I was raised in a Lutheran Church in small town in Ohio. It was a great foundation. I was called into ministry through a divine encounter in the sixth grade. However, in those years, a nagging and sinking feeling began to concern me: Who was the Holy Spirit? We prayed. I knew the Trinity, but I had no idea who He was.
It was my sister who got baptized in the Spirit first and came home with all these amazing stories. These were stories of signs, wonders and miracles happening today. By this point I was attending a Baptist youth group. While something inside of me pricked with desire when I'd heard these stories another side of me thought she had gone off the spiritual deep end. Surely, she must be crazy. The stories of the Bible ended there, or did they?
Something inside of me stirred and I began to search the Bible. Could she be right? Maybe she'd found a cult? But the more I tried to disprove her the more I found that there was more to the religion I had been raised in. While I maintained this incredible supernatural world wasn't for me, I saw that it was scriptural.
On a fateful night in 1995, I found myself in a service. There was a tangible divine presence that I know now was the Holy Spirit. I had traveled a long way for this. The guest minister asked the congregation to begin to pray in the Spirit. I got annoyed.
"God," I cried, "I love being in these kinds of services. But I'm tired of going to them and feeling like a dork. If you want me to have this Holy Spirit stuff then I receive it, but if not then I don't want to keep feeling like a dork." Deep on the inside of me I heard God laugh at me. I heard Him tell me in my spirit to just begin to praise him. I did. Suddenly my life changed.
From the pulpit the minister declared, "Someone has just received the Holy Spirit for the first time." My sister turned to me, absolutely shocked. That someone was me. Out of my mouth, I began speaking in tongues.
I heard it said once that accepting Jesus as your Savior gets you in "the room," but getting filled with the Holy Spirit turns the light on. I am not sure who said it, but that is one of the most accurate statements I have ever heard.
It amazes me how many Christians fight and debate this issue. I guess I get it, I did too once. But then I poured through the word of God. I found that the Bible wasn't just mere words on a page, but alive. The light got turned on in my life. This discussion isn't about salvation. Once you ask Jesus in your heart and stay in that room, then you're saved. Turning the light on, means that the frequency gets turned up. It means you may not know everything, but you are tapped into the one who does. It means you have the advantage.
It's time for the church as a whole to get the light turned on in their lives. Many Christians are living their lives without this light or power.
When Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit, He told the disciples that they would receive power (Acts 1:3). It's time the power in the church gets turned up!
If this is something you do not have in your life, or you desire to get the power turned up to a greater intensity in your life, all you need to do is ask God for it. Ask God, and let him lead you. Earnestly desire the fire and the light that light gets turned on in your life. God wants to show you His ways. Are you willing to listen?
I should warn you that when you do this, your life will never be the same. Do you want the life God has for you? Or do you want to continue to stumble around with the lights turned off? It's your decision. God has so much for you; are you ready?
Anna M. Aquino is a published author, guest minister and prophetic voice. Her books: Cursing the Church or Helping It? Exposing the Spirit of Balaam, Confessions of a Ninja Mom, An Ember in Time and A Marriage in Time are available wherever books are sold. She has been on TBN, TCT and a variety of other programs, both TV and radio. Please feel free to check out her website at annamaquino.com
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