Passion: The Comforter Bears Witness

     “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. ” John 15: 26,27 KJV

          My favorite game as a kid was “Superfriends”. Yep, no hide and seek for me, no baseball or football. I was a role player all the way. While other kids were learning to catch, I was pouring over the comic section at the local penny candy store and wishing I could be like Superman, Green Lantern, or The Flash. Truth is  I was the nerd who could read before he started kindergarten but always got picked last in gym. I think I liked imagination games because at least on that playing field I stood a chance of competing and winning.

     Real life, though, isn’t a role-playing game. I soon found out that being able to answer all the questions in class and running slower than the girls puts you on the bottom rung of the social ladder for the most part and keeps you there particularly if you never hit your stride.

     It’s not really a wonder that my childhood game turned into a preadolescent fascination with the supernatural. My penchant for comic books turned into a thirst for books about the New Age. I began trying to channel spirits and believed I could talk to the dead. By thirteen I was one weird, messed up kid.

     But then through a series of events God broke in on my life. I wasn’t seeking Him. I was looking to talk to the dead guy who owned my parents house in the fifties. But God was looking for me. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit of God, sent a witness in the form of a godly teacher.

      When I told my mother that I wanted to go to my teacher’s church she said “No if you’re going to go to any church it will be your Uncle Tom’s.”

     That was strange because everyone in the family thought Uncle Tom was crazy. But the Holy Spirit knew what I needed; So He arranged it. I remember my first experience with the Pentecostal Church. It was wild! I heard people speaking in tongues and other people interpreting those tongues. Another guy spoke a  prophetic word  in the service. Then the pastor called people forward for divine healing. People fell over while he was praying for them and all the while the church was singing and rejoicing in the Lord. There was a lot of clapping and shouting and praising God…and I experienced the supernatural presence of God for the first time ! Right there in that little New England Assembly of God I found the Source of all power and somehow I knew I didn’t have to imagine being “super” any more. I realized if I could just tap into this Source I would never be the “weak one” again.

     A movement has grabbed our churches since those days. Some of us have become “seeker-sensitive” espousing a notion that supernatural displays of power in the public service will turn people off and send them packing out our doors. I’m here to testify that is a lie. I needed the supernatural presence of God. Other people need it too. The Holy Spirit and His demonstrations of power are indeed outlandish, wild, extreme, sometimes even a little frightening…but they prove God is powerful to a world that is craving empowerment.

      Maybe the Holy Spirit freaks out the people who have always been picked first for the gym class. Maybe He seems strange to those who already have it in their heads they can make it on their own steam. But I have to tell you this “wimpy kid”, lost in his own personal dungeons and dragons game, needed a Comforter who would testify about a Jesus who loved me even though I didn’t measure up. I still need that! Somewhere along the way the Holy Spirit became that equalizing force I always craved.  

     How many I wonder are like me? Let’s open our eyes to the fact that we live in a nation increasingly disempowered seeking something.. anything that will fill the void of our weakness. It has always been the Spirit’s job to point the world to Jesus through displays of power that confirm the truth, that He alone can fill that void! The church has the responsibility to partner with him in that witness. We have been called to let His power flow!

Quench Not the Spirit. Happy Pentecost!

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4 thoughts on “Passion: The Comforter Bears Witness

  1. Thank you, Pastor J
    ” How many I wonder are like me? Let’s open our eyes to the fact that we live in a nation increasingly disempowered seeking something.. anything that will fill the void of our weakness.”
    I couldn’t help the childhood memories that came flooding back as I read your post. I was ‘born and raised’ in a church similar to Brother Tom’s. I received the Lord as my Saviour one Sunday night and two days later, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. That was decades ago … back then, ‘speaking in tongues’ was my first association to the Holy Spirit – I didn’t know Him otherwise.
    These days I’m learning about relationships and I’m seeing life in a different light. When Jesus went, He sent the Comforter so we wouldn’t need to go wandering in circles trying to find what only He could fill. I’m thankful.
    You’re so right. We have a message to share… Why does it seem that are we saying less and less about the person of the Holy Spirit?
    Blessings,
    ann

    • Ann,
      Thanks for your comments! You are right that the Holy Spirit is so much more than power. He is a dear person with whom we can have a rich relationship. Oh how I wish all Christians would come to know this and seek an intimacy with Him! My Christianity is so blessed by the Holy Spirit’s presence and strength on a daily basis.

  2. Pastor J,

    This post stirred up the Holy Ghost, that is within my soul!! On the day of Pentecost, the Word of God says in Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” I’m so glad that Jesus lives within my soul. I was brought up in a church, much like your Uncle Tom’s church! You are so right! “We have been called to let His power flow.” It is the presence and power of the Holy Ghost in the church, that destroys every yoke and every bondage of sin. Jesus left the Holy Ghost, our comforter, our Paraclete, there alongside us, to lead us and guide us into all truth and righteousness!

    Thank you so much for sharing. I was truly blessed!

    Paulette

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