Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Lord Works With Us

“…And we are His witness to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5: 32

We usually think in terms of the Lord enabling us to share the good news of Jesus death and resurrection, but we should not overlook the “also” in the verse quoted above. We should remember that He will walk beside us to give His own witness and add power to our testimony. We bear witness, but so does He. Below is a dramatic example of this second dimension of our testimony.

High School Kids Experience Jesus
In 1971 when Laurel and I were first married we were asked to speak at a youth retreat for a group of high school kids from a Baptist church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The youth pastor had prepared for the event by calling friends and intercessors to pray and fast for the Lord to visit these kids. There were about 40 of them at the event. Most of them attended church, but I don’t think many of them really knew the Lord or had a real personal relationship with Him.

Laurel sang and I spoke. While I was sharing our testimony of our walk and experiences with the Lord, you could have heard a pin drop. It was as if Jesus was walking among us. His presence became more real each time I mentioned his name. A couple of the kids expressed a desire to know Him. Then a few more. Suddenly twenty of them were on their feet and praying with and for one another. The other twenty, along with the football players, remained seated and just gazed in wonder at what was happening.

Rob's Healing
Then a young man named Rob came up to me. He had both emphysema and asthma. His breathing was a loud wheezing and was so labored that it could be heard all over the room. He had a breathing machine with him, and his doctors had recommended that he not go to this retreat. But there he stood before me with a look of despair and desperation. I pulled him off to the side and said, “Rob, do you want to know Jesus?” He said, “Yes,” but then pointed to his chest to communicate the agony he was going through with his lungs.

I quoted Jesus' words about laying hands on the sick, and then I laid my hands on his head asking Jesus to touch him. Suddenly he fell back and began to shout, “I can breathe! I can breathe!” The Lord had instantly healed him of the emphysema and asthma. I then yelled out to the group, “Hey, everybody, God just healed Rob!” Immediately the other twenty kids rose up like a covey of quail. All forty kids were standing with arms uplifted to the Lord praising and thanking Him for the miracle. They all instantly gave their lives to the Lord and stood there weeping, laughing, and praising Him.

The Holy Spirit Confirms Our Testimony
I did not orchestrate this. This event seemed so spontaneous; I simply watched it happen. I had told the group that Jesus died for our sins, that He had risen from the dead, and was alive now as living Lord and Savior. But as I was speaking, Jesus Himself was moving around that room apart from me and was speaking to them by the Holy Spirit. Their lives were transformed because God revealed Himself to them.

We speak of faith and of the need to believe, but there was in those days a dimension of God's presence that arose from Sovereign acts of Divine grace, providence, and purpose that transcended what we wanted. We did not cause it to happen, we simply responded to His presence. We testified, but He also testified. May we even in this day again proclaim the presence of Jesus expecting that God will again, "...also bear witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will" [Hebrews 2: 4].

“…And we are His witness to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5: 32

“When the helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me. And you also will bear witness…” John 15: 26-27

3 comments:

Lonnie said...

Very cool! We're seeing more & more of that sort of thing these days":-)

Billy Long said...

Thanks, Lonnie. I appreciate your comment.

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