Day 4 - Fresh Start
LIVING IN THE SPIRIT
Because you have given your life to Christ (salvation), you have now become part of a spiritual family. Being born again (another way to say saved) takes you into a deeper realm of spiritual awareness. And because you are born again, the Holy Spirit wants to give you a supernatural gift called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus told his disciples just before He ascended into heaven that they were to wait for the promise of the Father; which was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). So the disciples waited, and in Acts 2:1-13 they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues. When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, we receive power and authority not just to speak for God, but to demonstrate His power!
Who is it for?
Acts 2:38-39 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."
There are many passages throughout the book of Acts that point to individuals or groups of people who were baptized in the Holy Spirit. But in every case, those who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, were all believers in Jesus Christ. So this gift from God is meant for any believer to have. It should be anticipated and desired by all who call themselves followers of Jesus. Act 8:14-16 and Act 10:44-46 would be great examples of this. The pattern is people believe on the name of Jesus and then they receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
What is its purpose?
The purpose of this baptism is to receive power to live for Jesus. It is this power from God that enables us to minister effectively for Him. There may be all kinds of miracles, signs, and wonders that will happen as we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. As the Holy Spirit’s power flows through us, we will find the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit continually. (Acts 4:31). Just as you drink a glass of water and it empties, to be refreshed again, you need to have the glass refilled. It is the same with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – we must continually be ”refilled”!
How do you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
On each occasion in scripture that believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit they heard about it and the leaders laid hands on them and prayed and they received the Gift of the Holy Spirit. God does not show favoritism. If He baptized others, He wants to baptize you.
Some believers receive the baptism almost immediately while others may wait for various periods of time. The Holy Spirit will move and work as He chooses. But He will never impose Himself on anyone. The individual may need time to prepare himself or herself before they are able to yield fully to the Holy Spirits control. You can be filled with the Holy Spirit anywhere and at any time.
One of our ladies here at Christian Life was about to leave her house and went upstairs to change her clothes and while she was changing, the Holy Spirit came upon her and she was filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time and began speaking in tongues.
So as you anticipate this wonderful and necessary gift of the Holy Spirit, don’t be frustrated if you don’t receive right away. Just stay tender before the Lord and keep your heart in a position of expectancy.
How do I prepare to receive the Holy Spirit?
Seek the one who is baptizing you and not so much the baptism. This keeps you looking to Jesus rather than for an experience. The gift of the Holy Spirit is exactly that, a “gift”. It cannot be earned by good deeds. The enemy would like for us to work for the baptism rather than to receive it as a gift. Confess any known sin in your life. This will keep your heart clean and allow the ”HOLY” Spirit to be welcomed. Worship the Lord with expressions of praise and adoration. This will set a welcoming atmosphere for the Holy Spirit. Yield to any “welling up” within your spirit. You cannot speak two languages at one time so there will need to be a surrender to the prompting of the Holy Spirit if you are going to speak in another tongue.
May the Lord bless you on your journey as you draw near to Him!
Spend some time in worship. Put on some familiar Christian music and just love on Jesus. Then read Acts Chapter 2 and familiarize yourself with the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Keep your heart open to experiencing all that God has for you!
Consider reading the rest of the book of Acts in bible study in the days ahead. Look for occasions when people received the Holy Spirit.
Fresh Start: Beginning Your Faith Journey
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