After having been filled with the Holy Spirit, I was on fire to see the local congregation being filled just as I was to take off like a rocket and see the wondrous work of Christ like it was meant to be seen. I remember leading a youth Sunday School class with so much joy the Sunday after that, reassuring the attendants of their salvation.
But as I sat down and started hearing personal attacks coming from the pulpit, I knew then that my time was up. I knew then that I was no longer welcome by the leader of this congregation. I stood up and grabbed my Bible and “freely” walked out like someone heading toward rest after a long day of work. Right there and then, the Holy Spirit instructed me, “to get up because I’m no longer welcome here.”
I hope and pray that you understand one thing. I was welcome for as long as I was there in my own name. I was welcome for as long as I was following the agenda of the local leader. I was welcome for as long as I was being hypocritical to pretty much everybody. But when I embraced the true gospel, and that Christ embraced me with the Holy Spirit, I was no longer welcome because in the mind of the local leader Christ was a distant person and the Holy Spirit was a passive agent simply observing what is going on.
When I had let go of the burdens that I had accepted as my means of assuring my salvation, my standing before God, when I had let go those burdens to embrace the rest that Christ is to me, I along with Christ and the Holy Spirit were no longer welcome by the leader of the congregation.
The problem is that we tend to seek rest in our sins being hidden, rather than take rest in our sins being forgiven once and for all. So when the light shines and exposes our sins, we feel shame rather than give thanks to God who loves us despite our sins. We go into self-condemnation rather than rejoice in God who gave us His Spirit to help us repent with the joy that His salvation brings to us. This is one of the main reasons that leaders can’t stand being shown or told where they’ve gone wrong because they fear punishment.
When God shows us where we’ve gone wrong in our mind, it is to have our mind pointed right back to Christ again so that we rest in what Christ had done, and not what we could ever do or think of doing.
When I walked out of that building, it was like walking out of prison after being sentenced to life in prison. It was like “being pardoned” by the President. Except, this pardon is forever because the righteousness of God is forever. No condemnation for those who are in Christ.
It was like being released from the tentacles of a big octopus called religion. No longer did I feel the obligation to rush and be there every single Sunday morning. No longer did I feel the obligation to rush and be there at every single gathering. No longer did I feel the guilt of not being able to contribute the amount expected by others. No longer did I feel obligated to do anything else, except rejoice in Christ and his rest for me. Rejoice in his freedom he is to me. Rejoice in the overwhelming peace he is to me.
You shall know the truth. And the truth shall set you free. Free at last, free at last. God Almighty, in Christ I am free at last. And sharing that joy with you and others daily is not an obligation but a natural product of that joy itself, the joy of my salvation by God through Christ as I’m being reminded of it daily by the Holy Spirit.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
I needed no other man to lay his hand upon my head to ordain me. I had countless of others hypocritically laying their hands upon my head with nothing special happening to me. But when Christ laid his hand upon my entire being, He filled me up with the Holy Spirit. I left my water jar of religion and when to the whole world and said, “Come, see a man who told me everything wrong I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” Day by day, through my testimony of Christ as empowered by the Holy Spirit, many, I say, many are making their way toward Christ to rejoice and see for themselves the love of God by His Spirit and by His truth, Christ Jesus, my all and all. The joy of my salvation is my ordination to rush and tell others that I’ve seen Christ and he has seen me. The joy of His salvation of me, the joy the Holy Spirit keeps alive in my entire being, that joy ordains me to shout and dance and sing before the Lord the extraordinarily great things that He has done through Christ by His Spirit.
” Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him. (John 4:28-30)
Jesus Christ is my well of the living water, the Holy Spirit.