2 Corinthians 3:17–18 (NIV)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
For this week’s Holy Spirit story, and the last day of this Holy Spirit series, I want to include a very recent testimony from Session #1 of our course, How to Experience the Holy Spirit. Because she references some of my teaching from session #1, I have decided to make that talk available to any of you who want to take the time to view it. It runs about 40 minutes and is linked here. It represents only a small part of a vast trove of the resources in the course and will give you an idea of what these courses are like. The author of today’s story will remain anonymous to avoid any exposure to her family. Let me issue a warning, though. It may trigger some trauma and pain in some of you. Even greater, it will sow seeds of healing into such places. It is powerful. Here it is:
Tonight was amazing! Especially when J.D. talked about the Holy Spirit and the waters of baptism. The Holy Spirit was speaking directly to me when J.D. used the illustration of when he was in the middle back seat of his family station-wagon and got to lean forward into the front seat area with mom and dad and how that was like being on the inside of the family circle. Being on the inside of the family of God has great significance for me because I have always felt like I was standing on the outside looking in. I was observing things from the outside, especially when it was about family time and family relationships. I guess I felt safer on the outside because then I could run away if I needed to protect myself.
You see I was raised in a very abusive home. My dad was very abusive to all four of us kids. I’m the oldest and I have three brothers, I was the only girl. Our dad was a mean drunk, with lots of rage, shame, crazy making, and was very mean-spirited and controlling! He was totalitarian in his discipline. The abuse was so bad it is too difficult to even describe. We were beaten and tortured unmercifully, so much so I think he was demon possessed. We lived in a house of fear, shame, and torment. My dad should have been in jail for the things he did to me, my mom, and my brothers; but back in the 60s and 70s there weren’t laws to protect and provide for battered wives and children like there are now. A psychiatrist told two of my brothers that they currently suffer with PTSD as if they had fought in a war.
So it was very difficult for me to relate to God has my father, and I had to do a word study on authority to be able to even trust God with his authority over me. I found out after reading every scripture that had to do with authority that authority simply meant being a “responsible caregiver” which was very powerful for me. After years of counseling, being in a loving community of faith, reading a lot of books on inner healing (a life changing book for me was by Dr. David Seamands titled Healing Damaged Emotions and Changes that Heal), and being ministered to abundantly by and through the Holy Spirit—I can joyfully tell you that I am a daughter of God. God is my Abba! I can actually call God Father! (James Bryan Smith’s trilogy of works, Good and Beautiful God, Good and Beautiful Life, and Good and Beautiful Community were also life changing for me)
ANYWAY—I said all of that to say this, anytime I was around other kids and their “normal” families it was difficult to comprehend being present in a loving family or to be engaged with a family of love. Since I could not fathom such a thing I usually ran and separated myself from their presence or I stood on the outside looking in. When J.D. said “Baptism is being brought into the INSIDE”; my first words were “I no longer have to stand on the outside looking in! I’m no longer afraid of being on the inside! I get to experience being close to my Abba Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! I get to lean into the relationship!
When I poured water from my water bottle on to my head and took my finger and made a cross on my forehead I began to have tears of joy! I only put a handful of water on my head, but while I prayed with J.D. water continued to pour on my head and drip down my face. I received my Holy Spirit Baptism! I experienced the water! Then when Dan Wilt had a prayer concerning fear I was totally overwhelmed because I knew the Holy Spirit was doing a complete work in me.
The Holy Spirit was definitely using Dan and J.D. tonight and I can hardly wait until next Monday night to see what the Holy Spirit will do next!
What you need to know is in my early thirties I left the Methodist church in search of something more spiritual and ended up in a full-gospel church where I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and operating in the gifts. During that ten-year period I saw and experienced much spiritual abuse. I ran back to the Methodist church and unlearned a lot of false doctrine. I prayed for many years for God to give me a healthy and balanced teaching on the Holy Spirit, the gifts, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God has answered that prayer in and through Seedbed’s Daily Text Holy Spirit summer series, this course, How to Experience the Holy Spirit, and Ivan Filby’s Livestream. I am sixty-four years old and have been a pastor in the Methodist Church for twenty-two years, I have two beautiful grown daughters and two granddaughters and a granddaughter on the way. God is GOOD AND FAITHFUL AND WONDERFUL . Thank you J.D. and Dan Wilt and Seedbed and all of the Farm Team!
I’m sorry this story was so long but I just had to share! I hope this story will be encouraging to you all.
Everywhere the river flows,
Everything will live!!!
Still day one.
Father, thank you for this beautiful witness to the presence and power of the person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, thank you for the way you baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Thank you for taking something as ordinary and every day as water and working and charging it with power and even more for the way you make a living memory out of it that forever shapes our imagination. We marvel at your healing grace and we too cry out, Abba Father! Praying in Jesus’ name, amen.
Do you remember your baptism? What do you remember about it? How often do you remember it?
For the Awakening,
P.S. I know a lot of you can’t come, but. . .
I want to keep the opportunity before us. Register now for New Room Conference before our next rate increase coming on August 5. And let me also remind you of the super special deal I have worked out for those of you who can’t come. It is a super discount on the LiveStream broadcast of the entire Conference (including all of it later for on demand viewing). Register for LiveStream here and use the code DTNRLIVE.