(A wonderful testimony from @ceejaynweke in Baltimore, MD. .
. ) I had lived most of my life in religion…it was like a ritual to go 2 church every Sunday.
Even at that, we („we‟ means „I and my nuclear family‟) always came late …like the church was the pastor‟s and we were doing him a favor by attempting to come. We also had morning prayers at home every day, and the prayer was like a pattern – I pretty much learned about prayer as a means of getting God to do stuff for you, you know? When I got to high school in 1999, it didn‟t help me that much, because I didn‟t know God personally; just thru the patterns of prayer I had learned at home.
I attended the schools services though, and most of my friends were from Christian homes as well, so that created a blanket of „self-styled goodness‟, which prevented me from doing things that every normal high school kid would. In 2004, June 22nd, or a Sunday around that date, an alumnus of the high school I was attending was the guest speaker for the school‟s service.
He talked on the Holy Spirit, and explained how he gives us the power to speak in tongues. Before then, I had heard my Mum speak in tongues occasionally around the house.
I didn‟t know what it was she was saying, and it sounded like some variation of a Dead Sea language to me. But she didn‟t speak it very often.
When this alumnus (his name is Ovie Onokpachere – can‟t forget the name because of what happened next) finished talking, he asked us to begin praying, and told us that as many of us that wanted to receive the Holy Spirit could do so at that moment and start speaking in tongues. Since I had heard it before from my Mom, I knew it was possible for someone to speak in tongues and I desired to commune in the language as well.
As we worshipped, I just started saying some strange things…had no clue whatsoever what I said. But yet, I knew I was praying – in a way I had never prayed before.
Surprisingly, there were only 2 people that spoke in tongues that day. Much, much later on, I came to realize that receiving the Holy Spirit does not automatically „shoot‟ tongues from one‟s mouth; it could happen as soon as the person received the Holy Spirit, or could happen sometime else.
Then I also realized that I had received the Holy Spirit long before that event – maybe 1 or 2 years before, and HE was the reason I couldn‟t do what everyone else was doing, not my „safe haven of Christian friends. ‟ Unfortunately, after that experience, I did not maintain the habit, and it sort of „died down.
‟ The fact that we did not speak in tongues during the family morning prayers did not help either. On a nice sunny Sunday at church in July 2005, during the worship session, I „got lost‟ in worship as I praised God in English.
Then, something else happened. As I closed my eyes, I began seeing words that were written out – like they were written on my heart or a tablestone or something…most were written with letters from the English alphabet and I did not know what they were, but they were definitely not in the English language.
I tried pronouncing them, and as I did, they would be replaced by new, different words, and I would try pronouncing those as well. I continued doing that throughout the time for worship, before I finally realized that I was speaking in tongues! Wow! It felt so good too! I just started thanking God and praising him for restoring what I thought I had lost (though we know now that the gifts of God are without repentance).
And, during the coming weeks, I learnt in the church that God speaks to everyone, and we should take time out to listen, and that He loves us. So one fateful day, after the family morning prayer, I tried it – I stayed behind and just bowed my head to listen.
I know the first words I heard were, “Chijioke, I love you. I will bless you like no other” and several variations of it.
I suddenly felt basked in the Father‟s love (though I didn‟t know what it was called then), like layers upon layers of a thick warm blanket were placed over me, yet I felt co comfy. Finally! This God I‟ve heard so much about speaks! And he knows my name! And he likes me!!! I felt on top of the sky throughout that day, skipping everywhere and dancing to made-up tunes.
As I was going to bed that night, I remember the last thing I said was “Good night Lord”…. then I heard clearly, “Good night son.
” I was his son! It felt different hearing it from him that from others. The next day, I awoke with a „Good morning Lord‟, and suddenly all the blanket layers were back.
And then I went: “So, what should I wear today?” And He went “Put this shirt on, and match it with this pair of pants and do this and that. ” By the time He was done grooming me, I was astonished at myself.
Ever since then, I‟ve had impeccable dressing sense – He taught me what I know about fashion today. Ain‟t it cool? It got even better.
As we communed, He would point me to a verse, and would explain it to me. Then he would tell me some stuff about some people, so I could pray for them.
During this period, my desire for reading the bible became like…the closest thing I can compare it to is the same hunger with which a vampire desires blood (apologies for the horrific comparison) but the Holy Spirit is his Word. Naturally, as we spent more time together, I desired more of his word…like I needed to catch up on something.
I read copious amounts of the bible per day…and whatever I found interesting, I underlined, or wrote down. And later on, as I went back, and studied, he taught me.
Once (very late at night), I asked him a question on a quite puzzling scripture, where it says “The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. ” I asked him, „Why? It is strange, and not supposed to be so.
Why did Jesus say that?‟ Before I knew it, I had written seven pages on the subject. WOW! And you know what? All that happened BEFORE I came into Christ Embassy as a member, although I was an „outside spectator” for a while.
And with the amount of knowledge on the Holy Spirit that Pastor Chris has dealt us with, can you imagine where I am now? @stburnish, @thisgokeboysef‟ and @Abi_toomuchmoney can testify, not so? LOL. I want to sincerely thank the Holy Spirit for what He has made me, and also for reminding me of parts of this story I had forgotten…I had to edit some parts where he reminded me that what I wrote was partially inaccurate…He‟s so cool! He loves me, and if you are out there reading this, He loves you too.
He‟s right next to you, always waiting to hear, ever ready to help and answer – because He loves you for you, like no other person can ever or will ever love you. Why don‟t you speak to Him now? It‟s as easy as you think it is, and that shouldn‟t discourage you because you think you have to deserve any kind of love you get.
He just loves you, and that‟s it! Talk to him now; He‟s waiting…. .