Wanda and I watched the Jacksonville Fireworks downtown on the St. Johns River Sunday evening. Thousands were there to celebrate our Nation's birthday. Wow! It was impressive and filled with glittering explosions and loud sounds. It makes me proud to be an American!
July 4 is a special day. It is the birthday of our Nation, and for me it is the date I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I will always remember that what happened on July 4, 1963 in my life as a youth camper at Oak Mountain State Park just outside of Birmingham, Alabama.
I had prayed for hours and many times previously for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I had felt the joy and glory of His presence in my life and wanted more of God. Finally. Late that night at the altar, I received the infilling of the Holy Spirit and spoke in a language I did not know. It was powerfully supernatural. It was wonderful. It was life changing. It was real.
Some question the reality of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for contemporary times, but for me it is real. Why do I know it is real? There are several reasons:
1. Jesus said He would give us this experience.
2. It is Biblical.
3. Paul taught, practiced, and gave instructions on it. In fact, he said in I Cor 14:39 not to forbid speaking in other tongues.
4. It is needed for today.
5. This experience is found in all corners, peoples, generations, races, and nations of the world.
6. It strengthens believers and that is good.
7. God is supernatural and He works in supernatural ways.
I could tell story after story noting the reality and power of this experience, but I will just say that if you seek more of Jesus then He will fill you to overflowing. That is what happened to me on July 4, 1963.