I want you to know that there is something great and wonderful in the baptism of the Holy Spirit! There is nothing that can compare to this moment in the life of a saint. It is the day that God moves in.
Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is not the finish line of your faith, but the starting line.
This is not a matter of salvation, as we can be saved yet not yet filled. “For as yet He [the Holy Spirit] had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:16-17).
If you have been baptized, you know what I mean. If you desire this baptism, I want to encourage you to keep striving for it. And if you don’t believe in it, I pray that you would at least read my story. Always know that there is more to God than you know.
For many years I was teaching and preaching in prison ministry. I was most blessed to meet and be mentored by some mighty servants filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Yet I had no power of the Holy Spirit in me. I could argue doctrine better than I could live it. I could preach on power, but I could not step down from the podium and walk in it.
I was striving to gain something more. I longed to live a life higher than I was able to live. I wanted to have what I saw that others had. I wanted to live as high as I preached. I longed to have a deeper more intimate relationship with the Lord. I wanted to be useful in the Hands of God.
Then there was one day that I will never forget. May we all be blessed to have such a day! I had been doing ministry for several days in a row in prison. I had been teaching and preaching, on what I do not remember. In those days, my teaching was based on human power and so had little power.
I had been fasting from food, was on my third day not eating. Friends, I want you to know, that if you want to get closer to God, you must move further away from yourself. If you are not willing to sacrifice, then what is it you have to give?
I went to a spirit-filled meeting and it was very special. I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in this place. I could see the Holy Spirit moving in the man leading this meeting. I will never forget the encounter I had with this man. When he came near me he just breathed out on me and I instantly collapsed and could not get back up. Friends, when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon you, the weight of glory is greater than you can bear.
I cannot explain the theology of that moment, but I felt it as sure as I feel the warmth from the sun. I was overwhelmed by a sense of the Holy Spirit upon me, like a wave of the goodness of God. I can explain this experience no better than I can explain an infinite God. My whole life is divided from before and after this one moment. I lived the verse from Ezekiel 36:27 “I will put My Spirit within you…”.
Friends, we need to stop putting God in a box in how He might move in the life of a saint. I can tell you that from that day forward the Holy Spirit began to manifest in my life in a hundred ways, too many to mention here. On occasion, I will preach or post a blog to tell of some of my experiences. But I don’t want to just tell people how great it is, to be some interesting showpiece. No, I want to help them get there! There are no limits in the resources of God, there is room in the Holy Spirit for us all.
People think if they can become obedient, then they will get filled with the Holy Spirit. No. It is the other way around. When once you become filled by the Holy Spirit, then by His power can you ever be obedient. The Lord promised us, “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes…” (Ezekiel 36:27). Our obedience reflects the Holy Spirit in us. Don’t you get it, He causes the obedience. He knew we could not do it on our own.
Friends, if you don’t know if you are filled by the Holy Spirit, let me just say you are probably not. Jesus said there would be power. If there is no power, then that is your sign. Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8). The proof of power is power. If you don’t walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, then you are on your own. And where has that gotten you so far?
There is no qualification to being filled other than you are saved, you are willing and you get poured into. This pouring into you is not by the person pouring, it is only through them. The Lord said, “I will put My Spirit within you…” (Ezekiel 36:27). He puts the Spirit in you! Won’t you just let Him?
Argue with me if you will, but nobody can win an argument with a man who has already lived it. And if you don’t have it, oh friend, seek it! There is nothing on earth more wonderful than to have the Holy Spirit reigning in you. It is the devil that fears an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church. And it is the devil that spreads the lie that there is no such filling such that the church would remain powerless.
Don’t you want it? Don’t you long for it? Can’t you sense something is missing? Know that it is God’s will that you would have it. “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. …be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:17-18).
When you are filled by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer just a man or a woman. The greater the yielding to the Holy Spirit, the greater the filling. Won’t you just yield?
If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then stop limiting yourself to only your abilities. Do not lower the bar to your own abilities, but raise it to His. Between me and the Holy Spirit, He can do anything!
And for you ministers who are already filled, if you want to lay hands or breath out that someone may be filled, never think you can cause anything. Stop the processes and just be the utensil in His process. You need to get out of the way! It is the Holy Spirit through you that moves onto the one you are laying hands on. And if you want to do it for your glory, then stop, before He stops you.
Oh, I pray friends, that you would have this great baptism of the Holy Spirit!
Blessings to you,