catherine wrote:Hi guys,
I had a time of prayer Friday night, and B.W gave me a great prayer to start me off. I prayed that God would save me (and my family) and forgive me for every single sin I've ever committed and would give me a new heart and mind. I prayed earnestly for His Holy Spirit to baptize me and thus bring alive that tiniest of mustard grain of faith I have and make my faith alive and on fire so that I would Know He is real, just as I know my family are real. I kept (keep) asking if He (Jesus) is real and to forgive my doubts. I asked that I would find truth so that I don't keep sailing from one wave of confusion to another, with this doctrine and that doctrine but to know Him. I went to bed and continued to pray but to my shame I fell asleep at some point. I had cried a lot the night before and I hoped a miracle would happen and I'd wake up 'different' but I'm just the same. My doubts are still the same, my fears and confusions. Maybe I'm expecting something that isn't going to happen the way I imagine it. IT's just that when I read the accounts in the NT, I get the impression that the Holy Spirit's baptism is a dynamic, powerful 'experience'. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits, He is the Comforter. He can bring peace that is beyond all understanding. I have had a 'spiritual experience' as described in another post on this site, but a 'power' experience, is not the same as a 'person' experience surely? I've felt a tremendous power outside of me and then in me, but I don't know for sure what or where that power came from. If I'd felt the 'peace that goes beyond all understanding, coupled with an assurance that Jesus is real and has forgiven me, then that would be amazing and I'd say , yes, that's the Holy Spirit doing His work. I believe 'feelings' are an essential part of human experience and although I'd agree they are not the foundation of our faith, or the most important aspect of faith, but I think it would be impossible to not include 'feelings' here, because even some of the fruits of the spirit are 'feelings' to some extent e.g 'joy', 'peace'. I'm not trying to compare 'joy' of the Spirit, with 'happiness' which is a more carnal reaction. I can 'feel' happy because I'm about to have my favourite dinner, but the 'joy' I feel when I hold my grandson is a different thing all together. I hope you can see where I'm coming from here. If I were to 'know' that I am saved and that Jesus really is real, then that knowledge would cause 'joy', 'gratitude', 'love', 'relief' etc. to be born in my spirit.
Don't so much look for feeling as a sign but rather towards God's Nurturing and Fostering to begin now. You made your first step as a new born in Christ, now comes the nurture as like how you feel when holding your grandson is how the Lord feels holding you. It takes time to learn and grow into recognizing the nurturing begun.
When I first prayed my heart out to be saved - I felt numb and it wasn't till a few days later that I began to sense something new, that this newness was a sense of cleanness. It took me a few days to realize to make sense of what I was sensing - cleanness. It wasn't until I became baptized that any full feelings came but I had to grow a bit — gain some strength and nourishment from the Lord.
Everyone is different. So don't look so much for signs but rather toward the Lord beginning to Nurture you into the Kingdom. It takes time; Feeling will in all likelihood come later but now rest. You placed your faith in the Lord and He does have you now and he will not let you go.
You may feel like you have let go — but he will not. You may soon discover that your mind will drift toward the Lord and wanting to know him better or you may begin reading the bible and new insight is granted you have never seen before. Many things may happen so become aware you the newness of life you will grow into.
When you hold your grandson think how the Lord holds you. If your grandson is anything like my 15 month old grandniece, notice how they squirm and can't settle in. There is always something in the room that distracts, another lap beckons, another toy, another book, and they slide out of your lap and off they go exploring the room. Are they alone?
They may think so because they only can see what is in front of them and haven't come into awareness that we see them scampering about keeping a watchful / helpful eye on them!
You're like that little 15 month old child who can't sit still for a moment, slides off Papa's lap and runs into the room. What, where's papa — I can't see him?
Then turning around — ah there's papa! There's grandma!
Slowly you learn: They don't disappear when you can't see them - they are behind me, in the same room, when I cry — there they are!
Next time you hold your grandson — remember this.
You have become born again — I think when we all became born again we are like little 15 and 16 month old children who just can't sit in Papa's lap for very long. So we slide off and pick up the book babbling then, jump right back into the arms of our heavenly Father, and as soon as He begins to read a few verses, we see something else and slide back out of his lap. He watches our frolicking about. You are in the same room. He see's — that how nurturing begins…
God bless and welcome into the Kingdom of God!