When I spoke to some old friends I became fascinated by a new passion for God in their lives. They told me about the 'Toronto Blessing' & invited my husband & I to attend their home fellowship to see it for ourselves. When we entered the house, the anointing of God was a tangible presence.
We had come for dinner & already there were several people there, praying, worshipping & watching teaching videos of Rodney Howard Browne & Benny Hinn.
At the end of the meeting our friends prayed for us. My husband felt like running around the room (a manifestation previously unmentioned in describing the blessing).
I was slain in the spirit, which, as a pentecostal christian, I was well acquainted with. Other than that, I felt nothing my friends told me I had received but I didn't believe them.
Suddenly, my best friend
started laughing uncontrollably (note - I was on holidays in the city I
had grown up in & had only moved away from six months earlier) I looked
at her & wondered what was going on. If this was the blessing then
*surely* it couldn't be God, it was so extreme & fleshly looking - God
wouldn't be so emotional.
Well that was my initial response. However, by the grace of God, I succeeded in not dismissing it outright. That night when I went to bed I prayed to the Lord. "Lord, if this is you, I *want* it, I *need* it, but you have to prove it is you. I will not be brainwashed into it or go along simply because my friends are doing it. If it happens, it is because you move sovereignly."
It was decided that a group of us would attend the evening service of the Dandenong Assembly of God. During the service, several people giggled away (though not disruptivly). God instructed me to go for prayer when the time came & so I did. When the pastor prayed for me, I was slain in the spirit once again. Again, nothing happened. I had just dismissed the whole episode as a dose of hyper emotionalism brought on by the flesh. Suddenly there was a... the only way to describe it is to call it an *explosion* of joy in my belly. It was so sudden & so overwhelmingly intense that I began to roll around on the floor laughing very loudly. I felt so embarassed yet I was unable to stop. I *thought* I had experienced intense laughter before & it always left me gasping for breath as I am an asthmatic, yet this time, even though I laughed like that for over an hour, it never once had that effect on me. Once the laughter had passed I became aware of a sweet sense of the tangible presence of God & I was being bathed in his love for me. All I could do was sit.
I felt like Joshua in the tent of meeting, Moses had left to speak to Israel but Joshua stayed behind in the presence of God. When I got up I was uncoordinated. My best friend & I staggered out, supporting one another.
After that release of God in my life I noticed an immediate change. The first change was in my passion for God, I suddenly *craved* to spend time with him. When I had my quiet time, it left me feeling deeply satisfied. I had a new peace & a new joy. There was a sense that certain past hurts were healed (though I was,I couldn't pinpoint what they were). God also began to deal with certain sins in my life which I tended to ignore as insignificant. I was also considerably more sensitive to the holy spirit.
A few days later I asked my friends to pray for my father in law who was very ill - as they prayed I suddely started laughing. While I was not laughing because of the situation I had a sense that God was laughing at the puny attempts of the devil to attack God's people.
Two months later I was prayed for again but instead of laughing as I expected, I began to shake ( though I was touched by holy joy later in the evening). The visiting pastor prophesied over me that God would begin to use my ministry in a different way. Within two weeks that prophecy came true. I discovered that one of my email pals had been sexually abused & began to minister to her. Previously I had been unable to do that because of pain over past sexual abuse in my own life. Obviously, that was one of the hurts which had been healed.