Several years ago, Vickie and I attended a high school class reunion in my hometown of West Columbia, Texas. If you don’t know where West Columbia is, it is exactly three miles west of East Columbia, Texas. It was a great time of reconnecting with former classmates, people that I hadn’t seen since our high school graduation. The joy of seeing old friends was only surpassed by the incredible Texas barbecue.
I have a couple of distinct memories of the reunion. First, my biggest memory of the night was made when I discovered that the invitation’s B.Y.O.B. didn’t stand for “Bring Your Own Bible”. (Just a joke!) The second memory was made when I walked from table to table to talk to my former classmates. I’ll never forget spending time at a table with a guy who was known back in our high school days for his enormous love for beer and marijuana. After a few minutes at his table, I could see that things hadn’t changed. It was evident that the beer that he was drinking wasn’t his first bottle of the night. After a few minutes of conversation, he asked about the type of work that I do. Here’s the funny part of the memory. When I told him that Vickie and I were ministers, he immediately tried to cover his drunken condition and lifestyle by telling me that the bottle in his hand was the first beer that he had consumed in years. It was easy to see that this was one Texas-size lie. Mind you, I hadn’t said a single word about his lifestyle or what he was doing and yet just my presence made him uncomfortable. No sermons were preached or Bible verses quoted. It was my presence that caused him to know that things were wrong in his life.
I didn’t share this story to place me on a pedestal or berate my friend. The story is just a great illustration that shows the importance of recognizing the abiding presence of the One sent to forever live with and in us. (John 14:16). Brother Kenneth E. Hagin said it best …
“Continuing to pray and worship God in tongues helps us to
be ever conscious of His indwelling presence. If I can be
conscious of the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost
every day, it is bound to affect the way I live.”
~Kenneth E. Hagin “Why Tongues”
If you have ever wondered about the importance of praying in the Spirit, you have found your answer in Brother Hagin’s statement. Praying in the Spirit brings a constant awareness of the constant indwelling presence of the One sent to abide with and in us forever (John 14:16), produces a lifestyle pleasing to the Lord, and keeps the enemy in his place … under our feet!