Always Have Lived in the Light,
or Have Been Delivered Into the Light?
“And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘You heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit,’” (Acts 1:4–5).
I have often wondered about the lives of some of us who have come to know Christ after leading a life that was just the opposite, as opposed to those who seemingly have been brought up in homes that caused one to always be a believer. Have some always known the Father just because they went to church as a child, and to Sunday school, and did what was asked of them? I wonder.
Many of us have lived lives of darkness in our past, and have known the time when we were delivered from that life, and brought into the light of Christ. We can think back on years past when we were completely different than what we are now. Perhaps we can remember a moment, or a time, when there was a sudden, precise change from that life into the one that we now live.
I know that I can look back and remember a precise time when my life was changed. I was alone and I had walked back to the dormitory room I was living in. I lifted up my hands in the air, and said, “Jesus?” Right after that declaration, everything seemed to change dramatically. Strangely enough, it was as if the sky itself had thundered, and there was a presence sensed there above that had entered into my life.
Soon after this encounter with the Almighty, I remember being in my parent’s house speaking to God and then immediately afterwards, being filled with the Holy Spirit, and then I began speaking in tongues.
I walked throughout the house, speaking in tongues, going through the house, and continued in this prayer language. My mother was giving piano lessons, and I of course, needed to control this overflow of activity some. I don’t want to go into much more detail because my intent here is to draw a parallel between those who have encountered an experience like this with those who seemingly were always Christians.
As many of you well know, I’m not referring to how the gift of tongues operates alongside the interpretation of tongues in a church setting, but rather, the prayer language that all can possess.
Speaking in tongues empowers us to become more Christ-like, produce the fruit of the Spirit and manifest the supernatural gifts of God (Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11). 1 Corinthians 14:4 says, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Edify means “to build up, enable, empower and charge.”
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” Matthew 3:11.
The words above from Jesus speak of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and address the need that the baptism of John was of water alone. For as we should know, the mere use of water for baptism is really a symbol of the life that one would be delivered from, and brought into the new life of Christ. And I must say further, that the act of water baptism does not “save” a person. If indeed this is true, then one is not “filled,” or “complete” in their new life without this infilling.
One can certainly go through the motions when attending a church service. A person can stand up, sit down, and sing the right verses of the songs that are played during the service.
One can say, “Hallelujah,” and “amen,” to signify their reverence, but words can just be words. Those very words that are uttered can be as empty and dry as cardboard. They can be lifeless and without meaning, if there is no spirit that is uttered from within that embraces them.
One can certainly portray the life of a Christian in their service to others, and in exhibiting a life that would be of devotion to Christ. But without the presence and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, one is like a blank page. Without the infilling of the Holy Spirit, one is actually without life, and more importantly, power.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you,” John 16:12-15.
When the gift of the Holy Spirit fills us, we are filled with the very Spirit of Christ, and He speaks of things to come, and guides us into all truth. We cannot know these things without this Helper, this Comforter. We can pray and read the bible and give our lives as a service to others, but without this indwelling, I don’t believe that we can live our lives to the fullest; nor can we truly know Christ as intimately as we could.
I realize that some would say that they do have a personal relationship with Jesus. They say that they pray every day, and their lives are filled with meaning, and I believe that they alone know this to be true. But those who have lived next to the streams of water that flow through the valleys certainly know the benefit of what they have drunk.
However, if they would have looked upwards, they would have seen that there are mountain streams that flow with waters that sparkle and far surpass what is below. These waters come down directly from the throne of God Almighty, and there are no impurities in them.
These are the waters of the Holy Spirit that flow “within us.” These are the same waters that Jesus spoke of when conversing with the Samaritan woman at the well. These are the waters that “bubble-up” from within. There is no substitute for them.
One cannot find or purchase this water anywhere upon this planet; it cannot be bought. It is freely given to those who would ask for it. But when one prays for this, they must pray believing and persevering, that this indwelling would come. It betrays logic and perhaps any amount of learning that one may have gone through.
And yet I don’t mean that one should give up their intelligence or common sense, but the throne of God cannot be approached through these things. One must abandon all to come and open the door. One must earnestly knock on the door of the Lord Almighty, pleading and praying that what they ask for will be given to them.
“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Then when you are filled, speak those words in your own prayer language. Pray in the Spirit; sing songs in the Spirit, and in time, your inner tent will be filled and enlarged. Then your cup will runneth over, and it will spill over into the lives of others.
We all have come to this new life in Christ in our own ways, and yet, we have all been delivered from a life that was devoted just to ourselves. Examine the life that you now lead, and ask yourself if you are filled with Him to the fullest.
Don’t fear those things that are of Him. Any loving Father would give good gifts to his sons and daughters, and even more so, our heavenly Father would do so.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?