What happened 27 years ago?

...and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:
"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." ~ Luke 3:22

I need to ask your indulgence today to skip the usual photo of the week, and instead talk about something that happened to me long ago.  Indeed it was a time that I can never forget, and a time that solidified my spiritual life forever.  I felt so overwhelmed recalling this event and explaining it to a friend of mine that I simply had to write about it.  In fact my blood pressure has gone up just thinking about that time.  Please don't let it offend you!  I had to write about it. 

It was many years ago.  In fact, it was to the best of my knowledge about 27 years ago on Liberty University's Campus in Lynchburg, VA. I was a young, 21 year old student there at that time.  You know the type.  I thought I had the world by the horns and was going to take it by storm.  I was studying photojournalism and media graphic production.  It was a great place to study with great friends and a great faculty.  On this week, I think in the autumn, we had a Spiritual Emphasis week.  This is a time where an evangelist came to preach to us and perhaps inspire us to think on more spiritual topics.  This was semester event at Liberty.

I honestly don't even remember the evangelist's name (sorry I am getting some age).  This evangelist preached a powerful message about what being a Christian meant and how to accept Christ's free gift of salvation. I had previously accepted Christ and his teachings years before this event, but that is a topic for another day.  On this day, 27 years ago, I saw for the first time the Spirit of God poured out on His people!  

As the evangelist preached his message, our hearts began to swell with love, peace and happiness.  There was nothing new here as I had experienced this before.  It is normal as a Christian.  This feeling of love and peace did not stop.  It began to overwhelm ever person in that audience.  We were glued to every word of the sermon.  There was something happening.  Something felt different. There was a stirring inside our very soul and I mean everyone. What I didn't know was we were about to feel what is called an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

The joy began to overwhelm the entire congregation of young students.  It was spreading like fire across a dry plain, and there was nothing we could do to stop it.  Frankly, the feeling was so amazing who would want to stop it.  As the service was ending, hundreds of the thousands in attendance began pouring down the massive steps leading to the gym floor. They went to pray, confess evil and accept a new life.  After I guess about 20 minutes of an alter call, the massive doors of the Vine's Center opened and people flooded out into the campus grassy areas.  They began to find spots to pray together and sing praises. Some were on the ground praying by themselves.  Students ran back to their dorms to fetch guitars and other musical instruments.  What in the world was going on?  I knew what it was, because I was a student of the scriptures. It was the very Spirit of God.  For those of us who were believers, it really did start with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and excitement.  The intensity of this feeling was one I have only experienced one other time in my spiritual life. 

That night I returned to my dorm and my roommates and I were discussing what we had just seen and had been a part of. We were so filled with joy, and we were bursting at the seams to talk about it.  I know this seems charismatic, but I wanted to dance a jig right there.  It began with an overwhelming feeling, but the fire of the Holy Spirit spreading amongst us that night became a campus revival.  After that initial outpouring, we had a thirst to know God and follow his word.  It was a deep longing for the scriptures, and to follow what was written there.  That was a sign that what we had was the real deal!  That thirst for God!

I can't deny what happened that week was supernatural.  It was a surreal experience that lead to a massive revival, sweeping through 5,000 students.  My girlfriend was there that night (later to be my wife) and she will tell you the same thing.  This was an event very few will experience to this level.  I know what you are thinking.  This man has lost his mind.  If that is losing my mind, I want more of it.  Let me go insane with it!  There was nothing like it!

Thanks again for letting me diverge this week!  

 

"Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy." ~Acts 2:18