If you’ve ever missed the Lord, you know how bad it feels. Maybe you felt a nudge to talk to someone about Jesus, but you let your fears get in the way. Or maybe you had a thought you rejected but didn’t even know until later that it was the Lord doing the leading. That’s what happened to me a few weeks ago. After the incident, I felt both regret and sorrow. I never want to say “no” to God, but that is exactly what I had done at a time when I was praying to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. But God gives second chances to those who ask for them. This past week, He gave me a second chance to dance.
Baptism in the Holy Ghost
“I indeed have baptized you with water, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”Mark 1:8
Depending on which church system you come from, this can be a controversial topic. Some say that the Pentecost experience in Acts 2:1-4 was the only fulfillment of Acts 1:5 in which Jesus echoes John’s words, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Some say this happens automatically at salvation, and some say it’s a separate event that is evidenced by the speaking of tongues. My church happens to be the latter.
It’s an experience that I have prayed about since I came to that church over three years ago. But each time the Spirit was moving, there was something in me that seemed to hold back. Maybe it was a fear of losing myself in the experience. Maybe it was the fear of what others would think of me if that happened. After all, I grew up Greek Orthodox and attended both Methodist and Nondenominational churches. In my experience, I haven’t really been used to much action at church. Worship, other than singing the songs, was a mostly silent, still event. Oh, maybe there was a toe tap or two. Once, I think I might have seen a hand come up. But there definitely wasn’t any shouting, wailing, or dancing like there is in the Pentecostal church.
A Nudge from God
A few weeks ago, a visiting preacher came to speak about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. It was a riveting sermon, and when it was done, we all went to the altars to pray. Several ladies came to pray with me since I was one of the few members of the congregation who hadn’t yet had this experience. I prayed fervently with my whole heart, and at one point, the sister on the piano started to play a faster song. I had an overwhelming desire to get up and dance. But I pushed it down. I put my hands up where I was, but I just didn’t want to lose my dignity. Plus, I was focused on praying, waiting for something to “hit me.” Soon, the moment was gone.
As I was leaving the parking lot, I realized that it had been the Holy Spirit who had been nudging me to get up. He was the one who wanted me to put my fear of what other people think of me aside. He wanted me to let go of myself and trust Him. But I didn’t do it. That night and all the next day, I cried and prayed. I was heartsick at having quenched the Spirit of God. For all the times I have submitted and surrendered to the Lord in every area I could think of, this was one place that I just couldn’t seem to do it. I felt so bad about myself, but right there in my mess, God comforted me. He sent me to Psalm 139 which tells us that He knows us and loves us anyway.
A Second Chance to Dance
Two weeks later, that same preacher was back. He said he would speak both in the morning service and the evening service about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. It was like he was on a mission from God. I wondered if God was giving me a chance to fix my mistake, but after the morning service, there didn’t seem to be anything happening. That evening, I decided to come for prayer service an hour before church. It was there that I laid it all out to God.
I told Him that forgiveness is a choice. We make a conscious decision to forgive and then leave all the feelings to God. It was the same way with surrender. I made a conscious choice to surrender everything to God. I told Him that from there, He would have to be the one to flip any switches to get rid of my inhibitions. When I got up from where I was kneeling, I heard, “Second chance to dance.” I gulped, hoping that meant He was going to help me.
After the second service, we again went to the altars. This time, I didn’t even get all the way to my knees when I felt God saying that I needed to be standing. I prayed, seeking God and asking Him to fall on me. A few more ladies came again, praying with me and for me. Soon, I felt a surge of power, and I danced and danced. When I caught hold of myself again, I realized that I was also screaming. Syllables I didn’t understand formed in my mind, and I spoke the words.
God Gives Second Chances
God knows us. He knows right where we are and what we are capable of. Sometimes He will allow us to fail when there are still things we need to settle with Him or within ourselves. God showed me that it was more important to me that I press into God than care about what others think of me. He replaced whatever was holding me back with the power to move forward for Him.
Since that day already, I have stepped out of myself more when it comes to witnessing to others about Jesus. When I feel a nudge or a pull to speak to someone when I’m out and about, I do my best to hear and follow no matter what. I’m still not perfect at it, but God is so good to have patience with us and keep comforting us when we that happens. His mercies are new every day, and if you ask Him, He just may give you a second chance to dance.
Interested in more articles about testimonies? Check out The Hand of God is on His Children or God Is Faithful in the Little Things and the Big Things. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email at the top right or the bottom on your phone. Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.