Devine Healing: The Holy Spirit - Part I
It was a Saturday afternoon. The summer months were upon us, and therefore no school days. I was standing in line with other kids, waiting to go into the movie. I was 8 years old. All of a sudden, while waiting for the ticket window to open, the Lord spoke to my heart. Now, I suspect that many would ask how I could know at 8 years of age that this was the Lord. Of course, the answer to that question is very easy. With the Lord being the Lord and able to do all things, He is perfectly able to make Himself known to whomever, even to an 8-year-old child.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I knew it was the Lord. He said to me, “Do not go into this place. Give me your heart, for you are a chosen vessel to be used exclusively in My service.”
I stood transfixed, not knowing what to say or do. Then the ticket window opened, and the lady began handing out tickets to all the kids who were in the line.
The Lord spoke to me again, in effect, saying the very same thing: “Do not go into this place. Give me your heart, for you are a chosen vessel to be used exclusively in My service.”
About that time, I approached the ticket window. I laid my quarter down, and then something happened that I know was the Lord. The ticket spool jammed, and while Mrs. Green was trying to untangle the problem, I grabbed my quarter and left. It was the greatest thing I ever did.
I walked past the Piggly Wiggly market, past Doris’ Dress Shop, past the five-and-dime store, and then went into Vogt’s Drugstore on the corner. I got myself an ice cream cone, walked out, and stood on the curb. All of a sudden it happened.
I’ve often wondered how individuals feel when they give their hearts to Christ, when they have been saved out of terrible sin. Of course, being only a child, I didn’t know much about sin at all, but all of a sudden, the Spirit of God covered me. It was like 50 pounds were lifted from my frail shoulders, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was saved. I never really said anything, except in my heart.
I arrived home very shortly thereafter, and my mother, knowing that I was in early, asked me what had happened.
I simply stated, “I got saved!” She looked somewhat nonplussed, but at the same time, she began to cry, and I knew she understood what I had said.
The Holy Spirit
A few days later, something happened that would further change my life for the better. I awakened early that morning and got up instantly and went into the living room. My mother and dad were standing beside my piano, and they were talking with each other. They were discussing my grandmother (my dad’s mother). What they were saying was somewhat negative, but it did not strike me in that fashion. I listened intently.
My dad said, “Mama has gone crazy over religion.” He then added, “Since she has come back from that meeting she attended, all she talks about is Jesus, and then she talks funny in a language that nobody can understand.”
Now, my parents and my grandmother and grandfather all attended the same church. However, my grandmother was the very first one in our family to be baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues.
I listened intently to what my dad said, and then, a few moments later, I bolted out of the room, got on my bicycle, and rode up to my grandmother’s house. I wanted to know what she had.
As she let me in that morning (it was quite early), I said to her, “Nannie,” for that’s what I called her, “Mama and Daddy say that you speak in some kind of language that they can’t understand. What are they talking about?”
I’ll never forget it. Nannie laughed and said, “Come on in Jimmy, and I’ll tell you all about it.”
She was in the process of preparing some hot tea, and then she sat down in a chair with the hot tea on a little table beside the chair. I sat down on the floor with my legs crossed looking up at her. I wondered what she was going to say.
She began to tell me how that she had been baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. When she got to the part where the Lord filled her, the power of God came on her, and she raised both hands and began to speak with other tongues. Even though I had felt the convicting power of the Holy Spirit when I was saved that Saturday a short time before, I had really never felt the power of God, at least that I could remember.
But I felt it that morning! I looked down at my arms, and chill bumps had broken out all over. It was an experience that was to start me on a journey that continues unto this very hour so many, many years later.
I don’t remember what transpired the rest of that meeting, but I came back that afternoon and asked her to tell it to me again, which she did. The same thing happened again. In fact, I went to her house from one to three times every day and had her tell me the same experience over and over until I knew it by heart. The reason for that was the power of God that would fall every time, and it would fall on me. Of course, I became very hungry to have what she had, and she encouraged me totally and completely, telling me that I could receive as well.
Incidentally, my mother and dad soon changed their attitude and allowed the Holy Spirit to work within their lives until they were both filled. However, let me tell you about the morning that the Lord filled me.
The Infilling Of The Holy Spirit
As stated, I was 8 years of age. We had started a prayer meeting in our little church, which I attended every morning.
This particular morning, as I began to ask the Lord to fill me, something happened that was beautiful.
I don’t suppose there is such a thing as liquid light, but that’s what seemed to rest upon me that morning. It formed a circle all around me. It could be seen with the actual eye, at least I could see it. Then I began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit of God gave the utterance, exactly as my grandmother had received.
It was a couple of weeks before I could speak English as I should. I would open my mouth and instantly begin to speak with other tongues. It didn’t happen every time, but most of the time.
One particular morning, my mother sent me to the post office to get a stamp. I walked up to the window, laid the nickel on the counter, and opened my mouth to tell the man what I wanted, and I began to speak with other tongues.
He looked at me and said, “What did you say?” I didn’t look like a foreigner, but I sounded like one. I tried it again and began to speak with other tongues.
He finally said, “Son, I can’t understand what you’re saying.” I tried it again, and the same thing happened. It scared me, so I grabbed my nickel and ran.
When I got back home, my mother asked me if I had the stamp. I didn’t, but then I could speak English. I explained to her what had happened.
I don’t recall her response, but I do know that from then on, I was in a prayer meeting almost every day of my life, which went on for several years.
The Talent To Play The Piano
Not long after I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, our little church was in a revival. The particular night in question, I was seated next to my dad. While the preacher was preaching, I began to ask the Lord to give me the talent to play the piano. I promised Him that I would never use it in the world but always for His glory.
When the service ended, with beautiful childlike faith, I walked up on the platform where the old upright piano was standing and began to make chords. I didn’t know what they were, but I knew they sounded right.
When I got home that night, my Dad asked me, “Jimmy, where did you learn those chords on the piano? Have you been practicing at Aunt Stella’s?”
Then he said, “Did the pastor’s wife show you those chords?” The pastor’s wife played piano quite well.
I said, “No, I haven’t been practicing at all. I was asking the Lord tonight to give me the talent to play the piano, and I guess that He has already started.”
To be sure, the Lord did exactly what I asked Him to do, and by His grace, I have kept that promise I made to Him to never use the talent in the world.
At 8 years of age, I knew I would be an evangelist. I knew my ministry would be worldwide. At that particular time, I did not know how all of that would come to pass, but I knew it would happen, and so it did. That is my calling—world evangelism.
I must have been about 10 years of age when the Lord allowed me to see in a dream what the future would hold, at least some of the problems that would arise.
In the dream I was standing outside in front of our house where I was raised. As stated, I was about 10 years old.
I looked to my right, and there was a sphere hanging in space about 10 to 15 feet away from me. It was about the size of a basketball, and it was a globe of planet Earth. In the dream I could see it slowly turning.
Then, all of a sudden, I saw a figure standing right near that globe, looking intently at it as it slowly turned. Somehow, I knew it was Satan, and yet, there was no fear—none at all.
He looked at that globe intently for a short period of time and then turned, looked at me, and said, “You will not do it; I will stop you.” I said nothing as he turned back to look at the globe. Then, once again, he turned and looked at me and said the same thing all over again: “You will not do it; I will stop you.”
At that time I didn’t know exactly that of which he was speaking. However, I came to understand in later years as I felt the full brunt of his efforts to stop us from carrying out that which God had called us to do.
This article is an excerpt from the book, Divine Healing by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart