Saturday, November 24, 2018

21 Day Devotional: Day 20: Holy Spirit Baptism.

As with water baptism, Holy Spirit baptism is also a complete submersion, but it is a complete submersion and surrender to Holy Spirit.  Instead of being submerged and covered in water, we are asking God to completely submerge us, surround us, and cover us in His Spirit.  His Spirit dwells inside of us from the moment we confess our sins and ask His forgiveness.  Now, we want to move to the next level and live a life fully and completely surrendered to Him.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals  I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)

“For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea  and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The call to holy spirit baptism is a call to be completely filled and overwhelmed with Holy Spirit.  It is a call for us to burn with desire for God and for His Word and for His work.  It is a call for a fire to be ignited in us and for us to have a passion for Him that overflows into every aspect of our life.  And, it is a call for us to be empowered to spread the good news and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

How do you receive the baptism of Holy Spirit? 
You ask.  Just as you asked for forgiveness of your sins, you ask God to baptize you in His Holy Spirit and completely fill your life and cover your life. 

How do I know I have been filled with Holy Spirit?
You believe.  You trust.  You obey.  As you grow in your faith with Jesus, you will find that you actually “feel” God’s Spirit and His presence with you.  There will also be times when you feel nothing.  God does not deal with each of us the same, He loves us and deals with us individually and uniquely.  We are each individual and unique human beings, we should not expect that we would hear, and react the same to God’s presence and His Spirit. 
There are fruits of the Spirit that will develop in you.  The Bible teaches us that we are known by our fruits.  Our faith, our Christianity, our beliefs are not displayed by how we dress, how long our hair is… but by the fruit our lives produce.  Galatians 5:22-23 teach us that a Spirit filled life produces love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

There are also gifts of the Spirit, or ways that Holy Spirit chooses to work in and through us.  Holy Spirit empowers us and uses us to operate through nine gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.  Words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, diverse tongues, and interpretation of tongues are all manifestations of Holy Spirit and He uses these gifts to work through us to bless, to touch, and to profit His church.  That is one very important thing to always keep in mind, the gifts of Holy Spirit are used to benefit the church and to bring honor and glory to God… never to condemn, put down, tear down, or destroy others. 

God may use you in a gift.  You may have an urge to pray a prayer of healing over someone’s life.  You may lay hands on a person to pray and they are healed or blessed.  A scripture may come to your mind and you feel the need to speak it to a friend or loved one.  These are all ways that God works through us with His Spirit.

Differences in sects of religion come from varying beliefs in the gifts of Holy Spirit.  Some churches preach and teach that none of the gifts are operational in today’s church.  Some churches teach and preach that all nine gifts are operational.  Other churches profess that only certain gifts are operational, and some churches preach and teach that unless you operate in the gifts you are not saved.  The latter statement is most true regarding the gift of speaking in tongues.  Many churches preach that unless you speak in an unknown language, or tongue, that you have not been baptized or filled with Holy Spirit. 

God’s Word declares that He does not change.  He has always existed, and He always will exist.  He is the beginning and the end.  And, God exists eternally in three parts.  Therefore, His gifts did not appear with the beginning of the church, and they cannot disappear now that the church is established… His gifts exist eternally, just like Him. 

Our real desire should not be to prove, disprove, or convince anyone of the operation of specific gifts.  If you desire a particular gift from Holy Spirit, ask Him for that gift and to use you in that way.  But, your primary focus should never be on a particular gift, but always on the giver.  Therefore, don’t concentrate on receiving a particular thing from God, but instead concentrate on giving Him your every thing and allowing Him to use you in the way He desires.  Be willing, humble, and obedient to allowing Him to operate in your life.  Realize that the only requirement for Heaven is confessing Jesus as Lord.  Whether you shout, dance, cry, or speak in an unknown tongue does not guarantee your salvation, make you any better of a Christian, or mean that you have reached some “level” of spirituality.  At the foot of the cross, we are all on equal ground and God knows exactly how to best use each of us for His kingdom and for His glory.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit is simply a surrender fully to God.  It is a life that says “use me”.  It’s not proof of how much you read your Bible, how often you pray, or how much tithes you pay.  It is a life that says, “God I belong to you.  I want to be full of your Holy Spirit and develop in your ways and be empowered to reach others for you”. 

Read John Chapter 20.

No comments:

Post a Comment