And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles, which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.
Acts 8:5-8 (KJV)
LOOKING FOR LOVE
One weekend in 1997, I made the trek to Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida. There was rumor of a great outpouring of the glory of God. Iâ€™d seen plenty of manifestations in times past. Some of them were much stranger than what were being reported from the revival. I wasnâ€™t drawn to Brownsville by reports of unusual manifestations or promises of high praise and awe-inspiring worship. Though I longed to bask in the warmth of Godâ€™s embrace and to experience the joy that comes with corporate praise and worship, I knew I didnâ€™t have to drive six hours to be ushered into His presence. No, it was simply the gentle yet insistent nudging of the Holy Spirit that compelled me to go.
â€śI have a peculiar anointing there that I want you to partake of,â€ť I heard the Lord whisper to my hungry heart. Anything God had for me I wanted. I had been pining for more of His glory and power for months. I had been longing to have the character of Jesus more pronounced in me. I wanted the love of God to flow through me. So, with great expectancy, off I went to Florida with a friend whose spiritual hunger seemed more intense than my own.
I donâ€™t know what I expected, perhaps some mystical experience. Maybe I thought Iâ€™d have an open vision or be knocked to my knees by the overwhelming weight of Godâ€™s glory. According to folklore, those things had happened to others who had gone to Brownsville. I thought that when I got home Iâ€™d sing the familiar refrain of having waited for hours to enter the hallowed ground that was the sanctuary of this modest Pentecostal church. But, at the end of this odyssey on my way to destiny, I had no such testimony. Iâ€™d waited far less than two hours and had gotten good seats in the main auditorium.
When the Sunday morning service ended and I started to the car, I felt a bit drunk â€“ light in the head and weak in my knees; but that could have been the result of having eaten only a small portion since 11:00 the previous morningâ€¦ except my mind was filled with wonder and surging with ideas, and my spirit was ablaze with joy. I wasnâ€™t bouncing or shaking nor was my face lit with the presence of God. No new words of wisdom or prophetic insights escaped my lips, but God had definitely touched me in a fresh and new way. Whether anyone else was aware of it or not, I had been immersed in a peculiar anointing.
When I lay my head on my pillow the Sunday night I returned home from my trek to Brownsville, dreams that had been dormant for months budded once again. Like the psalmist, I discovered there were songs in the night that renewed my hopes. I had gone looking for the love of God and I found it.
Do you desperately seek Godâ€™s love?
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