The first thing the next morning, I couldn’t wait to tell my wife Glenda what had happened to me. “Guess what, Honey”, I told my wife, “Last night I got saved.”
I told her about the dream and what had happened. She was thrilled for me, but I think also a little skeptical. I had gone through so many phases in our marriage and tried so many different things, only to give them up after a short time: nothing ever really seemed to satisfy me, so who could blame her.
After all, this wasn’t your “run of the mill”, walk down the aisle, and shake the Preacher’s hand type of salvation story. But this time, that emptiness I always felt was completely gone, and over the next few weeks, she began to realize that something genuine had happened to me.
I looked up Calvin as soon as I got to work. “Hey, Calvin. Last night I got saved.” He was excited for me as I told him my story. “The only thing is”, I said, “I don’t know what to do next.”
He suggested that I get a Bible and start reading it, and “Oh yeah” he said, “You might start listening to this Christian radio station that I’ve started listening to. It’s really helped me.” I turned the dial on my radio when I got back into the truck, and I bought a paperback Bible on the way home.
I started reading the Bible instead of watching television. Calvin had suggested that I start in the Gospel of John. It was amazing. I had tried to read my wife’s big coffee table Bible in the past, when I would go through one of my “turning over a new leaf” phases, but I would lose all interest when I would get to the “begets” in Genesis and that would be the end of that.
But this time it was different: I couldn’t seem to put it down. It was as if I was living it instead of reading it. It seemed as if I could hear the people when they talked; as if I was walking on those dusty roads with Jesus, watching Him perform the miracles, listening to His teaching.
I would stay up most of the night reading before I had to go to work, and then while working I would listen to the Christian radio station as I distributed my newspapers.
One day, as I was servicing my newspaper racks, I stopped at a pay phone to call my wife.
“What’s that loud noise in the background?” she asked. “That’s this preacher on the radio.” I replied. “When I first heard him, I thought ‘You don’t have to shout like that when you preach’, and it really annoyed me, but I just can’t seem to turn him off.”
Little did I know that it was the anointing of God that was drawing me to hear this preacher full of the Holy Ghost.
He preached about a Jesus that “…was the same: yesterday, today, and forever.” A Jesus that still does the same miracles today that you read of in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. A Jesus that still heals the sick, raises the dead, causes blind eyes to see, and fills people with the Holy Ghost.
His motto was, “You don’t have any trouble, all you need is faith in God.” I knew that Jesus could change a person’s heart, could make him brand new from the inside out, but I was beginning to believe in a Jesus that could do much more.
Another preacher on the radio did a week long teaching series on “How to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost”. He said that Monday through Thursday he was going to be sharing the Scriptural basis for this experience, and then on Friday, how to receive it. If it was Scriptural and came from Jesus, I wanted it.
That Friday, he shared the Scripture from the Book of Acts 2:39-”For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
I knew that God had called me, so that meant this promise was for me also, and then he said how to receive it.
I turned the radio up louder and leaned close to listen as he said, “Just ask and believe.” Luke 11:13- “…how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?”
You mean it was that simple? Just ask? I believed that the words of Jesus were true, so I asked in prayer for Him to baptize me with the Holy Ghost.
After I had prayed, I didn’t feel any different and nothing unusual happened, but God’s Word said that if I believed, then I would receive: Acts 1:8- “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”
It was not long after this that I came upon the woman in the fire, felt the power of God, saw God raise her from the dead, and experienced my first miracle.
(To be continued…)
Next: “Whatsoever ye do, do it with all thy Might”