Make It Real Jan 09

I have heard people refer to the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. What is it? Is this a valid experience for today? Should Christians seek this baptism? How does one know if they have experienced it?

I would like to share how I personally experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was in a denominational church at the time that I began to seek after God. As a young girl I recall watching a television preacher who led me in a prayer to accept Jesus as Lord of my life. However, it was many years later, after the birth of my first child, that I began to seek to know Jesus in a deeper way. I had attended a mother’s morning out-group and was intrigued as one of the hosts of the meeting shared how Jesus had helped her cope with the responsibilities of getting to the meeting. It was as if she actually knew Jesus. I left that meeting hungry to discover if one could actually know Jesus as one knows a friend. A journey that will never end began that day: A journey into intimacy with Jesus.
One evening I was reading the Book of Acts and actually placed my hand over the scriptures in chapter two. I prayed that if I had not experienced the outpouring that I saw recorded in the Word that God would grant me that privilege.

And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven, as being borne along by a violent wind! And it filled all the house where they were sitting. And tongues as of fire appeared to them being distributed, and it sat on each one of them. And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave ability to them to speak. (Acts 2:2-4)

Nothing of significance happened as I finished the prayer. However, a few weeks later I was purchasing Christmas gifts for the Angel Tree at my church. Suddenly I was overcome with compassion for those children who would not have their parent with them on Christmas morning. They did not need these gifts, they needed parents who know God. I cried as I placed the items in my automobile. The Holy Spirit filled my car. I could literally feel His awesome presence. The tears flowed and I heard strange words flowing effortlessly out of my mouth. I had no idea what I was experiencing but I knew that I had never felt as close to God before. It drew me into a place of surrender and desire for more of Jesus.
With no idea as to what had happened to me on my drive home from Christmas shopping, I ran upstairs and asked God to reveal to me what had transpired. Verse after verse, the Holy Spirit revealed the Book of Acts to me. I encourage you to study with an open heart the following scriptures: Acts 2: 2-28, Acts 10:44-47 and Acts 11:12-19.
I want to point out that the salvation experience and the Holy Spirit baptism are two distinct occurrences. If you study the scriptures, you will find that Jesus experienced the in filling of the Holy Spirit. In the Book of John you will find that Jesus is the Word of God. That He became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1: 14). We can conclude that Jesus is God who came in a human body for the purpose of redeeming mankind from his captivity to satan. (John 3:16). Jesus being God in flesh still had to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit before He was able to begin His earthly ministry.

And it happened, in the baptizing of all the people , Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven opened; and the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily form as a dove upon Him. And there was a voice out of Heaven, saying, You are My Son, the Beloved; in You I have been delighting. (Luke 3: 21-22)

Immediately following this baptism of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tested in the wilderness (see Luke 4: 1-13) I believe that if we would seriously consider the need for this experience of the Holy Spirit falling on our flesh, we would also find the strength to say no to the enemy’s temptations. The Holy Spirit falls on our flesh to empower us to walk after the Spirit and not the flesh. Jesus being God had no need to be “born again” by the Spirit of God. He did not have a human spirit, He was God and He had the Spirit of God. He did not have a human soul. He had the soul of God. That is why He declares throughout the gospels that when you see Him you see the Father. The Word of God reveals the soul of God: His personality, emotions and characteristics.
I want you to understand that Jesus had to have a divine encounter with the Holy Spirit falling on Him before He could defeat the enemy. He needed this empowerment to fulfill the call on His life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the encounter that enables us to be overcomers. The baptism empowers us to fulfill the great commission of winning souls to the Kingdom of God. 

Look with me at Acts 8: 14-17. You will find a situation in which Peter is praying for some believers to receive the Holy Spirit. It states that Peter was sent to Samaria because the people had received the Word of the Lord but had not experienced the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit fell on them, something so real happened that a sorcerer wanted to know if he could purchase the power to bring the Holy Spirit down upon people. I believe that those who had encountered the Holy Spirit, manifested His presence in a way that was obvious. A study of the scriptures would cause one to conclude that speaking in tongues as on the day of Pentecost was the outward sign that followed the baptism experience. (see Acts 2: 2-28 and Acts 10:46)

Next month I will conclude this teaching on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

Let’s pray: Dear Heavenly Father, I ask you to quicken those who are seriously seeking to walk in your power to read the Book of Acts with eyes to see what the Spirit would reveal to them. I thank you for your power to fulfill the great commission. Lord we need all that your Spirit has been sent to accomplish in your church. Please help us to experience you every day. In Jesus Name, AMEN


Joy Comes In The Morning

sm-book-img Joy Comes in the Morning  is Cyndi Foster's testimony of overcoming sorrow and grief. Available for an offering of $10.00

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