In March I wrote about my friend Kathy and her lifelong battles with cancer. I am thrilled to tell you that she has been completely healed by the Lord! I was praying with her and she suddenly felt an intense heat beneath my hand. Unknown to me at the time, I had placed my hand directly upon a spot in her brain, where there was a brain tumor. Because the part of the brain that controls the heart and lung function was affected by this tumor, Kathy has had to get fluid drained from her lungs every 10 to 12 days for the past six years so she can breathe without difficulty. However, since that moment, all the symptoms she has had for the past six years are completely gone and she has not needed to have fluid drained from her lungs since that incredible day more than eight weeks ago. Praise God! He is mighty and awesome and still in the business of healing and miracles! Thinking about this led me to ponder the Holy Spirit and the power God uses to accomplish His purposes here on earth. One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20: "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." We cannot forget the impact of the countless prayers that have gone up on Kathy's behalf. But I also know there is no way my hands and prayer could have done anything for Kathy on that day without the power of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus appeared for 40 days after His resurrection, He instructed the disciples to wait for the gift His Father had promised. Acts 1:8: "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." This was no one-shot deal. I used to think the Holy Spirit was given to believers at the moment of the acceptance of Jesus as Savior and that was it. But as I looked further through the Scriptures, I noticed something different. The disciples were filled more than once. The first time was at Pentecost when the tongues of fire came to rest upon them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). A couple of chapters later, we find these same men gathered together and praying with others. And what happened? Acts 4:31: "After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." The disciples were filled again and spoke with boldness. They prayed and the Holy Spirit came. What does the church look like today? Do the buildings ever shake when we pray? Do we expect to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we even bother to ask the Lord for a fresh filling? Luke 11:13: "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." The fastest car with the biggest engine will not get very far unless it is filled with fuel. And then refilled when the tank gets low. And then refilled again. When I run a marathon, getting to the end does not depend entirely on being well trained. To finish strong, I need to consistently take in fuel along the way to supply my muscles with power. I am not implying that every person we pray with will be healed exactly as Kathy was. But I do believe that the Father will send the Holy Spirit again and again to fill those with clean hands and pure hearts who truly desire to be filled and used as Paul was, for the glory of God and His purposes. "And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). --Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lisa Jisa is a member of the Foothills Baptist Church, where she is active in the choir and mission work. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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