The first time I saw the power of the Holy Spirit (besides the seemingly odd Benny Hinn videos) was during my senior year of high school. That year I had started the Cubs of Judah Bible study outside of the local Starbucks back in Vista, Ca. I didn’t even realize what we were doing then, but looking back on it now, this group of average high schoolers was shifting the atmosphere of one of the darkest places in our city. The homeless sat and talked with us. We ministered to the drug-addicted. One time the Starbucks even brought us free food! There are too many stories from that Bible Study to share, but all you need to understand is that God changed lives through us. God provided the most amazing group of friends who were so full of faith and loyalty. I don’t think they will ever understand just how much they all mean to me. God made such an impression through Cubs of Judah, that even when I left to go to College, leaders Tyler Ross and Jacob Caringer allowed the group to run for another 2 years!
There was one intense moment from Cubs of Judah that impacted me forever. I am going to attempt to tell the short version. One day after our study, I saw a homeless man wandering towards us. I recognized him as the same man that we had just met a week prior. At first I selfishly avoided eye contact. Sometimes it can be draining talking with the homeless. They have a lot to talk about! But God prompted me to talk to him. I swallowed my selfishness and obeyed. I walked up to him and said, “Hey man, you remember me!?” He looked at me in the eyes, recognized me, and then immediately collapsed onto me. I embraced him and asked him what was wrong. As he cried, he repeated, “I can’t find my wife. I lost her. I can’t find my wife!” She was with him when I met them just a week before this moment. I told him, “Don’t worry man you’ll find her.” I humorously thought, you guys live here she can’t be far. Then he said, “Even worse, I don’t feel God. I feel pain. He left me.” He was frantic about this fact that God seemingly abandoned him. I didn’t know exactly what happened to him or what he was referring to, but when he said that, I was filled with compassion. I had this eerie seriousness come over me and I sternly said, “Let’s pray.” He consented and I laid my hands on his shoulders and began to pray passionately and full of confidence. This is where the Holy Spirit just took over. I couldn’t even remember what I said in the prayer, all I remembered was repeating, “God, fill him with your Holy Spirit. Fill him with your Spirit!” Remember, I did not grow up doing this kind of stuff. I did not grow up in a super-charismatic Pentecostal church. I never spoke in tongues or anything like that. I only read my Bible.
Suddenly in the middle of the prayer, I kid you not, this dude starts shaking! He gripped my shoulders with a strength that I didn’t know he had. This was new to me, but I kept on praying. Then he started breathing heavily and speaking in tongues! Then I realized, oh snap I think God is actually filling him with his Holy Spirit! When I stopped praying, the man started to fall backwards but I caught him and held him up. He looked at me with this gaze of awe in his eyes and stepped away from me. A smile slowly began to appear on his face, then he burst into joy.
“Woah, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit before but it’s been a long, long time. I felt like Samson! The pain is gone! I feel God in my heart! I feel peace! Jesus! JESUS!!!”
I then ministered to him a little longer, and then he proceeded to walk away full of joy and laughter. This sweet moment with God seemed to eradicate any fear he had just minutes before. I didn’t exactly know what just took place, but it felt like I was in the book of Acts. That moment showed me as a 17 year old that the Holy Spirit is the real deal and He is indeed in all of us as Christians. I’ve only shared that strory with a few people, but that experience marked my idea of evangelism in a new way. I now understood that God can and will break chains of evil off of people as long as we step out into faith. I encourage you all to step out in boldness for the sake of the world.