by Buddy Dawson
Week 4, in a multi-part series
Throughout the New Testament it was made very clear that not only was the church to carry on the ministry of Jesus with signs and wonders, but our lives were to reflect more Christ-likeness. These were two completely impossible tasks without the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit working through us.
I was raised in what most would consider a dysfunctional family; we knew very little about how to love, encourage or uplift one another. To make matters worse, after graduating from New Hanover High School, I moved directly into a 10 year career as a professional musician. Neither of these prepared me for the righteousness and holiness that I now desired to live in.
This was in itself a miracle, because I truly desired to change. Through the miracle of being “born again” (John 3:16), I no longer wanted to do the sin I still found myself doing. My desires had changed, but I felt powerless to bring my flesh under subjection. I related well to the man that Paul describes in Romans chapter seven:
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me (Romans 7: 15,18,19,21 NKJV).
It was during this time of despair that I was introduced into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Just as described in the second chapter of Acts, this second work of grace was accompanied by signs and wonders, building a fire in me for more that has never been quenched.
It was as if God in His foreknowledge saw the need and made the provision thousands of years in advance. He knew there were many, like myself and some of you, who will never be satisfied with status quo Christianity. Perhaps He also looked through the portals of time and saw a generation that would need this extra power to dig itself out of the carnality and sin we would grow accustomed to.
I do not believe that this second work of grace affects anyone’s salvation whatsoever. I do believe, however, that if you want to rise above the crowd of Christian spectators and experience the fullness of a life hidden in Christ, His power is still available for those seeking it.
Buddy and Maude Dawson are the founders and directors of the River of Life Worship Center, 3504 Carolina Beach Rd., Wilmington, NC. firstname.lastname@example.org