I did not grow up in a church that sought the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
I visited such churches from time to time, but never understood what it was or what it meant. I remember the first time I walked into a “spirit-filled” church I was a little unnerved by all the activity (I am quiet and low key by nature). People were talking loudly in a language I had never heard before, some were crying, a lot of them had their hands up in the air and some were jumping up and down.
I thought to myself, being raised in southern Louisiana, “This looks just like Mardi Gras.”
But, of course, it was much better (and much holier) than Mardi Gras. I felt drawn to these churches, but never felt I quite fit with any until I moved to Virginia and my friend (now my husband) took me to a church there (even though it also had “active” prayer and praise, I fit right in – I am still pretty low-key though I do raise my hands now). I understood the excitement and fervor (although I did not jump around or express very much emotion – this is part of my autism but I can tell you that since I receive the Holy Ghost, Jesus has been healing me of many of my autism symptoms! Many are either greatly diminished or gone completely! Praise Jesus! I’ll post a link at the end of this post so you can read that testimony.). I learned what being filled with the Holy Spirit means (and speaking in other tongues). And I found that I wanted it. I wanted it more than anything.
And that is where my journey started with the Holy Spirit.
The first time I received the Holy Spirit, I was standing in front of my mirror, brushing my hair. I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular, it just came over me. I had been attending my church for almost a year at that point so I had a basic understanding of the New Birth (John 3) experience and the infilling of the Holy Ghost – it just hadn’t happened for me yet.
As I was brushing my hair, I had a sudden rush of strong emotion that I could not identify. I have a limited range of emotional understanding, so I didn’t know what it was I felt, but it was strong and took my breath away. I jerked forward a little at the suddenness of it. I wasn’t afraid, though. I could feel God’s presence all around me. I knew this, whatever it was, was “of Him.”
Then, I felt the words more than I heard them (I understand that some people hear the words and some “see” them – sometimes I “see” them), as if they were pushing their way out of my mouth from the back of my throat. I opened my mouth, and these words came out, words I did not understand. They were barely audible.
I called my husband (who was my best friend at the time and not my husband yet) and told him, “I might be crazy.” I told him what happened and he explained it to me (he didn’t even laugh, he just said, “Tell me again.” I did and he said, “You’re not crazy, you just got the Holy Ghost.” I felt better, but wondered how I could make it happen again.
It wasn’t until later that I realized I couldn’t “make” it happen. I was not in control of this, it was God. It was all God.
After that day and my subsequent understanding of what happened to me, it started happening in church, particularly during the praise and worship (singing) portion of the service. It would also happen during prayer.
At first, I would start to analyze the process as soon as it started. I would begin thinking about what was happening, how it was happening, why it was happening, what I was saying, what it meant, if I was doing it right, was it really happening, was I making it happen, what would make it stop because I did not want it to stop and on and on. Of course, the irony of this analysis, though at attempt to determine the best way to let it continue flowing, actually stopped the flow of the spirit.
It wasn’t until I sat in a service and listened to a young pastor who explained, as part of his sermon, just what was happening when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. He answered all of my questions (although he did not know it, did not know my struggle with analysis of EVERYTHING) and he led the congregation in praying and seeking the Holy Spirit for themselves. He prayed over me and “prayed me through” (it is much easier if you have someone who can do this, someone who has the Holy Spirit and can lay hands on you and pray with you – it sort of guides you and helps you).
It happened and I let it flow. It has gotten easier and easier each time because I am learning to ignore the automatic analysis that starts in my brain. I stop it and concentrate on Jesus. I feel Him there and feel myself at His feet. That is when I feel closest to God. I still don’t jump around, though and I am still very quiet. I guess that is just me. It doesn’t matter, though, because Jesus has honored every effort I make. I don’t think He holds us to a standard like that.
It is part of the New Birth experience, but I got the Holy Ghost before I was baptized in Jesus’ name. I had repented and was seeking God, but I had not taken that next step. After that initial infilling happened, though, I started praying about the whole experience. One Sunday during prayer at church, God put it in my spirit that I was to be baptized “without delay.” I obeyed and the next evening I was baptized in Jesus’ name in a swimming pool at the Comfort Inn in Dumfries, Virginia (our church at the time did not have a regular building, thus no stationary baptismal).
After that, I would get the Holy Spirit quite often, but I would inadvertently stop it by starting my analysis. I learned how to focus solely on Jesus. I also learned that raising my hands (between waist and shoulder level most of the time – palms up) helped tremendously. I did not understand at the time, but I now know that raising your hands in worship and prayer is a sign of your submission to God. It is obedience and submitting to His will.
It was about a year later, when that pastor came to our church, that I learned the information necessary to stop my analysis and I could let the spirit flow.
This is available to anyone who earnestly seeks it. It is for everyone, even Aspies. Yes, people with Asperger’s can receive the Holy Spirit. It may be a different experience from what NTs have, but it can happen. And if you pray for it and seek it in earnest, it WILL happen for you. God wants to give it to you.
Please, feel free to write me. I love receiving your letters! If you want to discuss this or anything else, if you want prayer, anything, just write me or leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.
The second part of my testimony can be found here Another Window Opened…
This is my testimony of how Jesus healed me of some of my Autism issues
Jesus’ Healing Touch