I must confess that God is still growing me in this area and I have a long long way to go. I have, however, met other pastors who seemed to really “be in step.” When I was a little kid living in Jacksonville, N.C., my dad pastored the “First Church” in that town. We would often go out in the country, however, to this other FWB church which I considered to be “off the chain.” These people shouted and carried on like they really believed their Christianity. These people would have eternal revival services . . . OK, not really eternal, but they just seemed that way to me. On a few occasions I made their pews my bedroom, especially when we’d have “Watchnight” services on New Year’s Services.
I remember the pastor there was named Johnny Floyd. He was pretty strange to my young mind. I remember distinctly one night being outside the front of that little church and Pastor Johnny laying his hands on me and praying for my healing because I had a cold. This guy didn’t care what you thought and he really believed in the power of God. And he seemed to listen to the Holy Spirit.
In the sovereignty of God, my first staff position was as a Music and Youth pastor with a relative of his named Winford Floyd. One day I was riding with Winford and he started talking about Johnny. He told me that one time he had a revival with Johnny. He said it was the most unusual thing, not because of their revival services. I don’t even remember him saying how they went. What I can’t forget is the stories he told me about Johnny being willing to do whatever the Holy Spirit told Him to do, whenever He told him to do it. He told me that one day they were just riding down the road and Johnny said, “Winford, pull in right here. The Lord wants me to talk to whoever is in that house.” Winford thought he was crazy. He didn’t have any idea who lived in the house and felt very awkward. Still, he screeched to a halt, turned around, and pulled in. Johnny went boldly up to the door, struck up a conversation, and led the lady to faith in Christ. Folks, that’s knee jerk obedience to the Holy Spirit. Most of us, me included, have never and may never do something like that, and I’m not saying that we necessarily should. What I am saying is that keeping in step with the Spirit means giving up moment-by-moment control to the Spirit.