Ps Mark Nash
27 March 2018
"There are certain points in your faith journey that are landmark moments. At the age of 7, I went to a Christian camp with my parents somewhere in the North of England. It was her that I first received prayer to receive the Holy Spirit and pray in tongues. I remember a flow of words that I had never heard before come out of my mouth. I was excited, nervous and self-conscious all at the same time. After this, years passed and I didn’t activate the gift of tongues again until we moved to a new church at the age of 12 and the kid’s leader suggested we should all pray out loud in tongues. Suddenly, using this gift became the norm rather than a one-off experience at a camp.
Sometimes when an event such as this happens as a child, the importance of the experience can be a little lost. I'm definitely not saying that it is bad for us to pray for children to be filled with the Holy Spirit – quite the contrary – but for me, I perhaps took the gift for granted.
We take things for granted all the time. Let’s take hot water for example. We all love our hot shower in the morning, but, because it's so routine its value is lost on us. It’s not until your boiler packs up in the middle of winter do you think - wow - I am so thankful for hot water!
Recently, I heard a brilliant testimony of how a young adult went along to one of our church conferences and was filled with the Spirit and felt a release when praying in tongues. I sat with 200 others listening to this bold declaration of faith and how she had gone from being afraid of praying aloud in groups to finding a new boldness and flow in prayer. She had moved in her own admission from a shy person to someone with new confidence in no more than 24 hours after her encounter with God. It was in this moment I was struck by the significance of these landmark moments in our faith. It completely changes people. This young adult’s life was radically transformed.
The New Testament has countless stories of people doing remarkable things, but these stories are the outcome and a result of the Holy Spirit first filling them. In Acts 2:4 we discover that the Holy Spirit filled everyone present in the upper room - the Apostle Peter being one of those in attendance, and in verse 14 he stepped forward and preached his first sermon. Here is a man who was was fearful of being associated with Jesus, transformed to one boldly representing him and speaking out the gospel for all to hear. Where did this boldness and fresh confidence come from? The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit desires to fill all believers and can help overcome obstacles like a lack of confidence and instill a new sense of self belief within them – they feel as though they can overcome any obstacle in their way. It is simply called the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This is why our camps like Brave Age and Power Up are so important; they position us for a fresh touch from God, where we can be filled and fuelled by the Holy Spirit to do the impossible and the supernatural. Who doesn’t want that?!
Because of my experience at a young age, I took this amazing gift for granted. My encouragement and challenge to you today is to not forget the impact that the Holy Spirit, living in you, can have in your life - pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit whether afresh or for the first time, and then push beyond what is ordinary!"
Ps Mark Nash
Location Pastor - Equippers Church Richmond