It is His Fruit not ours!
I use to try to produce the fruit of the Holy Ghost in my own efforts. I would schedule out time to spend with Jesus (which isn’t a bad thing) and I use to beat myself up mentally if I didn’t read enough scripture that day. I was pretty good at convincing myself that God was ticked off at me, hell was right around the corner, and if I did not perform well enough it was fire for me.
There was a lady my wife and I knew pretty well, she was on and off of drugs. We tried to witness to her the best we knew how at the time. I look back on those moments of witnessing to her and wish I could take most of it back.
In 2011 there was a massive tsunami that hit Japan. When our friend heard of the event, her mortality and eternity shouted in her face. She was heavily convicted of the lifestyle she had been living, and ran to the nearest catholic church. She had grown up and been there as a child with her Grandma, so she did the only thing she knew to do. I guess it was her way of running to God.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing!
When she was in the service, Holy Ghost encountered her. She began to weep, shake, and felt the fire of the Holy Ghost all over her! There was only one problem. This doesn’t happen in the catholic church that she decided to make her peace with God at. The priest had no idea what to do.
She decided to come over to our house and tell us all about the experience she had with the Living God. We were so excited for her! She even looked different. I know that may sound crazy, but here entire countenance changed. You could feel the peace of Jesus radiating off of her. After she told us what happened, she told us she wanted to speak in tongues.
I believed in speaking in tongues, as the bible was very clear about it. I read that it was a gift from God. The only problem was I never spoke in tongues before myself, and frankly until that moment didn’t think I could. I didn’t think it was a gift that I possessed. I could not help her much. When she left, I was convicted by Holy Ghost. Why? Because this lady had known Jesus all of five minutes, and here she hungered for something so bad that I having been saved for well over a decade didn’t seem to give to thoughts for.
I knew the Holy Ghost wanted me to begin to pursue the gift of speaking in tongues. This is where a crazy journey had begun for me. Here I was following Jesus for ten years, and never really encountering Him. I was trying so hard to appease some set of made up rules I failed to realize He just wanted to be with me.
Needless to say as I began to sit up at night in my living room when my wife and kids went to bed, and spend time just worshiping and waiting on God to show up. I was sitting in my chair about a week into this when the Fire came!
It was like the famous “Ice bucket challenge” but instead it was fire running down my head to the bottom of my feet, over and over again. From that moment on “Fruit Happened”. I did not have to try to make it happen. I flowed out of being with Him, staying captivated by the Fire in his eyes. I was so undone at the fact that his liquid love could change my perspective on all areas of life. I hate when people make comments like “sloppy agape” because it instantly tells me that they have not experienced the tangible love of God like I had in those moments. My entire prayer life changed, and from that moment on my number one prayer was that everything I felt (His Glorious Loving Presence) that I could carry that and be aware of it 24/7/365!