fredag 7. oktober 2016

It is about experience

For Brengle, the personal experience was of great importance. That does not mean that he neglected doctrine, for him they go “hand in hand”:
‘Without the doctrine, the standard, the teaching, we shall never find the experience. or having found it, we shall be likely to lose it. Without the experience we shall neglect the teaching, we shall doubt or despise the doctrine, we shall lower the standard.’ (1)
But the whole of his life, he would always returned to the experience which took place on the 9th of January 1885 – the year he turned 25. A sermon on the baptism of the Holy Spirit started his search for this experience. “Day and night for weeks I asked, I sought, I knocked” (2) he declares. Then came the day of fulfilment of his prayer – an experience I quoted yesterday (3)

I have several experiences that I look back upon as groundbreaking for my spiritual development. The experience of "loving with the love of Jesus" (4) came after I had already had a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit for many years. This is what happened:

There was nothing in the situation leading up to it that made me expect anything to happen. My great concern was the health of a young man in the corps who had suffered a brain stroke, and I was gathering prayer-support for him. As I was phoning around to men and women, young and old, I was suddenly filled with an intense love for them. It was so strong that it was almost painful. When I left the office and walked home, I loved everyone I saw, and I realised that this love was nothing that I ever would be able to produce myself - it was the love of Jesus. The special sense of the presence his love lasted for a couple of days. 

This happened more than twenty years ago, and from time to time, this divine love turns up again. I know that He is always with me, but in some ways, I also accept that I do not always feel the intensity of his love. To be honest, I do not know if I could survive it for long. It is interesting: I have discovered that when it happens, I focus on others, and not on myself. That was what happened under and after the terror-attack in Istanbul in the beginning of January this year. I just had to speak and write about God's love.

'Manna' for today:
Holiness is about experience

I will write more about love and a authenticity tomorrow.
(1) Brengle, quoted in Robert Street: ”Called to be God’s People” IHQ 1999 p 64
(2) Samuel L. Brengle: “The Baptism of the Spirit: Is it accompanied by the Gift of Tongues?” War Cry NY August 26, 1939.
(3) It is about 'intravenous' love
(4) A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34

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