ACTS 1: 8
Knowing God can come at any time and any place, it is needful to prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit stirring within us.
Have you had moments when the Spirit of God came upon you? Some of you may remember the Holy Spirit’s encounter when Jackie Pullinger visited Kum Yan Church in 1992. It was known as the ‘December Fire’ conference.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Holy Spirit encounters can take place, anytime, anywhere. These God moments are life-changing, as they are times of conversion, renewal, and revelation. People may feel called to do something, experience healing and wholeness, or receive godly peace about a decision. I recalled one Holy Spirit moment at a Scripture Union training camp in 1997. During one of the nights the Holy Spirit touched me and set the course for me to enter into full-time ministry.
John Wesley, famously had a Holy Spirit moment referred to as his “Aldersgate experience” which Methodists celebrate today. The story goes like this: John Wesley and his brother Charles returned to England from Georgia, America, their faith was shaken as their missionary journey fell short of expectations.
During their time in America, the Wesley brothers met Moravian Christians from Germany whose assurance of faith they envied. In a storm at sea and during trying times on land, these Christians displayed the peace that the brothers desired. Following their return to England, they sought out the Moravians, hoping to discover the secret to their faith.
In May 1738, Charles fell very ill. Bedridden, he focused on his spiritual well-being. He prayed, studied, and had friends pray for him to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Around the same time, John met with a Moravian named Peter Böhler. Böhler taught John about Moravian spirituality, which included the belief that Christians have an assurance of faith experienced as love, joy and peace. Between conversations, John searched the Bible for evidence of Böhler’s claims.
Then on Pentecost Sunday, May 21st 1738, Charles had an encounter with the Holy Spirit. He experienced “a strange palpitation of heart”, causing him to exclaim, “I believe!” The next day, Charles shared his experience with John and together they prayed for John to have a similar experience. Later that week, John went to a society in Aldersgate Street where his heart became “strangely warmed.” It was a moment for which he had prayed, studied, and prepared.
What is notable about John and Charles Wesley is that they prepared their hearts for an encounter with the Holy Spirit. The same can apply to us. Knowing God can come at any time and any place, it is needful to prepare our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit stirring within us. How prepared are you to receive a God-moment today?
By Ps Simon Say