Why I’m Pentecostal: The Change

[Note: Read the first post in this series for some background.]

I don’t have a date to share because I never really considered dates as being important in my faith life. August 2003 is about as close as I get to anything, and that’s for finally admitting who Jesus is.

But I do remember a growing sense that God planned more for those who follow Jesus than just a “moment of salvation” (which I don’t think is an accurate way to describe the life-bending changes that happen). Mark says the gospel begins in the first chapter of his account, but he never said it ended. It doesn’t. The good news goes on forever.

And that’s where things started to go wrong—at least for my belief that the Holy Spirit no longer gifted His church. I couldn’t accept that God was done after just a moment. Salvation was complete, yes, but not the transformation.

I desperately wanted to be like Peter after Pentecost. Up to that point, I’d meekly stumbled after Christ, sputtering along with a whimper. That couldn’t be it. I knew Christ had more for His body than simply a survival mentality.

So, I prayed for what Peter had, for what all the apostles had. I prayed for some kick-the-door-down explosions of God-at-work. I wouldn’t let it go because I couldn’t.

When I first spoke in tongues, it was private (that’s the usual method in my experience). Think of it like putting a nine-volt battery to your tongue and feeling air rushing up from your gut. I wasn’t forced to do it, but it also wasn’t something I controlled. It freaked me out, honestly.

By the second experience, I’d been making my home in Acts, nestled there with calls for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. And it clicked. This was God’s answer for my sputtering test drive. He’d stuck the jumper cables on and shocked me into life.

And my answer to that? Bring it.

[Next up: We finish this with the impact.]