The following is Charles Finney’s testimony of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. I’m struck by the sovereign-ness of the suddenly that overtook him. Undoubtedly there is an aspect of God’s sovereignty in the baptism of the Holy Spirit that we cannot control. Consider the apostle Paul’s testimony. We can’t do His part and He will not do our part. For the one who knows, there’s a necessary seeking. For the hungry but uninformed there is a heavenly supply adequate to fill the longing heart.
I pray that we too would experience the “waves of liquid love” that Finney experienced. Let this testimony pique your desire for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit.
“As I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.
No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me. I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more; yet I had no fear of death.
How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know. But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir for I was the leader of the choir came into the office to see me. He was a member of the church. He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said to me, “Mr. Finney, what ails you? I could make him no answer for some time. He then said, “Are you in pain? I gathered myself up as best I could, and replied, “No, but so happy that I cannot live.
He turned and left the office, and in a few minutes returned with one of the elders of the church, whose shop was nearly across the way from our office. This elder was a very serious man; and in my presence had been very watchful, and I had scarcely ever seen him laugh. When he came in, I was very much in the state in which I was when the young man went out to call him. He asked me how I felt, and I began to tell him. Instead of saying anything, he fell into a most spasmodic laughter. It seemed as if it was impossible for him to keep from laughing from the very bottom of his heart…just at the time when I was giving an account of my feelings to this elder of the church, and to the other member who was with him, this young man came into the office. I was sitting with my back toward the door, and barely observed that he came in. He listened with astonishment to what I was saying, and the first I knew he partly fell upon the floor, and cried out in the greatest agony of mind, “Do pray for me!”