The Promise of the Father
God Promised, but it didn’t Happen!
Have you ever sought God for something, but come away disappointed? Has unanswered prayer disturbed you? Do you have questions about the faithfulness of God? Does your Christian life feel dull, while you wish God had more for you? Then let’s look at how to receive the Holy Spirit.
There is a special promise from God in the Bible, and I set out to receive it. Over a period of two years I journeyed on a spiritual roller-coaster. Sometimes my faith was high, believing that God was faithful to what He had promised. But sometimes I became deeply discouraged because God wasn’t answering me. Was there a blockage in my relationship with Him? Examining myself simply led me into feelings of hopelessness. After many months of seeking the Lord, I was ready to resign myself to the kind of ‘fatalistic faith’ which says, ‘If God has promised this for me, then it’s up to Him, I can do no more!’
Human substitutes won’t Work!
My Christian friends confirmed that I had understood the Scriptures correctly and that God’s promise was indeed His will – and more importantly, His will for me! So why had nothing happened? It didn’t make sense. God had called me to preach but without the baptism in the Holy Spirit I felt ill-equipped. A humanistic way forward was suggested: simply accept ‘by faith’ that Jesus has baptised me in the Holy Spirit; confess that the work was done and act out the promise – live as though God had answered my prayer! Regretfully I tried it! For a while all seemed well. A burden was lifted and seeking God was off the menu.
I was waiting for God, but He was waiting for me!
Then I remembered John the Baptist in prison. He had started out boldly proclaiming Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, but now he’s not so sure, and I seemed to be the same! I was locked in a prison-house of uncertainty and disappointment. Rather than walking in the Spirit, I was trudging through the valley of spiritual death while clinging to the hope that somehow God was with me. Well, God was with me and I discovered that He was waiting all those months for me to come to the place where I desired nothing except Him! I told Him honestly that I wanted no blessings, no gifts, no promises – I wanted only the Lord Jesus Himself. It was at that point that the Lord poured upon me everything my heart desired. He baptised me in the Holy Spirit and then gave me something even more remarkable. Like Solomon, the Lord gave me what I asked for, then gave me all the things I hadn’t asked for or believed were possible.
In my teen years I confess, I had never seen a miracle of healing. We prayed for the sick indirectly, mostly that God would guide the doctors. But I had many dreams about people being miraculously healed. In one dream I was watching a blind man sitting at Gloucester cross-roads, expecting a few pence from folk. I remembered how Peter and John had dealt with the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple and I wanted to say to the blind man, ‘silver and gold I have none, but what I have I give you; in the Name of Jesus receive your sight’. But in my dream my faith failed, and I ran home weeping. At home I woke up in bed, still crying and ashamed about my lack of faith. I still needed to learn how to receive the Holy Spirit.
Soon a new opportunity came. Jane Williams’ dad was dying from cancer in a Cardiff Hospital. Telling no one, I journeyed to Cardiff and saw John. I firstly told him about salvation, and he received Jesus as His Saviour. Then I very gently laid my hands on his head and prayed for healing. A week or so later news reached us that John had died. I went home in despair and poured out my complaint to God. The Lord said that my motive was wrong! I had wanted John healed to prove that my belief in healing was correct. He told me that John was with Him in glory, which comforted me, but He continued by saying to see miracles I must firstly love the people I pray for!
Shortly after, my mother was diagnosed with stones in the kidneys. She was in great pain one night, and after dad left to phone for an ambulance, I went into mum’s room where she was writhing in agony. I shouted at the devil to get out, and mum became still, so quietly I asked the Lord for healing. Over the weekend mum was x-rayed which didn’t show what the surgeon expected. A second set of x-rays showed nothing wrong, and the consultant asked mum how she felt. She said she felt fine, and the hospital sent her home. The Lord Jesus had performed an instant miracle resulting in mum never suffering with kidneys again, even into her nineties.
How to receive the Holy Spirit
It appears that many Christians today have never witnessed a miracle healing. Many haven’t learnt how to receive the Holy Spirit and miss this part of the Christian experience. Sadly, the doctrine some Pastors hold is founded on their lack of experience, rather than on what the Bible says. In my book I list more than twenty-five means of healing mentioned in the Bible! God declares He is the Lord who heals – He is not an ally of illness! Many believers disbelieve in divine healing today, which prevents the Lord doing mighty miracles. This happened to Jesus during His earthly ministry and He was amazed at the people’s lack of faith. To remedy this, He went around the villages teaching, because faith comes from hearing the word of God.
My book, “The Promise of the Father” explains the Scriptures and records many stories of how the Lord keeps His promise to deluge us with His Holy Spirit, and to perform mighty works through us for His glory. The book goes much further than my story; it teaches in great detail how to receive the Holy Spirit, providing Biblical evidence and explanation.
Recently I received an email from Andy Economides (Founder of Soteria Trust) and he has given permission to include what he wrote:
“I started reading your book, ‘The Promise of the Father’. I am reading it properly, fully and marking it so I can go back to read and pray. Frankly it is the most thorough, detailed and biblical book (or message) I have ever come across in 47 years on the most important subject. It is fantastic.”Andy Economides (Founder of Soteria Trust)
May you also be challenged and empowered as you read through ‘The Promise of the Father’ which presents what Andy calls “the most important subject”, namely the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives today and in our ministry for God. If this article or book helped you to understand how to receive the Holy Spirit let us know in the comments below or on Zaccmedia’s Facebook page.
Anthony K. Chamberlain.
Author of “The Promise of the Father”