I have been struggling for the past ten years or so with feeling like an imposter. I know that on June 7, 2011, God filled me with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. However, for whatever reason, I’ve rarely been able to speak/pray in tongues since the initial month or so. The capability quite literally disappeared one day; it seems.
When I try to pray, thoughts like “You don’t have the Holy Ghost”, “You aren’t saved”, “You’re not like everyone else”, “If you die, you’re going to hell”, “You’re a fake Apostolic” … and more run through my head. Only my pastor and a handful of others know about this issue until now. Maybe this will help someone to know that you are not alone if this is your struggle too.
I’ve done everything in my power to overcome this problem. I have prayed, fasted, fasted and prayed, been anointed and prayed for, asked others to pray, begged God, made deals with God, and even gave up completely a dozen times or so. But when something this important keeps tugging at my heart, I don’t give up for long.
I was praying today, and this dilemma came up again in my spirit. I feel like God really gave me a revelation on it for the first time in a long time. For some, it may sound like common sense, but God gave it to me in a way that deeply affected me. Here are some points I would like to discuss:
- I can’t keep longing for, praying for, and asking for something but then not be willing to do the work to get it. I can’t keep being disappointed in God when I’m the one who’s not working towards what I’m wanting. God is just waiting for me. It’s like being out of shape. I can want a toned body all I want, but if I’m not willing to eat right and work out, it’s never going to happen. And I have no one to blame but myself.
- Sometimes I’m afraid I will put in all this effort and never get to where I want to be. But if I don’t put in any work at all, I’m guaranteed to stay where I am. So, which is worse: fear of not getting to where I want to be or the fear of staying the same?
- It does take time. When working out, our physical body doesn’t change overnight. It takes weeks and months of hard work and dedication. The spiritual man is the same. I probably won’t speak fluently with tongues in a day, a week, or even a month, but I will be growing and getting closer to where I want to be.
- There is no final goal in God. With our bodies, we can hit a goal weight or have a goal of a certain body fat percentage. But with the Holy Ghost, there’s always more to discover and learn and more depths to go. We will never have arrived or made it until we get to Heaven.
- If I have a personal trainer who gives me a plan to get the kind of body I want, I can’t blame the personal trainer if I don’t follow the plan. The trainer can’t do the work for me or magically give me something I didn’t work for. Spiritual results aren’t going to just fall into my lap either. I have to put in the work if I want to see a change.
- What about personal chefs? If I want to eat right, I can hire a personal chef to cook healthy food for every meal, but if I’m sneaking junk food on the way home from work, I’m just sabotaging all that good nutrition and might even gain weight. Likewise, if I’m praying and reading the Word but listening to ungodly music or watching things I shouldn’t, it’s going to hinder my progress and maybe even make me go backward.
- What fun is a diet and exercise program without a buddy for moral support? Someone to offer encouragement when I’m tempted to slip up or give me support to help me get back on the right path if I do. Someone to exercise with to make me feel like I’m not doing it on my own. We saints need each other. We aren’t meant to walk this road alone. We should find a mentor or someone we trust and want to grow with to be an encouragement to each other.
Whatever our spiritual goals may be, we cannot sit back and just wish them into existence. We need to put in the effort of prayer, fasting, Bible reading, attending church, listening to preaching, and just being alone with God to develop a deeper relationship with Him.
We should not have a fear of failure, but rather a discontent with staying the same. Sometimes, I think I may even have a fear of success! I’ve been so stuck in this rut for ten years, I can’t imagine what it would be like to break free, and sometimes I’m afraid of the unknown… but I know it will be glorious to escape from my imposter syndrome and finally feel the joy and peace of knowing I’m saved.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Psalms 51:10-12