What do you do when you find you have hardly any fuel in your car? What if there is no fuel around you, and the next station is 100 km away?
This was our situation…We were at the northern-most part of the in the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. We were towing our tent trailer behind a mini-van, and it was 100 km to the next fueling station…
So many of the people who sit beside us in our churches are also “out of fuel”, if you get my drift. They have no “spiritual energy”, and they feel sad or alone. They don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. They have heard that Jesus has the answers, and that’s why they are there, but they don’t understand how to access that peace…
What is the “spiritual fuel” I’m speaking of?
The Holy Spirit.
Sadly many Christians don’t know the Holy Spirit at all.
This is not a new problem. The first Christians in Samaria also didn’t have any “spiritual fuel”, even though cars didn’t yet exist in their day, for: “…up to this point they had only been baptized in the name of the Master Jesus; the Holy Spirit hadn’t yet fallen in them.” (Acts 8:15, MSG).
The Apostles recognized the need in Samaria, and they sent Peter and John to bring the early church that much-needed “Heavenly Fuel”: “They sent Peter and John down to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit…Then the apostles laid their hands on them and they did receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:15, 17, MSG)
It was so important for those Samarian Christians to receive the Holy Spirit that Peter and John went all the way to Samaria so that they could have Him. Those early Christians gladly received God’s Spirit, and joy came to Samaria. From then on, they would never feel alone, for God’s Spirit was now living in their heart. If the Holy Spirit was so important to the first Christians, how much more important is He to the 21st century Christians!
I, too, have not always known the Holy Spirit. I used to attend a church where they didn’t understand that the Holy Spirit has power in our lives even today. One day I was invited to attend services at a Messianic synagogue. The rabbi’s wife had a prophetic message for someone in the synagogue: “There is someone who is standing at a doorway. Don’t be afraid to enter in!”
Somehow I knew both that she was talking to me, and that she was referring to the fact that I needed God’s Spirit. I accepted the Holy Spirit that day, and my life changed. I was joyful and I was never again alone, for I could feel God’s presence within me. Once at home, I found that whenever I opened the Bible, it came to life with such new meaning. I was so excited!
The following week, I attended services at my regular church. I was so disappointed because I couldn’t feel God’s presence there. The Holy Spirit did not show up.
What is interesting is that I never noticed before the lack of God’s presence in my church. But then, why would He show up where He was not welcome?
Eventually we began attending a church where the Holy Spirit WAS welcome. What a difference!
It is so sad that many Christians don’t even know the Holy Spirit. They may not know the difference, for if you haven’t experienced God’s Spirit, you truly don’t know what you are missing. Nonetheless, what you are missing is that presence within of Someone who cares, Who loves you, Who will reveal Truth to you and convicts you of sin, Who will NEVER leave you or forsake you–unless you send Him away. It is truly amazing.
That day long ago in Newfoundland, my wife, who was driving, noticed that the fuel gauge was already in the red “danger” zone when we still had 75 km before reaching the next fueling station. She prayed and asked God for a miracle. As she watched the gauge, the needle moved from the “E” nearly all the way up to the 1/4 mark, and it did not touch the “empty” mark again until we were pulling into the fueling station. Anyone who has ever driven with a trailer knows what kind of a miracle it took for us to not run out of fuel. Grace came to our rescue that day.
I wish I could say this is the only time this happened, but it actually happened twice more: Once in Saskatchewan, 200 km outside of Regina, and once in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina where although there were plenty of fuel stations, none of them had the diesel fuel that our vehicle of the time required… Each time we knew the Holy Spirit, God in us, was giving us that miracle that we needed, and we trusted in Him to arrive, without physical fuel, at the required destination.
Do you Believe in the Holy Spirit? If not, then your “spiritual fuel” gauge is on “empty”!
(To access the entire “Experiencing Our Heavenly Father” devotional series, please click here.)