It wasn’t until after our fourth child was born that I began to sense the lack of depth in my discipleship. I recognized the subtle self, which hindered me from allowing the Lord to channel Himself through my life. There was obvious neglect of the Scripture and of prayer.
I then began a pursuit of God, my own hungering after the Holy Spirit. It was a gnawing consumption. I wanted Him and none other. One night it was as though He called me from my bed, and I woke to do soul-business in my husband’s study. I yielded my body a living sacrifice and cried out, flat on my face, “Lord, I give You all I am. Now, You give me all You have for me!”
Though this experience was not ecstatic (I didn’t speak in tongues) or emotional (I didn’t weep or laugh), it was real. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I had been filled, or more descriptively, been entirely possessed by Him.
The point of this testimony is to state that my experience in the Spirit has been different from that of my husband’s, which more closely mirrored the New Testament sequence of conversion. How utterly foolish it would be for each of us to refuse to accept each other’s testimony and insist we duplicate the other’s experience.
David could deny I had been filled with the Spirit years after confessing Christ as Lord and point to Scriptures which demonstrate that the Spirit accompanies conversion. How fruitless it would be if I insisted he submit to a “second blessing” of the Spirit even though his life has obviously demonstrated godliness—hours in the Word, a love of prayer, the growth of holiness, the release of gifts such as prophecy and evangelism, and the overcoming of sin.
This dialogue of tension would have ruined our marriage, and it is exactly the kind of friction which has divided the church. Instead we try to allow the Lord to work in our lives as He wills and at the point of our individual needs.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.