I'm a Gospel Coalition and Desiring God blog reader. I'm not sure if that will give you some understanding of where I am on my journey, but I've hit a detour, and I am loving it.
Last year I tried to approach the discussion of 'Baptism of the Holy Spirit', which as my friend tells me, is an old fashioned term ... and is now called the filling of the Holy Spirit. Whatever the name, the expereince is powerful and the evidence is speaking in other tongues. I know this is like eating lemons for some folks and a staple diet for others. Last year my mind was so confused, I shelved any thought of it. I couldn't cope with the different views all using scripture to convince me.
This year, the journey began again, without me seeking to make the trip. As a family we have a desire to see God perform miracles in Africa. This may seem like a selfish reason to travel to Africa, but I know the motive is pure and the reason is based upon truth. This idea has become the driving force for our family to actually think deeply about the implications of being spectators of the power and work of the Holy Spirit. Who wants to be a spectator when you can actually be used by God? Exactly! Not me. I was raised in a conservative church, I did night church at an Assembly of God church during my teenage years, so was exposed to a more lively and Holy Spirit focused church, I was a spectator and sceptic if not a cynic. I have continually shelved any searching into the Biblical truth behind the filling of the Holy Spirit and other tongues. I know it's not all about speaking in another tongue, but from what I have been reading, this is the evidence of this life changing communing with the Spirit of God in an over flowing kind of way.
After I started my search I realised that I have, for years, thought "Faith makes my life have purpose and it is good, but this can't be it, it can't be all there is to faith in God." Two weeks ago I finally verbalised this to a friend, and they seemed relieved to know someone else was thinking this way too.
What am I missing? I belong to a fantastic church, the teaching is world class, expository and I love it. I am getting so much knowledge and truth and it is amazing. However I am lacking the connection between head and heart. My communing with God has a distinct feel of a student seeking knowledge from a lecturer. Life is not preparation for an exam. I have been approaching it all wrong, I'm never going to be graded on my faith, rewarded, perhaps but only to return the reward to Him who actually deserves it.
I'm not here to become knowledgeable, I'm here to give glory to God. I have disconnected my heart from my faith, and I am starting to see that one of the keys to connecting the head and heart is the Holy Spirit and the infilling and over pouring of His presence in my life.
I have just finished reading a fantastic book by John Sherrill (scroll down to last review here), which really gave me some great understanding and desire to not only know God but experience Him too. The background I have come from did not cherish experience, sadly I think that's not the way to approach relationships. Don't we enjoy doing things with our friends? Don't we learn so much about them as we see them in different situations and we can appreciate them so much more because we have got to know them and experience them more.
I want to experience God. The gospel is taught so well in my church, it's a really good thing, the gospel is pivotal to everything. Yet to really get the gospel I need the Holy Spirit to touch me, deep within, then I will truly know and experience the gospel.
This may seem like a whole lot of ramblings - in a way it is. It's like looking out of the window on a journey, things pass by quickly, and we only get a glimpse of the each scene. To write each whole scene would take me forever, and anyway John Sherrill has done a pretty good job of it from his perspective. I'm still on the journey, so will keep you posted on the view.
Exciting times. Psalm 121.