Multiple fillings with the Holy Spirit brought me alive
I had been a Christian for about six years and was feeling that my heart towards Jesus had grown cold, my prayer life was practically non-existent, my walk with the Lord was superficial, and I kept thinking that there must be more than this. I kept sending up prayers to God asking Him to fill me with the Holy Spirit. At the same time I was scared as I didn't know what would happen. The Toronto blessing happened and God poured out His Spirit on certain places in England where I live. I met in my home with a youth worker. She prayed for me and the Holy Spirit filled me.
This filling happened in stages. I was filled more powerfully in my quiet times, then at a conference at Holy Trinity Brompton God's power went down into my head and through my body; I felt drunk! I was so hungry for more of Jesus. I felt like I'd woken up. I was given a new joy in God, a new love for Jesus that has never left. My prayer life was transformed. I received pictures, Bible verses and heard the Lord speak to me within. I had a deep desire to encourage other Christians and still have. This has gone on for 20 years.
At a Christian conference a lady on a prayer team asked if she could pray for me. As she prayed I heard an inner voice which I seemed to know was God the Father. He said, “I want you to join in partnership with Me, to pray for what's on My heart.” This urging or inner nudging became so insistent that I just said to God one day, “Father, will you show me what's on Your heart?” Immediately a picture came into my mind of a statue of Jesus standing with His arms open over a city. Then the Holy Spirit interceded through me with groans and sighs. I had never experienced this before but I felt like I was in the school of the Spirit. I then prayed for revival in that place.
Since then, for the last fifteen years I ask the Father who or what is on His heart. Sometimes I see in my mind the name of a country or a people group, like the aborigines or a people group in China. Sometimes I see in my mind the actual people; the Dalai Lama is on God's heart, which surprised me. Sometimes I feel God’s pain in my heart for those whom He leads me to pray for. Sometimes the country will be in the news after I've prayed for it. Something that I will never forget is Rwanda and the massacre between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. The Spirit caused me to do physical actions of wrestling.
I had never thought much about speaking in tongues, but at the Holy Trinity Brompton Conference, the minister said, “If anyone would like to speak in tongues, come forward to be prayed for.” I was hungry for everything God wanted to give me so I went forward, the lady prayed for me to be given that gift and told me to open my mouth in faith and see what happens. I must admit, I felt embarrassed, but I wasn't going to miss what God had for me. I went for it and I started speaking in words I didn't understand.
When I talk to God in tongues, He draws near. I also sang in tongues which sounded beautiful. The notes seem to come from my heart. As I sang it felt like I was being refreshed too. The most precious thing that happened as a result of being filled with the Spirit is an intimate relationship with Jesus.
A friend rang me who is ill and I immediately felt the Lord’s presence. All through our conversation I kept getting pictures and encouragements to the effect that this illness was not going to be a part of her life story which God has planned for her life. After I came off the phone, to my surprise, the Holy Spirit’s power and God's presence flowed into my heart and at the same time, the Holy Spirit’s power and presence flowed outwards from within my heart. This went on for a long time. I asked the Lord what happens next and heard Him say within me, “The only way is up”.
I had been feeling dry and was crying out to God for a fresh filling of His Spirit. Now I have a freedom when I pray for people and a new freedom and intimacy with God the Father and Jesus, a hunger to press in for more of Jesus and I want God's plan for my life wherever He wants to take me. I want to go with Him. Interestingly, a few months ago during a prayer time, Jesus said, “Welcome the Holy Spirit,” so I started to do that before I pray and the Holy Spirit’s presence is more evident in my prayer times. I feel He is my friend and helper and I want to be more sensitive to Him.
I would say to any believer that the Lord has more for you. Don't settle for little; keep asking the Lord for more. Press in with boldness. I believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I want to do the things Jesus did, and I believe we are meant to. The Lord keeps bringing Isaiah 61 into my mind. Our God is an awesome God!
Mark Virkler’s reflections: It began with dissatisfaction with the status quo and a hunger for more. The filling grew and increased in stages, and finally tongues became evident. Increased intimacy with Jesus was the key benefit for Sue.
Related Resources:How to Be Empowered by the Holy Spirit!