I just came from a Lenten Retreat. It's called Encounter God Retreat sponsored by 3 inter-churches in Toronto. It was held at Countryside Camp and Conference Centre in Cambridge, Ontario and started last Good Friday. The place is awesome and appropriate for the retreat, a secluded place far from the busy city life so that campers will be able to focus on meeting God. At first, I was hesitant to join because I don't want to leave my family but I was praying everyday a week before this event. God revealed how He loved me, He first loved me. I should respond to this call to love Him first and trust that He will be in-charge of my family. I was not disappointed and I really feel blessed. From the praise and worship (our music team was really great even my new found friends from other churches commented that they were also blessed) to the lessons and the speakers were what God really wanted to give and impart to us. I now understand why God designed this event for me. To fulfill his commission - to win souls, to make every believer a leader (Matthew 28:19)
Maybe you are wondering what happened? I was revived! I met God face-to-face, knew Him more, remembered the suffering of Jesus Christ for my sins and the true meaning of the cross. I know I was a born-again Christian a long time ago and I have been baptized in water but it was really a revival for me. I cried a bucket, raised my hand in surrender to Christ and jump for joy while enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit. For those who don't understand, the following are some manifestations that the Holy Spirit is working in you:
1. Cry - When you pray or when you sing at praise and worship, tears fall on your face. You let it happen without being ashamed or conscious of what others think of you. You just let it flow when you want to talk to God and be with Him.
2. Participate in Praise and Worship - You dance, you raise your hand while singing. That gesture is a sign of surrender. I was so shy in doing it in church but now I feel free. I feel Him holding my hand while I sing praise. In Psalm 119:48, David talked about his hands "I lift my hands to your commands."
3. Saying Praise the Lord, Hallelujah - This confirms you say the words of praise to Jesus Christ.
4. Saying Amen - This sets your heart in alignment with the others in the room praying. It also tells that you are fully engaged with them in prayer. God loves it.
5. Speak in tongues - This happened before on the first Pentecost. I may not be able to explain this further because I have not personally experience this but I have heard some who spoke in tongues.
Wait a minute! I'm not sure if you know how to have the Holy Spirit in you. It's not joining a religion or being religious. It's about a life in the Spirit. While your emotions are connected to your soul you will notice that the singing, praying or crying brings joy, excitement and love. You will only fully experience this when your spirit become alive upon accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. This is where the born-again term was derived. Your spiritual life was born when you accepted, believed, trusted and obey Jesus Christ - the author and perfecter of your faith.
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”