Do Not Be Discouraged
God Will Give You The Holy Ghost
By Rich Lyons
Do not be discouraged. You are doing everything right! I know you want the Holy Ghost right now and you feel that something is wrong because you have not already received the Spirit. Well, nothing is wrong. Everything is right. Your heart is being changed by God into a sensitive and tender heart, and that is very valuable when you want to serve God. But sensitive hearts sometimes ache when they really should not. I hope that this letter can ease some of the heartache you may be feeling right now.
Do not be discouraged. Easy to say. Hard to do. I know. I have been there. Jesus knows, too. He was there 2,OOO years ago. A woman was weeping with a broken heart. Her husband had died some time ago and now her only son was dead. Jesus told her, “Weep not.” In other words, do not be discouraged. Perhaps she did not hear Him, for she did not respond. She just kept on crying. But then Jesus raised her son from the dead! And guess what? She quit crying and started worshiping God.
If she had known Jesus would raise her son from his coffin, she would have worshiped God when He told her not to weep. But she did not know that until she saw it. Before her son was restored to life, she had no faith. She had no preacher and no New Testament to tell her what Jesus would do. You have the Gospels, the Book of Acts, and the rest of the New Testament to tell you about what Jesus has done and will do.
When I say do not be discouraged, I am by faith seeing you after Jesus works His miraculous wonders in your heart, and I want you to have the same faith.
Do not be discouraged. Easy to say. Hard to do. I know. I have been there. Everyone in the church was talking about “receiving the Holy Ghost,” but I was not sure I wanted to receive anything. I was raised in a different church. I remember kneeling behind the altar rail wondering if this was all there was of knowing God. I had a relationship with God, but things were not as they should be in my life. I could not figure out how things could be so sad when they were supposed to be so joyful. Looking back, it is now easy to see. My relationship with Jesus had less passion than He wanted. Jesus is not a casual God, and He does not want a casual relationship. He is a passionate God who dwells in the passions of His people. Seeking God is like being caught in the throes of love. We must decide to love God, for that is really the biggest step!
You are building an eternal relationship with God, a relationship that begins on earth but will never end. Receiving the Holy Ghost is developing a love relationship with God.
How long does it take to build a relationship with God? Well, if you do it as I did, it will take a year. But you can receive the Holy Ghost at any time, even before you finish reading this letter. All things are possible with God. He can change you in a moment and fill you with His Spirit. Receiving the Holy Ghost is such a great experience that we sometimes stress the importance of this experience without explaining it and how it happens. Sometimes a person seeking God becomes confused, discouraged, and afraid. With all your heart you want the gift of the Holy Ghost, but you may feel you are not doing
everything just right. But you are. You can put aside your fears, for as you continue to ask God to fill you with the Holy Ghost you will receive, just as Jesus has promised.
What is the Holy Ghost? Simply put, the Holy Ghost is God Himself, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. God is a Spirit, the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell inside us. When a person receives the Holy Ghost, it means that God Himself has come into his life and now lives in him. Imagine, the God who created the universe comes to live in you!
Do not be discouraged. How do you “get the Holy Ghost” anyway? This is often an area of confusion, because you do not “get the Holy Ghost.” Actually, you receive the Holy Ghost. There is a big difference. I can get a gallon of milk. I can get a stamp. I can even get a car. But the Holy Ghost is a gift. And instead of “getting” the Spirit we “receive” the Spirit. When you repent of your sins and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, Jesus will give you the Holy Ghost and you “shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
When we think in terms of “getting” the Holy Ghost we see ourselves working and even begging God for the Holy Ghost. We think we have to talk God into giving the Spirit to us. This is not so. When you come to the altar, forget all the things you have heard about “getting,” and approach God with your heart full of love and faith in Him. Any words expressing your love and faith will be received, for there are no mistakes in worshiping God. As you worship and praise Him in faith, you will receive the Holy Ghost without even thinking about it. At least, that is how it happened to me and to others who have received the wondrous give of God’s Spirit.
Do not be discouraged. After I was baptized I prayed at the altar in every service for nearly one year. I was always close but never “got” the Spirit. During one revival I came early to church and prayed nearly two hours before service started. While praying I thought of the Bible story about a woman of ill repute who loved Jesus so much that she washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. In response, He told her that her sins were forgiven and that her faith had saved her. I told God that I wanted to pray at His feet and hear those same words from Him.
Toward the end of the service, the evangelist departed from his message and said, “Jesus would like to remind us of a story in Luke of a woman who washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Jesus is standing at this altar now, waiting for someone to bring their tears and exchange them for the same promise He gave that woman.” Faith leaped in my heart. I realized that God had taken time out to answer my prayer. He dealt with me as an individual, something I was raised to believe was impossible. I was overwhelmed and rushed to the altar.
I did not ask God for anything–I just loved Him, and in a moment God gave me the gift of the Holy Ghost. I realized that I had been begging but had not been ready to receive. It was not the year of seeking God, nor was it the two hours of prayer before the service. It was not even the sermon or the altar call. It was because I finally loved Jesus with all my soul.
Do not be discouraged. You may be confused about speaking in tongues. I was, too. No, perhaps, not confused, but afraid–or even terrified. Relax. Speaking in tongues is not an eerie, bizarre experience. The best I can say is that speaking in tongues just happens. The Bible relates in Acts 2 as well as in other places that speaking in tongues is the sign that God gives us when we receive the Holy Ghost. But forget about this sign, for it will just happen. Simply concentrate on God and your relationship with Him.
Speaking in tongues is the sign that God is in control of your entire person. When a person speaks in tongues, the Holy Ghost is literally speaking through him. God is demonstrating that He is in complete control. It is not important if anyone else hears, because you will know. Just love God and you will see what I mean. I say this to take away your fears. Receiving the Holy Ghost is the most wonderful event you will ever experience. Just love God. He will do the rest.
Do not be discouraged. The devil will try to discourage you. What else can he do? You are in the loving arms of God, and Satan cannot touch you. Jesus has waited all of your life for you to come this close to Him. You may hear Satan as a roaring lion outside, but he cannot get inside to harm you. Do not let his roar discourage you. You are in the protective arms of a loving Father. He is always there for you.
Do not be discouraged. You are doing right by seeking God and asking for the Holy Ghost. God wants to give you this wonderful and personal gift. And He will, as you seek Him in faith with your whole heart. You are soon to be born again, and what a glorious life is yours!
The Above Material Was Published By The Pentecostal Herald, March, 1999, Pages 8, 9. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.