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Discussion Forum : Miracles that follow the plow : BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – MY TESTIMONY by Annie Poonen

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 BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – MY TESTIMONY by Annie Poonen

Up until my wedding, I had been very active in God's work in the medical college where I studied and in the hospital where I worked. But about 2 years after that (in early 1970), I was just sitting at home (a home that was not even mine), without much money and also having a small child to look after. I became very discouraged and started drifting away from the Lord in my mind. I did not do anything wrong externally. I still went to the church- meetings. But I was miserable inside. I knew that God had led me to marry Zac. But I wondered why we were suffering like this. I did not feel like praying, or even reading the Bible. In addition, our baby was keeping me awake at night and I was constantly tired.

At this time of utter discouragement, a sister whom I had never met before, came to our home. She asked me if we could pray together. I agreed and took her to my bedroom and we prayed together. The freshness in her prayer challenged me. It made me long for such a freshness in my own life. That sister then suggested that I go to her house next time for prayer. So the next time, I took my baby and went to her home. We both knelt down on the floor and prayed while my baby was sleeping between us. I prayed saying, "Lord something has happened in my life. At one time I was so close to you, but now I have gone so far away from You. Please have mercy on me and bring me back to You."

Then the Lord began to show me how I had wrong attitudes in my heart against some people. My father and I had become distant from each other. My husband's parents were very good to me, but I was not happy in their home, because it was not my home. The Lord opened my eyes and showed me that the problem was not with others but with me. So I started crying and said, "Lord, forgive me. I am such a rotten sinner. Outwardly people think I am good. But I am full of bitterness inside."

Suddenly I felt God touching my heart. I felt like a little child in His arms. He picked me up and my tears stopped. He filled my heart with joy and peace once again. As I started to praise and thank God, I found myself speaking in a new language. I was surprised. My church background was "Brethren" - and I did not believe in the gift of speaking in tongues. I wondered what was happening to me. I didn't want to be praying in that strange language. So I started praying in English again. But it was a struggle now to pray in English. I found it easier to pray in the new language God had given me. I just poured out my heart to the Lord and praised God in this new language. I felt in my spirit as if I was no longer on earth. There was such a great joy and peace in my heart. I came back home and told my husband what had happened. And in the coming days, he saw a real change in my life. A new freshness had come into my life. I felt as if the dry barren desert in my heart had suddenly turned fresh and green! That joy and peace has never left me since that day.

Since then, as a family, we have faced many trials from people who opposed us. But none of those things have ever drawn me away from my relationship with the Lord.

After our fourth son was born, I was suddenly struck down with rheumatoid arthritis and had to be in bed almost all the time. Even then the Lord kept my heart full of joy and peace – and after one month He healed me miraculously.

The Lord started a church in our home in August 1975. After that, we faced a lot of opposition from other Christians in India. We also struggled to meet our family's needs. But in all those situations, God stood by me and strengthened me and answered prayer. I came to know Him more and more intimately as my Father.

God then opened my eyes to the great truths of the New Covenant that He had established in Christ. He showed me that He had given me the power of the Holy Spirit so that I would not live for myself anymore, but only for Him. I saw that God wanted to change me into the likeness of Jesus – and He began to change me slowly. He taught me patience and helped me to overcome my anger and filled my heart with love for people.


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 2018/10/11 8:37Profile
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 Re: BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – MY TESTIMONY by Annie Poonen

"I baptize you with water; but, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (Mark 1:8 NASB)

"If you say you are entirely sanctified and have never been baptized in the Holy Spirit, you have deluded yourself. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ's seal on your regenerated and sanctified soul and is your inauguration in service for your Master. A man and a woman, when married, know it, and they can tell you the day when they were. A person who is baptized with the Holy Spirit knows the very moment, the very place, the very spot the transaction was done, and will never forget it...Unless you have had a DEFINITE, PERSONAL PENTECOST, you are suffering spiritually. God down before God, and let Him do a definite work of grace in your heart and life. Let Him fill you with His Spirit."
"The Holy Spirit's work of grace is not finished in one's soul until that soul has had a PERSONAL PENTECOST. HAVE YOU HAD YOUR PENTECOST YET? Christ's work is not done, as He came to do it, until you are filled by God's Spirit. When a Christian is filled with the Spirit, THE SPIRIT COMES TO DWELL WITHIN...YOU CANNOT DO GOD'S WORK UNLESS THE THE HOLY SPIRIT INFILLS YOU COMPLETELY..." (from Oswald Chambers in Devotions for a Deeper Life)

Never settle for claiming to fully believe in the Lord Jesus, presume you have saving and sanctifying faith in God or think you are able and ready to actively serve Him, if you remain void of the affirming, unmistakable and intimately knowable baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is God Who identifies His own, approving and sealing them with His Spirit (see Acts 15:8-9 and 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). You may well have been called, responding as you initially could to the Heavenly Father's call on you, to seek His Son's life in you and follow as a disciple. You may well have seemed to go through at least some times of eagerness to learn of Him, do your best to repent and obey His commandments. However, until He and He alone fully reveals His Son in and to you, by the Holy Spirit's baptism, you are still not ready to go the distance. If His original disciples had to wait for the pouring out of His Spirit, in order to "bring everything together" and start lives in true knowledge of Him, it can be no different for us...(John 14:16-29; Acts 1:4-5; Acts 2:1-32; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

You cannot begin to "run the race" of faith in Him, without first having been brought to the "starting line," by God's own doing (my own analogy, here).

***Caution: don't seek the experience, in and of itself; rather, seek the ONE Who requires your whole heart be yielded, with pure intentions to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (Matthew 5:6,8 and John 4:23-24 NASB)

Also, if I may humbly offer one aspect of my own testimony of having been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, He doesn't always display the same gifts of His Spirit, immediately upon receiving Him. Regardless of anything some will try to insist, I assure you - in good conscience before my Savior and Lord - He didn't happen to impart the gift of speaking in other tongues until a later date. He Has, since, also imparted and trained me in the exercising of other gifts of His Spirit, for the benefit of the greater body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-13, 27, 30-31 NASB)

The main thing is to know, beyond all doubt and debate, He has penetrated your being and overwhelmed you with the deeply spiritual realization of His presence. You may most certainly trust the Living God to make sure you know it is He who has come to dwell! (Romans 8:15-16 NASB)

One last thing, in case it may seem potentially beneficial to any pure hearted, sincere seekers of the Lord who have a true sense of His call on their lives - yet, have not received the baptism of His Spirit. Perhaps, you have read testimonies from more well known figures, either historic or current, feeling a certain "disconnect" because you cannot actively discuss, ask questions or pray with someone who is living a similar life to the ones described in the bible and others you've read about, I humbly and lovingly would be glad to communicate with you, directly, should you feel comfortable writing to the email address in my profile. Rather than post my testimony here, I'd be happy to share of the grace given me and humbly "point you in the right direction," as well as stand along your side.

Certainly, I'm glad to respond to any in-forum questions about my experiences and/or follow up to the quotations in the body of this submission, as well.

Ultimately, God prepares and directs the way each chosen believer is established; but, please know, my heart is to help make the experiences of His Spirit relatable and more personalized, as He may provide opportunity...

I'm simply a disciple who has been walking by His Holy Spirit and maturing in the knowledge of Him, for several years. I'm not a titled, recognized "minister;" yet, know my God and understand His ways, as a humble servant and vessel.

May His grace, mercy, love, truth and the necessary life and power of His Spirit be with the true saints of the Living God. Amen and amen!!!





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Kurt

 2018/10/11 21:49Profile





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