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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

My Midnight Experience of the Holy Spirit

clock on everystockphoto by yumBig Mistake

It was time for bed, but I thought I’d check my email one more time before hitting the sack.

Big mistake.

Because one email hammered me.  It was a zinger out of the blue.  A sucker punch to my faith.

I felt queasy.  My heart was pounding.  My mind was whirling.   And I knew —

It’s Gonna Be A Long Night

I decided not to mention this to Jan until the next day.  So I got into bed, prayed with Jan, gave her a kiss goodnight, and lights out.

But I knew it would be hard to sleep because I was full of worry, fear, and sadness.

So What Could I Do?

I had options —

  • I could try to look on the bright side.
  • I could think of how other people face worse problems.
  • I could fall into self-pity.
  • I could come up with Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.

But writing this blog has helped me see that none of those is what I really need.

What I really need is to fight the fight of faith.

I need to turn to Jesus Christ just as I am, trusting Him to help me, teach me, comfort and guide me.

So I did.  I turned to Jesus.  I did this quietly, lying there in bed, so Jan would not wake up.

Here’s What Happened

I prayed something like this —

Father, I’m really hurting right now.  Thank You that through Christ I can come to You as I am, and that you love me, care about me, and will help me.

So please, use your Word and the Spirit’s power to comfort me, strengthen me, and guide me.

 Then I prayed over some of my favorite promises, like —

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isa 41:10

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.  Psa 28:7

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.  2Cor 4:17

These Scriptures helped me see that God was orchestrating this problem to bring me even more joy in beholding His glory.

That gave me peace, strength, and hope.

But one question still troubled me.  What was I supposed to do about this email?  I desperately needed wisdom.

An Outpouring of the Spirit

To address that worry I prayed over James 1:5 —

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

That was comforting.  Then I prayed over the next verse —

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

As I prayed that verse, the Holy Spirit did something I’m not sure I’ve experienced before.

I suddenly felt a supernatural assurance that God would give me all the wisdom I needed.  I knew that He give me wisdom generously and without reproach.

This was not just me drawing a conclusion from the promise — as important as that is.

This was the Holy Spirit so strengthening my faith that I felt God’s presence assuring me that He would keep this promise.

This was so beautiful, so filling, and so satisfying, that I remember thinking —

No matter what might result from this email, this experience of God is worth it all.

This left me feeling strong, peaceful, and confident.  And I fell asleep.

Take-Aways

This experience reminded me of the following truths —

  • Because of Jesus’ death, we can come to God just as we are, weak, fearful, struggling, and needy — and because of Christ He will always welcome us, love us, and help us (Psa 40:1-3; Mark 9:24).
  • The Holy Spirit has the power to change our hearts — no matter how unspiritual or weak we are feeling (Luke 18:27).
  • God provides the heart-changing work of the Spirit through the Word of God (Gal 3:5; Eph 6:18).
  • When our faith is weak it especially important to pray over promises from God’s Word, because faith is strengthened by God’s promises (Rom 4:18-20; 2Pet 1:3-4).
  • When we pray for the Spirit’s work, and set our hearts on God’s Word, God will often pour His Spirit upon us.

Comments?  Feedback?

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(Picture is from Everystockphoto by Yum.)

Category: Stories from My Life, The Work of the Spirit

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9 Responses

  1. Ash says:

    I love that there were so many promises involved working together here, & each of them dealt separately with a specific area: a few promises for strength, a couple verses for wisdom.

    Together, they gave you complete assurance! No distrust caused you to waver, but you were fully convinced!

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Steve!

  2. Christian says:

    I had one of those emails recently Steve. Had the Spirit comfort me by sending a really encouraging email literally 5 sec later from another person that contradicted the first. It was amazing. I will never forget that. The expression of God’s providential encouragement was an amazing experience worth the sting of the nasty email I had first received.

    But I really appreciate the practical means of grace you lined out and how the Spirit used His word to minister to your soul AND how the gospel is the key that draws you to come as you are.

    Thanks again man.

  3. Bill Schuler says:

    This was so beautiful, so filling, and so satisfying, that I remember thinking –

    No matter what might result from this email, this experience of God is worth it all.

    What a thing to say! What a wonderful conclusion! Thank you Steve for being a steady sorce of encouragement for the two main themes so evident in your ministry. #1 Finding your joy in the Lord. #2 Praying over the promises of God. And I should add #3 TRUST Jesus! :)Plenty of meat to eat! :)

  4. Cheryl Iler Kennedy says:

    Amen again, Steve!! After a few of these types of experiences, I regularly pray now “Father, please work this mess together for good!” Then I step back, relax, and watch Him do His thing, knowing He will work in me, through me, around me, and (sorry to say) in spite of me. What a Father we have! He doesn’t expect us to grit our teeth and pull ourselves up out of the pit. He wants us to reach up to Him like a child, and trust Him to pull us out (or to accomplish whatever other outcome He wants!)
    Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. (Remember that great old hymn from the old days, Steve?! It’s a keeper!)

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Lots of wisdom here, Cheryl. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your heart, and your experience of God’s faithfulness.

      And, yes, that song is definitely a keeper. Lots of wonderful memories from Lake Avenue days!

  5. Alimi Olanrewaju says:

    Reading this views by 1:15am,i felt a sudden shock or jolts;supernatural power of God when reading this “i suddenly felt a supernatural assurance that God would give me all the wisdom i needed” same experience in receiving assurance of wisdom and backup.thanks.you really have the holyspirit,because i felt him in me when reading those words.thanks.now about to sleep,GOOD NIGHT HOLYSPIRIT,MY LOVE.

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