I was Completely bowled over by Jesus
Well it starts at the beginning!
I was born in Halifax into a Christian family; both parents introduced me to the Assemblies of God Church at just 2 days old. There we stayed until we moved to the Elim Church in Halifax at age 6. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sunday school there and just remember looking forward to going to Church on a Sunday morning with my children’s bible under my arm. Times were difficult in school; not having many friends; I wasn’t very popular, but Sunday school was a nice haven where everyone was accepted. I accepted Jesus at the age of 4.
Switching off in church...
However, things changed at 12. The ‘rule’ in Sunday school was that at 14 you were old enough to leave and start helping out with the younger ones, but my Mum wanted me to be in the services so I could hear the word being preached. It wasn’t until later on that I actually began to try listening! During the young teenage years I enjoyed being in the youth group and going to the Gathering with the youth of Bridge Street Church in Leeds. At that time I wasn’t really devoted to God, but I believed in everything that I had been taught. Little did I know that I was about to encounter Him on a new level...
Things were extra tough in school, with few friends and losing the friends I did have, and somehow coming to disagreements with each member of the family - it drew me close to desperation. I began to pray when I felt trapped in these issues. I hid in the toilets at school and prayed, and in my bedroom asking for things to change. And they did.
The Gathering was a great event; I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and knew that Jesus loved me and that he was hearing my prayers. The weeks, months and years passed, and things gradually changed. I started making friends, I concentrated better in school and was taking notice of life around me, taking care of myself physically and maturing with social interaction. God was touching me on extra-ordinary levels too.
Once back from the Gathering, we had a visit from a man named Gerald; an evangelist, a former member of the Brownsville Assemblies of God Church in Pensacola, Florida. This was the Church that encountered the revival in America. (We went to this Brownsville Church and stayed with some friends for a week during Easter 2000, I was 12). This experience was enlightening- with many people who had stories of ways God had miraculously touched them. Never before had I seen God move in this way.
We fell like sacks of potatoes
This man Gerald, it ‘appeared’ that he had brought the revival with him when he came to our Church in Halifax (this happened before we even went!). It was a silly thing to think, as God is always present - even when we do not realise it. Gerald asked all the youth to come and stand in a line at the front. He came round each of us with oil on his finger and placed his finger on our heads. One by one as he did this, the person he touched fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes.
I was shaking erratically
I was trying to figure out why someone would suddenly want to endure such a painful fall! I thought it was a rather foolish thing to do. Although I had seen people ‘slain in the spirit’ before, I didn’t really understand it when people fell when they were prayed for. Gerald came to me when I was still pondering over this fact, and I just remember hurtling towards the floor uncontrollably with a wet head! Wow, God was really here! And he filled me with his Holy Spirit. I was shaking quite erratically and felt pulses of tension through my stomach.
Because He died
I had no idea about this before, I didn’t realise God was physical. I thought he was spiritual and that I didn’t really know how to contact him spiritually. It was from then on that I knew it was Jesus who died for me, and I began to praise him and seek him like never before. I understood He was no longer someone I knew about, he was someone who knew ME, a Friend offering a two-way relationship. Because Jesus died, he took our sins and they died with him that day.
God CAN touch us
It was a gift given by God so that we could pray through Jesus to our Father, God. This gift was given to all of us sinful mankind so that we wouldn’t go to hell, but only if we say to him ‘Jesus I believe you died for me to save my sins, and I am sorry for the wrong things I have done, I am willing to accept this gift and have a relationship with you’, only then will we receive his gift. I had always understood this, but sometimes we forget that God CAN touch us, we need to seek him with all our heart.
I hope you accept the touch of God today