A sincere young person asked us last night, ‘I want to serve the Lord and want to be led and used by the Holy Spirit. I know I have to trust that I am actually being led by him, that it’s not my imagination. Can you share something that’ll help me?’
It’s October tomorrow – Grand Final Day, a special footie celebration time in Oz. Our thoughts immediately went back to another Thursday night one October some years ago.
Late at night we had an unexpected call. The caller didn’t apologise for the lateness of the hour but quickly requested: ‘We’ve learned you’re the speakers at a church leaders’ camp Saturday, but … when finished would you come over and speak to the Russians. They meet Saturdays but would you also minister to them tomorrow, Friday night?’
Speak to the Russians? Intriguing request to a westerner’s ears as we’d never ministered to Russians before and didn’t know what to expect.
But we immediately had that inner feeling that everything would be all right – that certain inner ‘knowing that you just know that you know that you know’ that comes from having spent time discovering the wonderful depths of a meaningful relationship with the blessed Holy Spirit and his power, anointing and leadings. So we readily agreed and Friday found us warmly welcomed at the Russian pastor’s crowded home.
Jesus is real… ‘Teach us about the Spirit’
Friday nights, we learned, were music practice/prayer time/leaders’ meeting times and praise was still on the agenda. But just before the worship began, the pastor whispered, ‘Take over whenever you want, Dr Robert and Maureen, and teach us about the Holy Spirit.’
Teach about the Spirit? What an open invitation to Pentecostals!
But we couldn’t ‘just take over’…the praise was so beautiful! They sang so meaningfully in various of their own dialects and we joined in, singing in our own spiritual language. And oh, how those Russians sang from the heart! Some fell on their knees and worshipped. Many wept. Others danced! No inhibitions here!
There was so much joy rising from an awe of Jesus, so genuine, so realistic, and so different from how it is in some churches, especially pumped-up so-called worship! (Often that false ‘Oh, can’t you feel it? It’s the Spirit, Bro.’).
We knew that we just couldn’t ‘break in’ as it would have killed that precious, genuine, godly atmosphere. We were learning that these Russians really love the Lord. And we realised anew that although evil people had sought to destroy faith and trust and worship in their homeland, they had not succeeded!
Jesus was alive in their hearts! His presence was so real in that pastor’s sitting room….and there was a definite genuine sense of the presence of the Spirit
Following the Spirit’s prompting
Suddenly I (Robert) felt a strange burning in my left leg, becoming hotter. Now I knew that my leg was all right and I knew within that the Holy Spirit was – as he does at times – moving mysteriously and indicating something was going to happen.
So I waited for that right moment to follow his leading – wherever, however it would take me. I knew too that I could trust him by, to use an old cliché, letting God have his way, that it was not me having my way.
A quietness dropped over those precious Russians. No one sung anymore, no one said anything. Only then did I ‘take over’ but firstly with a friendly greeting, ‘Privet! Kak dela?’ (Hi! How are you?). Then, Holy Spirit confident, I added, ‘Before we share from the word, someone here needs a healing in the left leg. I want to pray for you and Dr Jesus, not Dr Robert, will touch you and you’ll get a release.’
No one responded, no one moved. I heard the Spirit’s whisper in my ear, telling me that it was the keyboardist, the pastor’s wife that needed prayer. But I also knew God wanted her to respond in trust. I waited. Then, a little hesitantly, she stood and allowed me to lay hands on her and pray.
Immediately the pain left her leg and this supernatural grace of God in action proved the proverbial icebreaker. Those Russians were so hungry for more demonstrative knowledge and sound biblical teaching about the Holy Spirit. And we both had freedom to move strongly in the prophetic and words of knowledge that blessed many. Then, instead of a long sermon, we shared simple, meaningful truths about our best friend – the Holy Spirit.
‘More’ can follow an unusual leading
They wanted to learn more about the Spirit and the grace of God and were looking forward to Saturday when we’d be at their church service to share more.
Now it wasn’t, isn’t, all about us and our ministry – but about allowing the Holy Spirit to be in charge. Churches – Christians, leadership, anyone who wants to serve God – must flow this way. Then wonderful things, even miracles and healings, happen!
Pentecostalism isn’t all about the prophetic (especially what proves to be only self-led giving of ‘spiritual cookies’ not words from God’s heart!), speaking in tongues, even in worship, but about letting a mighty God work his way in our midst anywhere, anytime, not just in regulated ‘religious’ Sunday church services. Thus every Christian can be used by God to build the church of Jesus through the supernatural anointing of the Spirit.
But as it happened, we had to also allow a little praise to come our way – in any case it was still glorified Jesus! That Saturday the pastor introduced us this way…
‘My wife had visited several specialists about her terrible, nameless leg pain. Not one could discover what was wrong nor suggest a treatment. But last night she was miraculously healed! Also, some time ago, it was prophesied that “two doctors would come to our church and teach us about God’s Holy Spirit.” That happened too. Today we can expect more as these two “theological doctors” minister again under the Spirit’s anointing.’
Now we don’t refer to ourselves in such a way but the grateful pastor honoured God and it opened a door for the Spirit to move and glorify the godhead. Passionately the Russians praised the Lord in their own precious fashion and invited his Spirit to abundantly bless them. The worship was again so immediate, so strong and from the heart. And of course the mighty Holy Spirit responded and moved in to bless these worshipful followers of Christ!
Move in the supernatural!
It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit wants to use all Christians, not just ministers and leaders in the supernatural (in any case they’re not always around where ‘everyday Christians’ are)!
When we go along with his directions it’ll bring blessings not only to Christians but to everyone we encounter. This we’ve regularly prove ourselves, even a nearby busy Melbourne restaurant where we went to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary (50th? Gosh, that was five years ago!).
God used us to speak meaningfully into the life of our outstanding server through Holy Spirit words of knowledge and insights. He got blessed, knowing that we didn’t know him or anything about his circumstances, but ‘somebody upstairs’ did!
Good church conferences often encourage delegates to move in the power of the anointing. But leaders should encourage all their church members to do this. We all can… if we’re willing to trust the Spirit’s leadings. Sometimes these come in mysterious ways, as shared above, and we must follow them. And, in doing so, be prepared to adjust our plans at any time to fit in with his.
Travelling overseas in mission work is necessary and rewarding. But Australia is a nation full of nations so we don’t all have to travel abroad. If we’re open to the Spirit’s guidance, especially currently among refugees such as Iranians, we’ll find God-given opportunities all around us to fulfil the great commission under the anointing!
It’s a case of echoing Isaiah’s heart cry: ‘I’ll go. Send me!’ (Isa.6:8). Dare you!
(Scripture emphases ours)