The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit: Reinterpreting my Testimony


 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

2 Corinthians 13:14

We are always reinterpreting our past in light of new information.  After we’ve believed in Jesus, we suddenly recognize that God has been at work in our lives for a long time before our conversion.  Likewise, as I have grown in my understanding of the Holy Spirit, I can look back and recognize him.  He was there, long before I knew him.

Immediate evidence.

Mine was a quiet conversion.  All the pieces were there from my childhood attendance at church and Christian school, but they hadn’t yet assembled into a coherent picture. Then came Young Life camp at Frontier Village in Colorado.  A week of messages on God, man, sin, and salvation led to the last evening’s invitation to believe in Jesus.  All around me fellow teens were weeping and praying and hugging and shouting.  I, on the other hand, was sitting still, eyes wide open in amazement.  The nickel had dropped.  The picture was complete.  “Yes!” I said in the quiet center of my heart, “I think I have always believed, but now I see you clearly.  What do I do now?”

The following Sunday I went to church as usual with my parents. Only this time the Episcopal liturgy, the prayers, readings, and hymns were electric.  Alive!  It was as if an internal switch had been turned from “off” to “on.”  The lights were on and someone was home.

Now, I realize, that was the Holy Spirit.

Scared away and drawn back in.

At college I sought out fellowship. “Alpha and Omega” was alphabetically at the top of the list of campus Christian groups.  I tucked my mother’s black King James Bible in a bag and slipped into the back row of the meeting.  (Episcopalians are notoriously shy about their faith.) Within minutes the gathering exploded into tongues, prophecy, loud worship, and shouts!  I didn’t know the word “Pentecostal”, I only knew I wanted to melt into the floor.

I scurried out the door and didn’t try another campus group for a whole semester.

I didn’t thrive as a solo Christian.  After the Christmas break, another group invited me to their mid year ski trip. From that point on I was wrapped in Christian community, praying, studying Scripture, sharing meals, life, and worship.  I began to grow.

Now, I realize, that was the Holy Spirit.

Baptist and beyond.

In our years in Baptist churches, I often wrote notes of encouragement or thanks.  I would ask God, “What should I say to this person?”  A verse from Scripture would pop into my head and I would write it.

Now, I realize, that was the Holy Spirit.

On an airplane many years later, we were between churches, afraid, and desperately seeking God’s direction.  Tears squeezed out as my fears formed words, “Lord, I’m scared that we will crawl out on this limb and fall.  That we will be ashamed!” Instantly Psalm 25:2 lept into my mind, “..None who wait for you shall be put to shame..” Hours later as we entered the conference, we were greeted by the song, “Those who trust in the Lord will never be put to shame.”

Now, I realize, that was the Holy Spirit.

I pray that this fall we will all grow in recognizing the person and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and together be drawn into fellowship with him.

See you Monday for chapter 1!

2 comments on “The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit: Reinterpreting my Testimony

  1. Tiff Woon says:

    I love these recollections! Wish I could remember mine 🙂

  2. Donna Turner says:

    Thanks again Rondi for all the work you are doing. I’m reading the lessons and keeping up with the study. I am asking God to help me listen for that still small voice of the Holy Spirit that says, respond to situations with trust and not fear.
    Love,
    Donna