The month of December is always a very special time of year for me, but not for the reasons that you would expect. Of course I love the Christmas season as much as anyone. I enjoy looking at the decorations, giving and receiving gifts and spending time with family and friends; not to mention eating those tasty Christmas treats! Yet, this time of year is special to me for a whole other reason because it was on Christmas Eve, 24 years ago, that I was first introduced to the wonderful Person of the Holy Spirit.
Every family has their special holiday traditions. When I was a young teenager, our family would gather at the home of my grandmother each year on Christmas Eve to celebrate with our extended family. It was during this setting that I received the greatest Christmas present of all!
In the midst of the chaos of everyone opening their gifts, I noticed my grandmother opening one of her presents. It was a book. Normally I would not have been interested in a book on Christmas Eve. However, there was something different about this particular book. The words on the title seemed to literally jump off the page and grab me like a magnet. I had to know what was in that book!
I politely asked my grandmother if I could see her new book and went and sat down at her dining room table. The book was titled, “Good Morning Holy Spirit” by Benny Hinn. At the time I had never even heard of Benny Hinn, yet it was the words “Holy Spirit” on the front cover that seemed to literally grip me. As I opened the first page, I read the words that forever changed my life…
“It was three days before Christmas 1973. The sun was still rising on that cold, misty Toronto morning.
“Suddenly He was there. The Holy Spirit entered my room. He was as real to me that morning as the book you are holding in your hand is to you.
For the next eight hours I had an incredible experience with the Holy Spirit. It changed the course of my life. Tears of wonder and joy coursed down my cheeks as I opened the Scriptures and He gave me the answers to my questions.
It seemed that my room had been lifted into the hemisphere of heaven. And I wanted to stay there forever.”
The author went on to write….
“In my room, however, it was pure joy. Yes, it was unspeakable. Yes, it was full of glory! If you had told me just forty-eight hours earlier what was about to happen to me, I would have said, “No way.” But from that very moment the Holy Spirit became alive in my life. He was no longer a distant “third person” of the Trinity. He was real. He had a personality.
And now I want to share Him with you.
My friend, if you are ready to begin a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit that surpasses anything you ever dreamed possible, read on. If not, let me recommend that you close the covers of this book forever. That’s right. Close the book! Because what I am about to share will transform your spiritual life.
Suddenly it will happen to you. It may be while your reading. Perhaps while you’re praying. Or while you’re driving to work. The Holy Spirit is going to respond to your invitation. He’s going to become your closest friend, your guide, your comforter, your lifelong companion.”
(Excerpt taken from page 1 and 2 of Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn)
It is hard to put into words what happened to me the moment I first read these words. All I can tell you is that in that moment I knew that I had found everything that my heart had ever longed for! I knew that this was the secret to a real and fulfilling relationship with God Almighty.
O how I wish that you could have seen me sitting at that dining room table engrossed in this book while my family, including my siblings and cousins, were busy opening and playing with their new gifts. In that moment, I could have cared less about the gifts I had just received. I had just discovered real spiritual truth!
My grandmother graciously allowed me to take her new book home with her. I planned to read it as soon as I possibly could. Christmas day was very busy opening gifts and visiting family. There just was no time. But early in the morning, the day after Christmas, I pulled a chair from our kitchen table into my bedroom, locked the door and read “Good Morning Holy Spirit” from cover to cover.
Please understand me. It was not Benny Hinn that I was after. At this time I didn’t even know who he was! But what I was after, what I wanted with all of my heart, was to know the Person of the Holy Spirit the same way that he had described Him in his book! I wanted it more than I wanted life itself!
After finishing the book I got down on my knees and lifted my hands toward heaven and prayed a very simple prayer. “Holy Spirit, I want to know you like Benny Hinn knows you. Can I meet you?” The Lord responded to my prayer. From that day forward the Holy Spirit became a real Person to me. His Presence would literally fill my room as I spent hours each day in prayer, worship and Bible study. Sometimes His Presence was so strong that I could not even stand!
Amazingly, as I began to spend more and more time alone with Him, I began to recognize His voice speaking to me. Hearing God speak was no longer a struggle. Now His voice and His leading was clear!
I have discovered the secret to the Christian life. The secret is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit! The Apostle Paul writes about this in 2 Corinthians 13:14; “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the COMMUNION OF THE HOLY GHOST, be with you all.”
The greatest revelation that I have ever received is that the Holy Spirit is a Person and His Presence can be experienced. Nothing can substitute for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Not even Bible reading and prayer! Once you begin to experience His Person, Presence and fellowship on a daily basis you will never be able to be satisfied with the things that this world has to offer again.