Tell me, what is it that happens to you when you ' know' you have the 'Holy Spirit'?
To Those Who 'Believe' In 'Jesus'.
I have been a Christian for a long time, and so it's really hard to point to a black-and-white moment of decision; mostly, I've had moments of reaffirming the same decision, just in a new context.
A few denominations say that unless you have a particular kind of experience or experience(s), you don't 'have' the Holy Spirit. Those experiences can be quite dramatic. And they can be real. But the wind doesn't always blow the same way with everyone; the wind is very unpredictable (esp around here; there's a windstorm here this weekend...)
What I think is more authentic and more telling, is the attitude changes that come in deeper and endure. In my case, I was perplexed that I didn't have wonderous things to show for. But, like a woman being pregnant and not 'showing' for a long time, changes came eventually. They have come as hope, faith, patience, tons of humility (from my limitations and failures), and caring about people and about what things were best (as opposed to suiting my own desires). Also, being able to forgive people who have truly hurt me. Causing people to speak in tongues or have a vision in no real big deal for God, really; re-creating a character that conforms to Christ's is something that is an intense labor over a person's life-time. (And 1 Cor mentions that prophecy and knowledge will cease, but faith, hope, and love will remain--and the greatest of these is love.)
If people are just after an experience, they are more like customers rather than disciples. They are not interested in being like Christ, just feeling good (or, along the JW line, getting to live in 'paradise'). And these can end up disillusioned.
Don't know if that helps...
It's like gout, but joyful gout.
I never had an "experience "myself when I was a christian. I never felt in a total comfort zone either as I ALWAYS had questions and doubts about many things biblically related.
Just as some people when attending a concert can wave their hands in the air, close their eyes and let themselves go, some do the same with christianity......hence the "experience."
Gumby.....who could never get hypnotised either because he's too damn cautious and likes to keep his senses.......cept fer when he smokes a dube
Nice to see you again Spannerbastard
I'm not going to take time to put together an essay to answer this often-asked question, so please bear with me as I ramble.
First, several times I asked this same question of my now deceased JW Grandmother, who professed to be one of the 144,000. She always answered with a curt:
"You/we/I just know."
To this day, I still have doubts that she was "of the annointed". She had supposedly been a "christian" before she and my GGF joined up with the Cult. I'll just have to wait and see.
As for myself, as a JW, I never ever felt any relationship with GOD. That continued for several years after I escaped.
THEN, one day, "I just knew" that something had changed. It occurred while I was re-reading the New Testament for the umpteenth time.
I am no stranger to eading, studying, and doing research. All I can tell you is that "something" opened my eyes to the sciptures so that I could see things I had never seen as a JW.
This may offend those who remain anti-trinitarian, but my experience mainly was regarding the divinity of the "Son of GOD", who I was led to surrender to as One worthy of not only my respect and following, but One worthy of my WORSHIP.
So, there you have it:
"I just know."
PS: I did not seek HIM out (nor the understanding of the relationship). He and the "understanding" came to me. Why?
I don't know. But, thank you LORD!!!
Tell me, what is it that happens to you when you ' know' you have the 'Holy Spirit'?
I believe it is different for each person. For me it was knowing for sure that Jesus had taken my place by facing the wrath of God for my sins. I feel things in my heart and mind that wasn't in there before I accepted Jesus' offer to go to Him. My love for Him grows stronger every day as I look forward to doing whatever He wants of me. The Holy Spirit directs me to do things that I normally would not be inclined towards. Something happens inside when I resist and I can't sleep or eat until I make it right. In bad times and in good times I want to praise Jesus and listen for His voice as I search for Him. When it happens a person's life changes so much that they could never go back to what was before.
When I first kiss my wife to be at the age of 13! Boy was I filled with spirit. I was floating around for a few days, awesome feeling.
It must be like when you feel the need to take a big dump. You know and soon you have to act on it.
And those last two responses are exactly why I never reply to these kind of threads...
I'll try my best to explain it but the reality is - you already know - I'm not trying to be clever here just make sure that you know that we are on the same level playing field and I'm not suggesting in any way that I'm somehow better, more worthy or more righteous than anyone else. We all know what it feels like to have AND to lose the Holy Spirit or at least his influence.
To also clear the air from any unintended misconceptions as well - I can't give anything better than the bare approximations that words give - just like when we try and explain love and the loss of love - words become mere pointers to a very real but utterly unshareable personal experience. 'Having the Spirit' is not be explained away as simply as some solid object that can be passed around, probed, scanned and then stuck in a textbook - just like all the best bits of our experience as conscious, passionate vibrant beings can't.
These are my basic premises - I ask no one to accept them nor anything else that follows - this is just my answer no more no less.
1 - We are first and foremost spiritual beings - conscious intelligences that are within a physical body. This physical body dies a little each day, doesn't care about fashion, art, sport, big houses or prestige - it just does what its told and runs on some very very powerful subroutines that neither you nor I have much control over.
2 - Christ did not come for one small group of people and nor did the Holy Spirit.
3 - All people are under the influence of this Holy Spirit insomuch as they seek 'good' (another debate entirely as to its nature - I'll define it very loosely as ANYTHING that is true) and when 'bad' is sought the Holy Spirit is compelled to leave.
4 - The Holy Spirit is exactly the same as you or I except he is without physical form - just as you or I would be without a body.
5 - There are two ways in which this Spirit can operate - one as a general source of truth (alluded to in premise 3) much like the Sun lights the world for everyone (and this is where JWs stop their beliefs regarding the Spirit I believe ..?) and the other takes an individual to take an active role much like a torch in that the acceptance of the Holy Spirit can then be used to discern truth (and this is where Born Agains seem to emphasise the HS's role)
6 - All people already know all 'truth' regarding principles (i.e. not all facts - impossible - but we know what is right) we are merely often unable to discern it through all the layers of 'self' we build up over our minds - small children are able to see truth far better than adults in simple situations (this is where the Scientologists have made great leaps forward in understanding why we can't see truth as we get older and more 'clouded' by prejudice, pain, anger and cynicism)
When you have the Holy Spirit (through acceptance) or you are feeling the Holy Spirit (through desiring good) the result is inevitably the same - truth is found and you feel the resulting recognition of 'good' depending on the nature of truth recognised - example - moment of clarity and joy when a new concept is grasped or a truth is comprehended (be it secular or spiritual or social etc), the feeling of awe when we see our place in a system that is greater than the confines of our skull, the moment of internal quiet and peace during a trauma, the heady joy of watching another human achieve great things, the aching humilty at watching your newborn take a first breath, the proud exultation as you walk your daughter towards her new husband, the glow of contentment as you play with grandchildren, the inner smile as another human greats you on the street and acknowledges you with a simple 'hello', the new found determination to make better and improve the lot of others at personal cost and without requirement of personal thanks (you know the moment when you've watched an appeal for food aid and your heart cannot bear that another should suffer because you did nothing) and as a final example the totality of emotional giving that signals the discovery of true love. These are the feelings that our spirit, our intelligence communicates with , undertsands and is guided by - it is this that is sparked by the Spirit, the Light of Christ.
When you begin to follow these good feelings things become true that bad science would argue against (think Hitler using science to condemn the Jews or politicians inciting hatred because of 'facts' - one feeling the spirit would easily cut through the crap) - the Spirit's job is to testify of truths you already know and recognise, by following these truths you become a better, happier, more Christlike person, willing to give without return, humble enough to listen first before shouting up, less quick to judge and far quicker to forgive. This growing feeling within changes who we are and leads to further truth - it is a journey.
The ultimate truth is then a recognition of Jesus as kindred and a desire to follow Him - to be like Him. The acceptance of the Holy Spirit then acts to teach us truths that we now do not know(i.e. torch mode) - for example the ability to discern what someone is thinking, the ability to heal, the ability to pray and actually receive answers and so on.. The feelings of good become stronger and the desire for bad becomes less and there comes a growing faith in this Jesus, the Spirit reminds you of the Man you already know.
Finally if you have the Spirit and follow those feelings utterly you will know without faith this Jesus (this isn't the forum to say more on this.)
Of course all of the above has its opposite, the failure to go the distance, the side journeys into our own personal hell where we knew teh way to go but we just went right ahead and rejected the Spirit and chose garbage. This results in the feelings of pain, anger, hurt, revenge, despair, lost self esteem, rebellious pride, cynicism, hate etc.. the feelings that denote the Spirit's influence is no longer there and a choice has been made incorrectly. Even when the victim it is possible to ignore the Spirit in our moment of trial and choose the bitter. We all know what it is like to feel the Spirit and we all know what it feels like to reject it.
Small hopefully fun example to round off my utterly overwritten post-
My Daughter and the Jaffa Cake
My 6 year old was enjoying jaffa cakes with the rest of us, our smallest had smeared her single biscuit across her face but despite having orangey bits up her nose was deliriously happy, Eve (ahh to have been called Adam:) passed out the next round missing out Esther (chocolate face) but including the rest of us. Seconds later it was time for the last few biscuits but here came the disaster we only had one left, despite my flabby belly screaming 'take it, take it' I nodded to Eve to signal that she should eat it. Miriam could not handle this at all, within seconds she was sulking and stomping around to the extent that she disappeared upstairs in tears.
She had already - by the age of 6 - begun to lose the 'truth' that Esther instinctively knew and that as adults Eve and I had had to relearn, one jaffa cake is enough to make you very very happy. Now this is how we operate in life , losing these truths and choosing emotional, social, physical, factual, materialistic lies and the Spirit works to teach us all the things we knew when we were perfect little babies - how much we listen, or tune the station in, determines how much more we receive and how much we progress and gain happiness - how much we reject these things and thus lose the Spirit determines how times we end up crying upstairs despite having just had two jaffa cakes.