Viewing entries tagged
A Spirit Filled Life
Viewing entries tagged
A Spirit Filled Life
“My name is Mike Fricano, I am 62 years of age. I was raised in the Catholic faith and have always considered myself a Christian. My core values were instilled at an early age in my life: work hard and you will prosper, success will follow. The harder I worked, the job promotions came quickly, as did the rewards. Finance wise, I have lived a comfortable life, good health, and a stress free life, married over 40 years to my wife, Janet, admitting that I was fine without God. I happened to be channel surfing one day, and ran across an evangelist preaching about what happens after you die, and eternity. I spent some time and did some serious soul searching. That night, I prayed to God and ask the Holy Spirit to come in my heart and to change my life. My prayer was answered. I never read or understood the Bible, until now! I have a clear vision on God’s plan for me. Before, there was considerable doubt in my mind about where I was going to spend eternity. There is no doubt in my mind now, because I trust Jesus. I believe that Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross for our sins and rose again. I believe that we will have everlasting life if we believe and trust in him. It’s simple, ask yourself where do you want to spend eternity? I found Redemption church by doing research about a Christian-based church here in Delray Beach Florida. What a blessing it has been. I really enjoy the church members and the teachings that Pastor Daniel shares on Sundays.”
The Holy Spirit was there in the beginning hovering over the waters ready to bring life: on earth, in Adam, in Mary’s womb, in our resurrected Lord to ultimately culminate in God’s redemptive work in us, His creation so that we may cry out Abba Father.
How does that look to me personally? Let me share some recent circumstances that would point to what only the Holy Spirit could accomplish as His teaching, His conviction, His revelations were given so that God could continue His refining work to make me into His image.
Here is part of that journey…
A series of events in the past few months had paved the pathway for me to be able to hear God speak. Having a past in legalism, God clearly put me in circumstances that made me acutely aware of my sensitivities to ‘hurts’ that occurred in the ‘church’. One of those areas of concern arises whenever there is a conversation regarding the ‘born again’ experience. Long story, but in my past ‘church’ history it has been a topic where I felt I had to vehemently defend my position in Christ.
I thought I was ‘healed’ of this but when this recently came up, I noticed a strong but silent response. I felt my heart shut down towards instruction, towards church authority, towards being able to yield to the working of His Spirit in me.
I knew I needed healing in this area and repented before God and a sister in Christ.
Shortly after this, I met one of those Christians. The ones where you immediately sense the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Sprit didn’t just show up when the conversation was about God, but it was there from ‘hello’ to ‘goodbye’. The Sprit’s manifestation brought chills to my being. I knew I needed to ask some questions and hear their testimony.
This individual had a past where the enemies plotting brought destructive bondage and the resulting consequences. (drug addiction and incarceration) Yet in this man, I saw joy, freedom, and contentment, not someone in a state of still working through things or battling demons of the past.
I knew this victory came from Jesus but wanted to know how God brought him to this place of freedom; was it immediate, was there a ‘pathway’ or program or something I wondered? With unfeigned emotion he recalled the moment he cried out to God. His cry came from a heart that wanted to know and love and serve Jesus more than anything. ‘More than anything’…that statement struck me in the heart.
God brought me to this point and to this moment that I would hear the convicting work of the Spirit providing the opportunity to grow, to be changed, to die to self.
How do I do this God? I fail so many times. I want to want You more than the end results, more than anything Lord.
You must be born again.
Now hearing this for the first time again, it didn’t matter the time, the place, the experience, the prayer. It was the heart.
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." - Jhn 3:8 ESV
I never really understood this scripture. Now I could hear.
Like a leaf on a tree, the leaf’s movement is according to the direction of the wind that touches it…so it is for those born of the Spirit. God does in me what only He can do, by His Spirit in me. Born again.
That simple yet that profound.
This is the Holy Spirit!
Aligning circumstances, aligning my heart, reminding me of truth that transforms me.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." - Rom 8:12-15 NKJV
“So this happened to me during a therapy session a few months back - my own therapy session; I was the client, not the counselor. I was feeling downcast and discouraged and it became clear it was frustration about myself and the way I was handling things, thinking about things, responding to things etc. I was explaining to the therapist how discouraged I felt and overwhelmed. I was going back over how I was feeling and explaining to her that the worst part of the discouragement was that I didn’t like who I was, which felt even more discouraging. But the Holy Spirt then said to me that I needed to yield to Him. It’s as if the Gospel became real again, front and center, in that moment. It’s quite true - I don’t like who I am in my flesh; in fact there’s nothing good there, but I do like the new creation Christ has made me to be, which is reflected most clearly when I am yielded and obedient to Him.”