Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Power of the Holy Spirit Touching Lives: Karina's Testimony

It’s amazing how much fruit can come out of just a little seed when it’s planted in good soil: While we were ministering, we filmed a testimony of a young lady who got impacted by the Holy Spirit some years back when we prayed for her.

This young lady Karina shares how she was empowered by the Holy Spirit when we prayed for her and then how we helped her step out to pray for others. Since that time, she has been actively ministering to other people on a regular basis!

All this started by praying for her when she was only nine years old. The awesome thing is that for over ten years she has continued to actively minister to other people, all due to the empowering of the Holy Spirit and the encouragement we gave her to step out and utilize the gifts of the Spirit and pray for others.

An Example Also Seen in The Bible

This is a good example of what the New Testament encourages for us as believers, regardless of age: that Christ’s followers should seek to be filled, and then utilize the gifts the Lord releases to us.

It is an example we see in Scripture when Paul encourages Timothy, who was a shy young fellow, to step out and utilize the gifts:

“I remind you to stir up the gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. Now let it grow, as a small flame grows into a fire.” 2 Timothy 1:6

Paul also told Timothy in the next verse:

“For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind...” 2 Tim 1:7 (TLB)

Paul wanted Timothy to draw upon the Holy Spirit and then utilize the gifts God bestowed upon him and to step out in faith and employ them.

As we each step out, we will eventually become more comfortable in operating in the gifts and being used by God, and the gifts can thus grow, whether it is to testify, pray, or minister to someone else in various ways.

Moreover, age—whether someone is young, old, or in between—should not inhibit one from seeking to be filled with God’s power and be used to minister in it:

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below…”Acts 2:17-19

In this passage we see that young, old, male, female, are all included and encouraged to receive and minister in God’s power.

Furthermore, Peter also said, “[turn to] Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.” Acts 2:38-39

These Scriptures show that everyone can receive, be filled, and be used by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit activates what Martin Luther calls “The Priesthood of all Believers.” Luther pointed out that the New Testament encourages us that each believer is a priest and thus able to minister to one another in the Body of Christ as well as to others. Thus, it is important to realize that God desires to work in and through each one of us.

Jesus said: “How much more will the father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.” Luke 11:13 As His children, we see in the Word that it is by asking that we can receive and be blessed, and thus be a blessing to others! Simply by asking the Holy Spirit to fill us, empower us, and work through us this can begin!

Here are a few key points and guidelines:

If you have not received Christ, first open your heart and invite him into your life. The Bible says: " Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again." (John 3:3)  “For as many who received Him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12) We must understand that above all, we must be part of God's family and have relationship with Christ! This means asking Christ into your heart, receiving Him, and believing upon Him and His work on the cross on your behalf, and by grace through faith receiving salvation (if you have not already done so.)

[I recently heard the testimony of a youth pastor at a church who preached and led worship but had never even received Christ until an evangelist came to his church and shared the gospel! It is important to have a priority and see that people have received Jesus in their heart! Assuming can have us missing opportunities to help people connect with the Savior. Billy Graham used to say: “When I preach the Gospel I speak to the choir, church people, and everyone else, I never assume someone is saved just because they attend a church.”]

As a child of God, it is your born-again birthright to ask the Holy Spirit to fill and empower you. When we receive Christ into our hearts the Holy Spirit takes up residence within and dwells within us. However, after Jesus released the Holy Spirit to dwell in His followers, He still told His own disciples after His crucifixion and resurrection and after they were now indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 20:22), that they still needed to be empowered through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5-8). The cross has made it possible for God’s children to have God’s Spirit live within us. However, the Word says we need to Ask Him to empower and equip us, to baptize us, with His love, grace, mercy, and gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor: 14:1 & 12:31). We should also ask Him for courage to step out and utilize the gifts. Jesus said: “How much more will the father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask.” Luke 11:13

After I personally got filled with the Holy Spirit I found myself witnessing to a friend who eventually received the Lord. We subsequently started a Bible study that I taught at his home. When we would step out to pray for others who came to the Bible study in these times, the Holy Spirit began to work through us with the gifts much more than we expected.

Like our old friend Harald Bredesen used to say: if we take one step in the direction of serving Christ via the Holy Spirit, instead of our own power, whether we have been a Christian for quite a while or for just a short time, the Holy Spirit will come and will work through us, oftentimes more than we even expect or imagine.

Be willing to take a step of faith, and like Paul told Timothy, “do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord!”

God Bless!

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