My last post about power outages and the filling of the Holy Spirit reminds me of an incident early in my Christian life. I'd already been a year under some fairly academic teaching, going through Lewis Sperry Chafer's Major Bible Themes in our Baptist college kids Sunday School, along with a home Bible study on Monday nights (in addition to the usual Sunday Morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening meetings) so I understood -- or at least had been exposed to -- the concepts of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit vs the filling of the Spirit, as well as the problem of grieving and quenching Him. And I'd been introduced to 1 Jn 1:9 by then, as well.
I'd gotten married and moved away and we were attending a small rural church in northern Arizona where a visiting pastor addressed the problem of yielding. We needed to yield ourselves to God, and not to sin, he said. "Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin," he quoted from Ro 6:13 (KJV), "but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." I was all for that. The question was, how? I didn't think, from all the ways I was sinning, and the problems I was having that I was properly yielded, but I wanted to be. I just needed to know how.
He said we should go home and write all our sins on a piece of paper, confess them all to God and then burn the paper. Then we'd be yielded. So I did that, and... nothing whatever seemed to have changed. I didn't feel any more yielded than I'd felt before, and soon I found I was still struggling with the same bad attitudes and problems... So that was a wash. I pled with God to show me how I was supposed to do this!
I'd say it was within a month and maybe less when He did just that. We had in the interim moved and my husband had just gotten a job teaching high school. About a week into the school year he met another teacher who hosted a home Bible study and we went. That was where I was first introduced to the recorded messages of R.B. Thieme, Jr and the method of teaching the Scriptures line upon line, exegeting from the original languages, looking at the historical setting at the time of writing (isagogics) and comparing scripture with scripture. One of the first things I remember getting really excited about was yielding. Finally here was someone who taught something that made sense! Something I could actually understand and carry out.
To be continued...