Thursday, November 09, 2006

Enter the Dimension of the Spirit of God

When I was young none of what I'm about to talk about had any meaning. Or it had meaning, but I just didn't get it or was unable to appreciate it. Whenever I sang about being filled or blessed by the Holy Spirit it never dawned on me what I was really singing about. If people talked a lot about the Holy Spirit, which I know they did, the words were pleasant but they just did not register the way they do now.

For years I was afraid of offending the Holy Spirit and thus being at risk of committing the unpardonable sin. I thought it best not even to speak of the Holy Spirit, less I say something wrong or inappropriate. I had been told, thankfully, that it was hard to commit the unpardonable sin as it meant that you really could care less if you committed it or nor. That reassured me as I was deathly afraid of committing it so I felt sure that I was not close to that helpless state of being.

For years I claimed the promise found in Luke 11:13, "If you who are evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit if you ask Him." I even claimed this promise when, as they say, I was very far from God, at least from what members of my immediate family would tell me. Although, I will admit I was into lots of strange "scenes" as they used to say in the 70s. I claimed this promise out of habit since I had probably been claiming it for over 15 or 20 years. Perhaps even 25 or 30 years. It's hard to say as the morning habit of claiming the promise of Luke 11:13 was built into my daily routine as brushing my teeth was every morning. If I didn't do it soon enough or correctly enough, I felt ill at ease.

Needless to say something unusual started happening in February of 2005, perhaps earlier. One day I went through my day & I realized that the promise had finally started to make sense and that something different was happening. Something beyond my control. Unfortunately, I can't be very objective about it all as I've always perceived reality, nature, music, books, experience, other people, in an eccentric fashion. I always assumed everyone else did so as well. It was when I read or heard a sermon that talked about truly believing the reality of spiritual states of being or awareness, that it occurred to me that how I perceived things, and yes, spiritual things, was slightly different from what most other people perceived. I'm happy to say that I've come across other people that have shared this otherworldly ability or perception, so I don't feel so alone.

For almost two years now, something, or better put, someone, has awakened me every morning at about the same time, 7:00 or 7:30 a.m. in the morning. Even if I'm still sleepy and try to fall asleep again, that force shakes me gently and encourages me to arise and spend at least 30 minutes or more with the bible and moments of prayer & meditation.

A few times during the last two years while still sleeping, I have heard a melodious voice that sounded faintly familiar address me by my boyhood name, Rauly. Perhaps it was my mother's voice calling out my name, though she is far away and living in another state. Or perhaps it was my own voice calling to me while I was still asleep. Or perhaps it was someone else's voice waking me up in as soothing a voice as I could accept while still in dreamland. At other times the voice was almost muffled or slightly groaning and seemed to say hello while I was halfway between the deepest sleep and the initial stages of wakefulness. One of the last times this voice-within-a-dream called to me, it wasn't even a speaking voice. It sang to me, or perhaps I sang to myself while still sleeping. The amazing thing was that the voice, or I myself as I slept, was singing a song that translated into English from the Spanish version I sang in church as a child was "The Shepherd loves his sheep, paternally and unlike no one else ... both the lost and those still in the sheepfold." ["Ama el pastor sus ovejas, con un amor paternal ... ama el pastor a las otras con un amor sin igual."] I had not sung this song in over 20 years. That I would sing it in my dream was so astonishing that it woke me up earlier than usual and got me to open my bible even more urgently than usual.

Having said all this, I still long and wait and study and pray for the full baptism of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit. Does one ever know for sure that one is Spirit-filled or is that life-altering knowledge kept from one mercifully?

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