My Personal Experience

Posted in: Holy Spirit, 0660
By Dr. Larry Ollison

In the early years of my life and ministry, I had heard about miracles, but I had never seen any. I wanted to be a person who could experience them. If healing was for today, I didn’t just want to hear about someone’s friend who knew somebody in Omaha that got healed. I wanted to see the healing first hand. If casting out demons was actually real, I didn’t want to just hear about it, I wanted to see it. If miracles were not a thing of the past, but truly existed today, I wanted to see them happen.

Although I knew Jesus said it was more blessed to believe without seeing (John 20:29), I was in a place in my life where I needed to see something supernatural. I had spent my life going to church and hearing testimonies, but the greatest miracles I had ever heard were of how someone miraculously found a parking spot on a busy shopping day or how a headache had gone away. While it is true that God takes care of small things, I wanted to see His power manifested to a greater degree.

When I found out that my favorite college professor, Dr. Jerry Horner, was leaving my university, I decided to invite him to our house during the summer break for a going away celebration. I also invited three other Baptist pastors who were attending the university, along with their spouses. Our house was on the lake, so everyone enjoyed the day swimming, boating, and cooking out.

As it began to get dark and people were starting to leave, one of the ministers made a comment about how he believed Melchizedek was the Christ. Well, immediately everyone got their Bibles out of their cars and a Bible study started in our living room. As Dr. Horner taught us, the topic changed to healing in the Bible.

One of the pastor’s wives had an eye that was turned sideways in the socket, and it had been this way all of her life. As the Bible study progressed near midnight, Dr. Horner asked her if she would like to be healed. He placed his hand a few inches in front of her face and, without touching her, in a normal voice he simply said, “In the name of Jesus, be healed.” When he removed his hand, both of her eyes were straight and normal.

I knew her husband very well from college. I immediately asked him to come with me into the kitchen and I said, “Tell me the truth. I don’t want any exaggeration. Has your wife ever been able to hold her eye straight since you have known her?” He said, “Honestly, one time she tried to hold her eye straight. She never did accomplish it, but it gave her a headache so severe that she had to go to the doctor. The doctor told her, ‘Don’t you ever try to hold that eye straight again. It will never move and it could actually cause greater harm.’” I went back into the living room and both of her eyes were still straight.

I invited them back two weeks later for watermelon to see if her eye was still straight. It was. She was totally healed.

When I saw this miraculous healing take place, I completely submitted to the things of God and to the Holy Spirit. Now my heart yearned for more. In my long hours of driving, I had been telling God, “If there is anything else, I want it.” I even remember once saying, “Even speaking in tongues, if it is of You, I want it.” I could barely get those words out of my mouth, but my heart was sincere. If tongues were of God, I wanted them!

At that moment, my desire to receive the supernatural manifestation of everything available from God became greater than the fear imparted by my denomination and confusing religious experiences of the past. That moment became the turning point when God began to pour out His Spirit in my life.

That night as I stood before Dr. Jerry Horner, he placed his hands on my head and he said something about receiving the Holy Spirit. I’m not sure exactly what he said, but I do know that words came out of my mouth and they were not in English. I remember him telling me later that he heard me speaking in ancient Hebrew and Greek as I was praising God.

My life changed that night. My preaching and teaching changed that night. My passion changed that night and now, over forty years later, the fire is still burning inside of me. I was saved, born again, and going to heaven at the age of seven. But as a young, married college student, I received the gift of the Promise (Acts 1:4) and I’ve never been the same since. Truly receiving the Holy Spirit is a powerful, life-changing second experience.

Devotion 0660