam War. While engaged in combat he often thought of how he longed to hear a tongue and interpretation. You see, Jimmy was from a Spirit filled church back home in America where they had constant manifestations of these things. The other gifts of the Holy Spirit were in operation there, too.
When is the last time you witnessed a tongue and interpretation in a meeting? When is the last time you witnessed a genuine healing or deliverance in a meeting or in the marketplace?
Several years ago I was ministering in Gambia, West Africa. In one of the meetings as the saints broke out in dancing and joy a demon possessed young man was struck by the power of God on the streets next to the facility. He froze and couldn't move. Finally the men brought him into the meeting and we cast the evil spirit out of him and ministered salvation and the baptism of Holy Ghost to him.
As I interviewed this young man afterwards, I became fascinated with his testimony. For 12 years he'd been under the spell of Satan. From a very young age demons unveiled the spirit world to him as degree by degree they possessed him.
I asked him many questions and I will not elaborate on the entire interview I had with him, but I want to enforce one main point that was very compelling to me. I asked him if he'd ever sought to be delivered from these demons. He told me that he'd visited many churches, but none could help him. As a matter of fact, instead of being helped the demons in this young man often hurt the amateur exorcists.
For example, in the largest charismatic church in the country the demon in this man slapped the pastor and ransacked his office, repeatedly telling him that this church had no power to set him free. "All this church does is talk about money and they don't live holy," the demon said. Can you believe a demon said that? Demons know churches. Demons know men. "Jesus I know, Paul I know, but who are you?" (Acts 19:15).
This incident made me wonder: How many of our churches are really a threat to Satan's kingdom? Many do not even believe in the supernatural. Others profess to believe in it, but have no works to show for it. And still there are others who are just talking to themselves.
Ministers will often tell you that these things happen as the Spirit wills. However, if your church hasn't had these manifestations in 10 or 20 years, it's not because the Spirit hasn't been willing. The problem is on the receiving end.
Some say, "You can't turn these things on and off!" But I have found from experience that the Holy Spirit is always on. The question should be: Are you on or off?
How much value do you place on these things? In a day when church leaders are moving into a seeker-friendly type of philosophy, true Pentecost and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer held in high esteem. I asked an old time Pentecostal minister what he thought of seeker-friendly churches, and he frankly told me that he thought it was a slap in God's face. It's telling God that we don't need His precious gifts to get the job done. It's telling God that we can do it by ourselves and we don't need His help.
How can we have more of these gifts operating in our lives and in our churches?
First of all, the Word instructs us not to be ignorant of the supernatural gifts of God (1 Cor. 12:1). Learn from the learned, not the unlearned. Seek out those who teach and demonstrate these gifts, not those who deny them.
Secondly, the Word admonishes us to covet these gifts and the power of God (1 Cor. 12:31; 14:1). Covet is a strong desire equivalent to lust in the physical realm.
Thirdly, let us pray for these gifts as the early Church did (Acts 4:29-31).
If the move of the Spirit is not passed on to this next generation it will be lost. Let's wake up to this light and walk therein. Get turned on because the Holy Ghost is always on.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several books including The Real Spirit of Revival and the newly released My Son, My Son—a beautiful father-son book co-written with his son Daniel for the purpose of training up a holy generation. He and his wife also host The Holy Ghost Forum—a school of the Spirit. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook or @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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