Sunday, May 03, 2009

more holy ghost stories

Years ago when I was traveling and playing big loud, guitar-laden, synth-soaked, huge-snare-drum, eighties-style-music-for-Jesus, we played a gig in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Interestingly enough, earlier that day we had stopped in a typical franchise bookstore, like a B. Dalton’s-type place, and were caught off-guard by the shelves and shelves of new-age, metaphysical and occult-oriented books filling the store. This was not conservative Catholic Cincinnati; this was an Age-of-Aquarius mecca.

Later, at the close of the concert that night, I invited people to make Jesus the Lord of their lives. As we gathered the people who wanted to do that to the side of the stage, a young woman crashed into the circle and began shouting obscenities and making fun of what she called “religion.” She certainly got everyone’s attention. There was a man with her—I assumed her boyfriend—who stood behind her with a creepy half-smile the whole time.

I pulled her aside and said, “What’s the matter with you?”

She told me she had tried religion years before and it was nothing but a {expletive} {expletive} joke. What’s more, she let it be known she was buzzed on coke at that very moment.

Without thinking too much about it, I asked her if I could pray for her. I think I thought that would just shut her up for a little bit while I tried to figure out what to do next. She said, “You can {expletive} do whatever the {expletive} you want!” So I simply prayed out loud, “Holy Spirit, please come and touch this woman.”

All of a sudden, WHAM! She fell to the floor like a bag of rocks. Out cold. No kidding.

The Smiley Guy with her looked at me…then looked at her…then back at me. The young adults who had come to receive Jesus were watching with their mouths open. This was not your average mosh pit.

And all I could think was, “Oh man, Jesus. You killed her.”

I really wasn’t sure what to do so I kept praying over her like this was a normal occurrence. A minute or so later, which seemed like an eternity, she suddenly jumped to her feet and literally ran out of the auditorium with The Smiley Guy running behind her. I chased after her, trying to do a little post-counseling cleanup, asking her if she knew any Christians or any churches in the city, but she said nothing, didn’t look back, and flew out of there like she’d seen a ghost.

And I would say she had. The Holy Ghost. It was shock-and-awe in the auditorium that night.

Christianity is not another philosophy. It’s not a moral viewpoint. It’s not another pathway to inner bliss. It is the transforming of spiritually dead and alienated people into a vibrant, spiritually-energizing, life-giving relationship with God based on our surrendering to the Lordship of His Son, the God-man Jesus—the messiah of all, the savior of the world. Not a nice-guy teacher. Not another enlightened guru. Not a philosopher. Savior. Lord.

But it doesn’t stop with you and your individual salvation.

Post-resurrection, Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem and they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Part of the reason why was because they were about to be thrown into the middle of a cosmic clash. There is a war between good and evil on this planet, between God’s purposes for humanity and an evil force that wants to disrupt that. As John put it, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8b)

One of the first things critical for a new Christian to learn is that they’re in a war zone now…and the enemy’s tactics are everything from distractions to temptations to apathy to money to unforgiveness to you-name-it. And he’s good at this; it’s not always the Big Obvious Stuff. That’s why he’s called The Deceiver. If you’re not having some problems living out your faith, then I doubt if you have any faith.

The first time I had someone explain to me that I had a real enemy who wanted to neutralize me because I was a potential threat to his destructive plan for the world, it lit a fire in my soul—there was no way I was going to be taken out as a follower of Jesus.

And the reason why is because Jesus picked me, of all people, to be part of His offense. Just like He picked you. Over the years I’ve heard people say, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if (insert Big Shot name here) became a Christian? They could really advance the Kingdom of God!” Truth is, Jesus doesn’t need The Big Celebrity, because He already has all the power. In the final climactic confrontation of good and evil personified in a being called Antichrist, Jesus defeats him with a breath (pneuma). That’s all.

If that’s all it takes to defeat the powers that are against the Kingdom of God, I’ll take some of that.


  1. Dave:

    This afternoons celebration was certainly moving for me. Amazing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit found today. I saw many people touched by your words and song.
    Surely the grace of the Lord touched many today.

    "If you’re not having some problems living out your faith, then I doubt if you have any faith." This statement is so true. The "deceiver" is running out of time and his goal is to divert many away from Christ any way possible before the Judgement.

    Since my renewed awakening in Christ over the last few years, I must have experienced uncountable times that the "deceiver" has tried his work to turn me away from the Lord. I would imagine others have experienced this also.I hope I am not the only one faced with such diversions.

    I believe only through worship, fellowship, and serving the Lord can I or others finally defeat the " deceiver".

  2. "Oh man, Jesus. You killed her."

    Classic, Dave. Classic.

  3. I love this stuff! I am glad that you are writing about it. I only wish there was a local expression of the church where I could really plug-in without all the {expletive} religion, and just be a friend of the Holy Spirit and share that with others...

  4. I think it's great the way you teach on the Holy Spirit!!!

    The WWJD Casper is a remarkable visual tool, although I'm sure the actual Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Love) is so much more friendlier looking.

    Wish I could be like Moses and see God's face. Wouldn't that be incredible?

  5. I second the 'Jesus, you killed her bit'. Tres amusant! Great story.

  6. I second the 'Jesus, you killed her bit'. Tres amusant! Great story.