Monday, November 13, 2017


This article describes why the typical church does not see more of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit at work. There are many personal reasons why individuals do not move in spiritual gifts, and we can list some of them in later posts. But this is written to describe the general church atmosphere that hinders the hungry and willing individual.  ----Billy Long

Our expectation of the Lord’s active presence working among us is often disappointed because we tend to create an artificial context that does not allow people to “come forth” in their gifts reaching out to one another. 
The absence of relational interaction quenches the real moving of the Holy Spirit. The typical theater style spectator setting forces the congregation to sit as a passive audience focused on the stage up front as the Holy Spirit performs through the pastor, the worship team, and special gifted people. In this context most of the church subconsciously feel they must be super-stars or “special” to be able to “perform.” And so they sit passive and watch. Their active involvement is restricted to listening, congregational praise, prayer and song.  These are good, but  still missing is the individual's ability to actively participate and flow in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Christians need fellowship where they can get to know one another and communicate personally within the group. The Holy Spirit works where people are able to open their hearts and share their concerns, their problems, and their gifts. Churches need to include gatherings in which there is no agenda or curriculum that hedges participants into some fixed path of discussion that precludes their creative sharing and involvement around issues that concern them and one another. The “living room” setting best facilitates this. Not just a small group, but one that has (as Watchman Nee says) an unofficial air and the marks of real life without the stiff formality of an official meeting that causes people to “act differently” than when they are relaxed and sharing their thoughts about real life issues in a comfortable setting.

One other problem that prevents Christians from learning to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit is that we tend to compartmentalize the gifts by isolating and analyzing them out of context. There is a place for the classroom, but an academic approach that teaches principles and methods without face to face interaction in a relational setting will give people intellectual knowledge without first-hand experience.
We should not divorce learning spiritual gifts from people. We learn the gifts in the context of reaching out to others and experiencing the gifts as they work through us to touch people to impart what the gifts provide. We don’t learn to move in the Holy Spirit by simply learning a technique; we learn by reaching out to others with compassion.


The first time I gave a word of knowledge in public was to a lady at a health club in Chapel Hill, NC.  I had never met her before. She was a doctor and her husband was an anesthesiologist. I stumbled around very awkwardly with my words, but managed to get them out. I told her the Lord had given me a word to encourage her. I then said, "You are married to your second husband. Your children are from your first marriage. There is tension in the home because your husband and the children do not get along.” She answered, “That’s right. My husband is rather immature." 
I then told her the Lord wanted to encourage her and help her and her family.
My presentation was not polished, but I was relieved to know the Lord had used me in spite of my uncertainty.
Every Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit should be moving in the Holy Spirit to minister to others. My book, Spiritual Power for Everyday Living, gives definitions and examples of spiritual gifts and helps the reader to better understand them. I encourage everyone to go to to order a copy.
The paragraphs below give some practical instruction in how to step out and see the Holy Spirit at work. You don’t have to be a spiritual superstar; you simply have to present yourself by using your feet, hands, and voice in very simple ways. If you follow the instructions below, you will be surprised at how the Holy Spirit will work through you as you open your heart to Him and others.      ---Billy Long

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…” Isaiah 52:7
“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold he is praying.’”  Acts 9: 10-11

Make an Approach.
Go to someone. You may not know what to say or do. But don’t worry. You must make your approach. Sometimes it’s like diving for the first time---jump off the board and figure it out on the way down. It is okay if you “belly-flop” or hit the water at a bad angle. You learn by doing. Peter sunk in the water, but he was the only one who got out of the boat. Who is the Lord most pleased with…the ones safely in the boat, or the bold one struggling to walk on the water? Even sinking, he was ahead of the others.

“Arise and Go.”
When Jesus appeared to Ananias with instructions for him to minister to Saul of Tarsus, He told him to “Arise and go” (Acts 9: 10-16). Sometimes the first act of faith is to simply get out of the chair and walk over to someone who needs ministry. Sometimes we miss out on the presence and power of God among us because we remain at a physical distance.
In approaching Saul, Ananias had to overcome more fears than we face in our gatherings. He responded to the Lord’s bidding and went to Paul, and the power of God worked through him. We will never minister unless we actually go to the person and make an approach.  It may mean stepping across the room, going to someone’s chair, walking to the front of the room, going across the street, or even across town. The power and the substance of what God wants to give will be given to us as we arise and go. We show faith and courage in simply stepping out.

“A Certain Disciple”
God will use you. You don’t have to be someone special. Ananias was not an apostle or some eminent person. He was like most of us. The Bible simply calls him “a certain disciple.” A true disciple is one who learns, follows, and commits to growth and usefulness in his walk with the Lord. When the Lord spoke to Ananias, his response was “Here am I,” which is equivalent to “Yes, Lord.” The Lord is pleased when we say, “Yes.”

“For Behold He is Praying”
We should be encouraged by the fact that the Holy Spirit works on both ends of the transaction. While the Lord was prompting Ananias to arise and go to Saul, Saul himself was praying and waiting before the Lord. He needed the touch and healing that Ananias was bringing. If we could glimpse into the spiritual realm and really see the needs, hopes, concerns, cries, and agonies that lie beneath the surface, hidden inside the hearts of the people around us, if we only realized how much God in His love desires to speak to, touch, encourage, and bless His children and those with whom we come in contact every day, we would be more motivated to reach out boldly with confidence and faith.

Use Your Hands
Implications of the Touch
If you don’t think you’re spiritual enough to say anything or move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you can at least walk over and lay your hand on someone’s shoulder. A touch can say a lot. The laying on of hands can signify sympathy, love, and caring when Christians pray and minister to one another. Reaching out to touch someone when praying for him or her can be a powerful channel for the Holy Spirit. The physical touch on the arm, shoulder, or head seems to break down the “walls” and helps people to open their hearts to receive. The touch implies compassion in the one ministering and receptivity in the one being ministered to. And the Holy Spirit does His work.

A Means of Impartation
Our hands represent the hands of Jesus when we reach out in His name. In the New Testament the laying on of hands was not just a liturgical, ceremonial activity. It was, and still is, a means of impartation. The Lord intends that something substantial and real actually happens. In the New Testament the laying on of hands was a means of…
a.    … imparting blessing. Matthew 19: 13-15; Genesis 48:13-15.
b.    …imparting the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Acts 8:17; 19:6
c.    …imparting healing. Mark 16:18; Luke 4:40.
d.    …commissioning ministries. Acts 6:6; 13:3.
e.    …imparting spiritual gifts. 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1: 6; Rom 1:11.
f.      …releasing God’s purpose. Acts 9: 12-18.

An Instrument of the Holy Spirit
Your hand becomes an instrument of the Holy Spirit when you reach out in faith and compassion. Laying your hand on someone releases the flow of God’s power. The efficacy is in the touch. The woman who had been sick for twelve years said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made whole.” (Matthew 9: 21). Because of her faith, the power of God went into her body when she touched Jesus.

No matter where you are in your spiritual growth, you can always reach out and touch someone. You can allow your hand to be the instrument through which Jesus touches others, especially if you have been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
So the Lord said, “Who has made man’s mouth....Have not I the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” −Exodus 4: 10-12

Speak up
The purpose of this segment is to encourage Christians to speak up in ministering to one another, especially in house groups and in one-to-one relationships. People are more likely to actively participate and interact with one another in a living room setting. Small groups, therefore, should be designed as a platform for openness and communication, a setting where people are at ease and comfortable enough to let down their walls, to listen, and to speak. We quench the Spirit when we are closed and silent. We allow the Holy Spirit to move when we remove the walls and open our hearts to one another. Churches need small groups that allow for relational interaction rather than always being centered around some agenda or a mini version of the large groups where people sit theater style listening to someone up front.

You don’t have to be a pastor to minister a word to others. The man Ananias whom Jesus sent to Saul was only a “certain disciple.” He held no ministerial office. A large portion of the church (except the apostles) was scattered abroad during time of Stephen’s persecution. They were not primarily preachers. They were Christians who had a testimony and went out “speaking” the word (Acts 11:19). The word “speaking” in this verse is not the Greek word for “preaching,” but simply the generic term “speaking.” The term implies individuals sharing their life and testimony in daily conversation with people they met every day in informal settings. They were willing to open their mouths and say something.

You don’t have to preach a sermon. You can share your testimony, tell someone what the Lord did for you or said to you. You can share the impression you received while listening or praying. As we interact with one another the Holy Spirit will use us in any of the following ways:
1.    Prayer. To simply walk over to someone and pray for them.
2.    Exhortation. To compassionately advise, encourage, or stir people to action.
3.    Prophecy. To speak a word from the Lord by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
4.    A word of knowledge. To share a revelation of some fact or issue.
5.    A Word of faith. A confident word that brings God’s answer or stirs others to faith.
6.    A word of wisdom. A word given to help in a difficult situation or time of perplexity.
7.    A word of comfort or encouragement.
8.    An expression of love and care
9.    A simple word to let a person know you are there and that you care. (You don’t have to have all the answers. People often just need to know someone is standing with them.)
10. Weeping over someone. Our tears are effective in touching the  
     hearts of others.

Our ministry to one another does not have to be thunderous or overwhelming. The power is in the still, small voice as we share the life of the Lord through humble and encouraging words or prayers. Even if we have little to offer, we must realize that the Lord will multiply our “bread” as we step out in faith and share it. He touches people with His love as we present ourselves to be instruments of His love.

What’s in the heart is what flows forth in our speech. The mouth functions properly when the heart is cultivated properly. The Christians who are most effective in ministry to others are those who have a genuine relationship with Jesus, who fellowship with Him in daily Bible reading and prayer, and who desire to reach out to others.
Therefore, when you approach someone who has requested prayer or ministry, you must remember that the Holy Spirit is with you and “the word is very near you, even in your mouth and in your heart.” You must simply step out in faith and share it.

"The Lord has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.”    Isaiah 50:4

If this article has helped you, you may want to consider ordering a copy of my book which gives very clear and practical teaching on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit, and praying in tongues. This book is helpful to new believers and mature Christians alike.  Go to my website to order a copy. See link in first paragraph.  ----Billy Long

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Please Introduce Yourself

I am grateful for those of you who visit my blog. I am especially pleased to have so many visitors from South Korea. I am blessed that you have been reading my posts and have recommended them to your friends. I would be blessed if you would send me a message and introduce yourself, so that I may know my new friends from South Korea. My email address is  
Billy Long

Friday, November 25, 2016

You Can Now Order My Book

My book is now available. If you want a copy or multiple copies, you can go to my website and purchase the book.  Just click on this link:
You can also order the e-book at    ---Billy Long

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Reunion with the kid who was healed 45 years ago

Below is a testimony of a miraculous healing that many of my friends have read about before. But the final paragraphs below give some new information and present an addendum experienced on Facebook today, a glorious reunion with the high school kid, now an adult, who confirms the testimony. ---Billy Long

In 1971 when Laurel and I were first married we were asked to speak at a youth retreat for a group of high school kids from a Baptist church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.. While I was sharing our testimony of our walk and experiences with the Lord, you could have heard a pin drop. It was as if Jesus was walking among us. His presence became more real each time I mentioned his name. A couple of the kids expressed a desire to know Him. Then a few more. Suddenly twenty of them were on their feet and praying with and for one another. The other twenty, along with the football players, remained seated and just gazed in wonder at what was happening.

Then a young man named Rob came up to me. He had both emphysema and asthma. His breathing was a loud wheezing and was so labored that it could be heard all over the room. He had a breathing machine with him, and his doctors had recommended that he not go to this retreat. But there he stood before me with a look of despair and desperation. I pulled him off to the side and said, “Rob, do you want to know Jesus?” He said, “Yes,” but then pointed to his chest to communicate the agony he was going through with his lungs.
I quoted Jesus' words about laying hands on the sick, and then I laid my hands on his head asking Jesus to touch him. Suddenly he fell back and began to shout, “I can breathe! I can breathe!” The Lord had instantly healed him of the emphysema and asthma. I then yelled out to the group, “Hey, everybody, God just healed Rob!” Immediately the other twenty kids rose up like a covey of quail. All forty kids were standing with arms uplifted to the Lord praising and thanking Him for the miracle. They all instantly gave their lives to the Lord and stood there weeping, laughing, and praising Him. God did a wonderful work in those young people.
Following the retreat, the youth pastor invited me to meet with the group a couple times and teach them about the Holy Spirit. This was my senior year of at college, and when I graduated college Laurel and I moved away and have had no contact with Rob for the last 45 years. However, we often spoke of Rob and wondered where he was and how he was doing, and we often told the story of his healing.

Then today, to my great surprise and delight, I received the following message on Facebook. Here is how the exchange went:
ROB MITCHELL: "Can you remember a youth retreat in the summer of '71 in Oklahoma? Steve Stockley was the youth pastor from Oral Roberts University. Were you the guest speaker?"
BILLY LONG: "Rob, how could I forget that!!!! Such a wonderful retreat. Are you the Rob who was healed?"
ROB MITCHELL: "Wow! This is great! Do you remember praying for me? I was completely healed that day, forever changed my life, and the lives of many others. I pastored for 20 years, and told my testimony everywhere I went. I'm crying like a baby just thinking about it… So much to tell you. Will surely talk some more, I still think of you and Laurel often."

Rob and his wife have five wonderful on-fire Christian children, and they currently lead a ministry in the toughest part of Tulsa. What a wonderful and joyful blessing it was to me and Laurel to re-establish contact with Rob, and now 45 years later, to hear him confirm the healing that took place at that retreat, and to know that he has been serving and walking with the Lord faithfully all these years.
I am rejoicing and am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to re-establish contact and hear the continuing story of his testimony.
Praise the Lord!
Billy Long

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Scroll down to read earlier posts

I want to remind the reader that you have to scroll down to read earlier posts. The article posted below is the most recent in the series on prophetic ministry in the New Testament Church. Scroll down to read earlier posts that lay foundations and help the reader to better understand the topic.  At the very bottom of the page you can click "older posts" to go back even further and read the articles on Spiritual Gifts that preceded and serve as an introduction to this series.  ---Billy Long

Saturday, January 3, 2015

But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all...and thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.                  1 Corinthian 14: 24-25.