IS THIS 'SPIRIT' STUFF REAL?
Analysing whether sensations of being 'touched' by the
Holy Spirit, in the Born Again/ Charismatic movement,
are indeed real.
I have already admitted in the previous article that I doubted the sincerity of people
who spoke of ‘marvels‘ happening in
this type of Christian fellowship, within the ‘movement‘. I was a member of the
Christian Church. I had faith in God. He had proven to me beyond
existed within my life.
I had also accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. But, I really was
sceptical about miraculous healings etc
happening during that time. And all that falling over? Well, I got to see it; indeed experience
all for myself. Great
stuff! And, as I often state, there can be no physical reason
for it as far as I am concerned. I will explain why later in this article.
2. BEING TOUCHED BY THE SPIRIT
The same enquiring
mind, that a decade before had drawn me into mystical
experiences (religious meditation) – discussed in the article, “So, what is God?” –
to accept the
opportunity of being ‘touched‘ by the Holy Spirit when
it arose. And what did that feel like? Well initially, to be
honest, nothing like what I had expected or hoped for! People around me
began to mutter in ‘tongues‘ (it is discussed later) so I knew ‘something‘ was underway. Yes I was ready,
but I was also a bit anxious and having trouble opening myself up to
the Spirit. To make matters worse, someone was trying to talk to me while all this was happening. I
could feel a little flutter going on in my tongue. ... maybe the gift of ‘tongues‘ was coming my way ... I thought it just
might happen for me ... but I could not be rude to that person. So, it all seemed to fall apart.
wife and I kept in close contact with that community of faith and amazing
stuff did happen for us. I have detailed some of those experiences in the article, “Gifts from the Spirit”.
And the next time (i.e. my second) I had the opportunity for an infilling; to be touched, things were different! I was ready and I was able to open myself in anticipation. I wanted it to happen! Nothing could have prepared
me for the depth of that full blown experience: the truly unexplainable
filling sensation, the
massive high, the primary knowledge of what was causing it! Even those deep
mystical experiences, that I had experienced previously, could not be compared to being touched by the Spirit.
another occasion – whilst a clergyman within a Protestant church anointed my forehead with oil during a spiritual healing service – the overall sensation included the unexpected and powerful thick feeling of being ‘filled‘
with warm oil. It felt like it was flowing into the
top of my head, then going down through me to immerse my entire being
from within. There were other elements in the sensation I experienced, but the powerful oil-like feeling was the greatest. I can say to that I was ’highly affected’ from the strength of that experience too.
I must explain here, before going on, what is meant
by anointing with oil. It is performed by running a finger, just dipped
in blessed oil,
across the forehead of an unwell person in this case. The oil is spread in the form
a small cross.
Getting back to the details: I was not expecting any sensation at all from my healing; did not even know
that the clergyman was a ‘gifted’,
so called “Charismatic”, prior at that time. And here is one of those examples that
shows clearly that the sensations are not created by hysteria. This
time it had happened without even any expectation on my part. None!
interesting finding of mine began to become obvious through that event.
I came to discover that if one Christian from ‘the movement‘ does lay
hands on, or anoints with oil, another Christian from ‘the movement‘ it will likely cause
them to experience a ‘spiritual‘ touching from the Holy Spirit during the process. However if a Christian, who is not in ‘the movement‘, lays hands on
(or anoints) a Christian, who is in ‘the movement‘ , for healing then they will not experience it. That is also further evidence that these experiences do not rely on emotions or the like.
I am meaning that it is impossible to know who is in the ‘the movement‘ and who
is not, when we Christians just look at each other. If I have
permission from a fellow Christian to lay hands on or pray for them, I do not say, “Oh by the way, I am member of the Born Again/ Charismatic movement” before doing so!
To make it even clearer to you, I have personally laid hands on many Christians for healing, and only
those Christians who report they are members of the Charismatic movement, after the
event, have actually had an experience of the Spirit as a result. I have never
had a Christian, who is not a member of the movement, mention they have had that
same experience, when I laid hands on them. Bear in mind too, it is not
us so called Born Again/ Charismatics who make each other have these experiences. No indeed, that
has to be the Spirit himself. He clearly likes to lovingly touch us in that way to reassure us of his powerful and holy presence when the chance arises.
3. OPENING OURSELVES IN TRUST
not be concerned if that second “full blown experience” of mine looks
for you personally, i.e. it puts you off from trying it for yourself
during your Christian journey of faith. Some other people, who have
told me of their experiences of being touched by the Spirit, described
much gentler experiences. I
have, for example, heard reports of people just receiving a strong ‘sense of peace‘ when touched by the Spirit. And one of them actually
received a healing gift along with that sense of peacefulness.
guess, and it is no more than that, is that the Spirit touches each of
us in the way that is right for us individually. So from my experience, and that of others, please do not let anxiety
or fear of the unknown stand in your way of opening yourself to the
We are, after all, opening ourselves to our loving God here in these experiences.
Do not lose track of that fact. The Spirit will not harm you. He knows
that you are there in that fellowship with the intention of building
stronger belief in him. He will personally assist you in that regard. Trust him!
Continue to the next article, “Placing it in perspective”.