by J. Gerald Harris

Have You Had a Gethsemane?
J. Gerald Harris
Matthew 26:36-46

If I were to ask you to name the top five spiritual experiences that you have had since your salvation, what would those experiences be? One of those memorial spiritual experiences was that December Sunday night in 1958 when I surrendered to God's call to preach the gospel. It was almost 40 years ago, but I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

Another spiritual experience which I will never forget was on February 6, 1970. That was the day the twins were born. There were complications and the doctors did not give Jerry a lot of hope for making it through the crisis. During that period of time, Martha Jean and I found out what it was like to cling to the Lord tenaciously in a spirit of desperation. But the Lord used that experience to teach us again that He is our only hope.

The third memorial spiritual experience that I would list took place in October of 1972 at a Bible conference at the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. It was at that conference that I really came to know something about the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. It was a conference that changed the direction and thrust of my ministry. At that meeting I came to understand God's Word that says, ''It is not by power, nor by might, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.''

Another unforgettable experience took place exactly one year ago when I was in the midst of the 40-day fast. That was an occasion that brought a deep sense of God's presence into my life. It was a time that challenged me to be a better Christian and a better pastor.

But then there is one other spiritual experience that I would have to rank at the very top of my list. This was an experience that Martha Jean and I shared together. This experience took place in August of 1974. Martha Jean and I were treated to a trip to the Holy Lands by our church in South Carolina. One afternoon, while we were in Israel, we got off the bus on top of the ...

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