Surprised by the Spirit

surprised by the spirit

How’s it going, Dave?”

Despite having given my life to Christ as a college freshman two years previous to Dan’s question, I was in a gloomy place. Like many college students, I wrestled with anxiety, fear, and loneliness.

“Not doing well at all,” I answered.

It was a typically overcast Indiana day, with a cold, light mist in the air. The weather mirrored my mood.

Dan Brockman was a classmate and I trusted his walk with Christ. He asked me to tell him more.

So we jumped into my parked car in front of Smith Hall and after listening to my plight, Dan got right to the point.

“You need the baptism in the Holy Spirit.”  Then he walked me through God’s promises, explaining how to receive what Jesus called “the promise of the Father.” Was I ready to pray? Yes. I was desperate for more.

We prayed and then Dan asked if I’d received.  (Frankly, I noticed no change post-prayer.)  So my reply was, “I think so…”.  Dan confidently said, “You didn’t.”  (And he was right!). He encouraged me to pray again, this time in faith, just as I had when I first received Christ.  

We prayed a second time. Honestly, I felt nearly the same as I had after the first prayer, but with one important difference. There was a discernible flicker of hope. God has made a promise—and He cannot lie!


I’ll never forget what Dan said next:  “Dave, expect things to be different.”  So I decided to take his advice—I would expect things to be different because if God’s word was true, things had to be different.

We parted and as I climbed the stairs to my dorm room, the flicker of hope grew to a flame.  Inside my room, I picked up my Living Bible and began to read and made an amazing discovery—evidently, someone had sneaked into my room and replaced the pages of my Bible with all new pages!   


Of course, it was the same Bible. What was different was the Author had flooded my being!  Fresh understanding leaped off the pages as Holy Spirit said “amen” to the reading. I remember thinking, This book is alive!

Within moments the joy and peace that had been conspicuous by their absence started to well up and overwhelm me. Jesus became more real to me than anything!

“You shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…” (Acts 1:8) Since the day the Spirit surprised and filled me, I have seen countless people radically saved, physically healed, and delivered from demonic torment.

The Christian life is not meant to be difficult; it’s meant to be impossible! That’s why Jesus baptizes us in Holy Spirit—to empower us to overcome impossibilities for His glory.

I invite you to join me in boldly praying: Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.