This day – 26 years ago

Today, 26 years ago I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I had become a Christian during the previous fall. However, the life as a Christian was not fulfilling. Initially, I was happy about being a believer, but during the winter I felt like leaving the whole thing behind me. Before I would make my final decision about leaving Christianity, I decided to read the Bible, so that I could make an educated decision. I started reading the Bible from the beginning. During Exodus, I was hooked; I remember how the words became live, and I realized that I really believed what I read. At the same time I also became aware of my own situation. I was unable to live my life according to the standard I thought would be appropriate for my Christian life. How could I call myself a Christian when I fell so short of being one? The answer came when I read the passage where Jesus said that “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

For 40 days my prayer was that Jesus would baptize me in the Holy Ghost. I went to church in the Salvation Army in Sandefjord, but there were nobody there to really guide me on this matter. Some tried to relax me, others pointed to the Pentecost church, but my visit there did not bring it through either. During the Pentecost weekend in 1981 the youth group was going on a mission trip to Copenhagen. We were joined by another Salvation Army youth group from Fredrikstad. After the evening service on the Pentecost day, I went forward to repent for something that I had done before. During the intersession, the person counseling me asked me if I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. It ended with some people praying for me. I did not feel anything special. After the meeting I went outside for a smoke. We were all called back for an announcement. The youth leaders from Fredrikstad wanted us to have a special session, only for us in the youth groups. Then, I was called to come in the front and share what had happened to me. While I stood there and told the others that I had been prayed for to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, I felt that the power of God was flowing through me. Previously, I was very shy and wouldn’t express myself in public, but now boldness came over me. It was marvelous! Even though I was the same, it was like I became a new person. I quit smoking. No, I correct myself – I was released from smoking. It was a breakthrough in my life.

Later, when we came back to our hometown, we experienced that many more of the youth received the Holy Spirit. I was not so interested in speaking in other tongues; I wanted to be empowered to live the Christian life. But within, 2-3 weeks the tongues also came, and it has been a blessing for me ever since. Back then, my head was rock’n roll, so I kept a diary to sort of keep my thoughts straight. When I looked into my diary, I started to count the days that I was praying for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It took me 40 days of prayer to break through. I don’t mean that it should take that long, only that sometimes you have to persevere and continue to push forward in prayer until the resistance is conquered.

So, today it is 26 years ago since this wonderful and blessed experience.

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