Do you love Jesus ever so desperately, but you sense that He must have more for you? Do you feel dry inside, and feel like you need to be anointed with fresh oil from Heaven? Do you read the stories about how God moved in power in the book of Acts, and long for Him to do those things in your life too?
Do you lack real POWER in your life?
If you said yes to any of those questions, then you need the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In our series about who the Holy Spirit is, we helped you get to know the amazing, beautiful Person of the Holy Spirit. Now, I want to talk to you today about how He can radically transform your life, TODAY, and you will never, ever, ever be the same.
What is the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a radical infilling of the Holy Spirit. It is a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit that will change you forever.
It is called a “baptism” because it is a big, permanent dunking in the Holy Spirit. Just like what would happen if you got dunked in a big pot of red ink. You go in one way, but you come out totally different. When Jesus dunks you in the Holy Spirit, everything changes.
Who gives the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
Jesus does. In Luke 3:16, John the Baptist foretold this:
John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Jesus is the One who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who changes us and fills us, but Jesus is the One who sends Him.
In decades past, the baptism in the Holy Spirit was called “the blessing,” because it is indeed a life-transforming blessing from above.
When Jesus baptizes you in the Holy Spirit, everything changes. For example:
- Your heart changes; you have a fresh passion and hunger for God.
- God suddenly seems more real than ever before. He feels tangible.
- YOU suddenly feel more alive than ever before. Everything about you and your relationship with God comes alive.
- You will feel a fresh and overwhelming gratefulness rising up in your heart.
- The Scriptures will suddenly make sense; they begin to burn in your heart as you read.
- You will notice that it’s suddenly easier to hear God speak to you than ever before.
- You will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit with you more easily, and more often, than you used to. (And you can train yourself to pay attention to Him always, so that you feel His presence 100% of the time.)
- You will most likely notice new spiritual gifts begin to operate in your life after you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit–gifts like speaking in various tongues; words of wisdom; words of knowledge; healing; mercy; etc. (We will talk a lot more about the spiritual gifts in upcoming weeks.)
When you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you began one way but you come out another way. It’s like Jesus dunks you in a boiling pot of His Spirit and you come out totally transformed. Like Saul, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you become another person!
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not the same thing as your salvation experience. It is a second work of the Holy Spirit, in addition to salvation.
It can happen at the same time you are saved, but it often happens some time after. For example, I was saved in 2001 and baptized in the Holy Spirit in 2003, probably because it took me two years to hear about Holy Spirit baptism! But when Jesus baptized me in the Holy Spirit, my life totally changed.
In the book of Acts, the early church was praying in the Upper Room in Acts 2. They were already saved; they believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord. But then they were radically filled with the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 10:30-48, on the other hand, Cornelius and his household were baptized in the Holy Spirit while Peter was still preaching the Gospel to them! They believed on Jesus because of Peter’s words, and were instantly filled with the Holy Spirit AND with His gifts, for they started speaking in other tongues!
It is a baptism of fire.
In the Scripture quoted above, John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus would baptize people in the Holy Spirit AND FIRE. When Jesus baptizes you in the Holy Spirit, you start to burn with passion for God. BURN. He literally becomes your Everything, the Love of your life, the Desire of your heart, your Bread and Water. You are filled with fire for Jesus.
It is an infilling of power.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit fills you with power to do real things in real life. He gives you power, strength, and endurance to live successfully, to make good decisions, to have physical stamina when you didn’t have any before, to have mental and emotional fortitude.
He also gives you power to witness for Him, and to help and minister to others. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said:
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 Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
What does that look like? A very common example would be, if you’re praying for someone, you won’t pray weak, dry prayers. Instead:
- You’ll pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- He will tell you exactly what you need to pray.
- He will show you how to speak and decree His Word into their lives.
- You will often see Him move on the person you are ministering to in visible ways, such as touching their heart so strongly that they tremble, weep, and even lose physical strength such that they have to sit down and rest because the Holy Spirit is touching them so powerfully.
He’ll also give you the power to impart gifts and graces into other people’s lives by the laying on of your hands. He’ll give you power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons, and work signs, wonders, and miracles to demonstrate His goodness and love to the lost, so that they are compelled to be saved.
What does the baptism in the Holy Spirit feel like?
It feels like a marvelous, powerful, total immersion in the love of Abba Father God–our Papa.
Remember that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of adoption. He’s the one who cries out “Abba! Father!” (“Abba” meaning “Daddyyyyyy!” in Hebrew) in your heart. So when Jesus baptizes you in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit manifests Himself in power… how? You guessed it: with Father’s love! He brings you close to our Daddy! His heart joins with your heart and together you cry out:
“PAPA!!!!” 🙂 🙂 🙂
What else does the baptism in the Holy Spirit feel like? It feels like a river flowing through your spirit for the first time, bringing new life into every place that was dead before. That’s why Jesus said, in John 7:37-39:
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
It also feels like an amazing encounter with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is obsessed with Jesus. He is the Spirit of Christ. So when you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit shows you the Person of Christ, and also the love of Father God, in one magnificent, powerful encounter.
It involves your complete surrender to the Holy Spirit.
When you give your life to Jesus and are saved from sin and given eternal life, He gives you the Holy Spirit to live inside you. But you will not see the Holy Spirit operating in the total fullness of His power in your life until Jesus baptizes you in the Holy Spirit. You will see some of His work, of course. But there is SO MUCH MORE.
And to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you must fully accept the Holy Spirit as your Lord, just like Jesus and Father are your Lord as well. You must be willing to accept His gifts, His instruction, and His power.
To sum that up: When you get saved, you get the Holy Spirit. But when Jesus baptizes you in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit gets you. 🙂
So how do you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
You ask. In Luke 11:9-13, Jesus said:
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
So pray this with me:
“Dear Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name, I thank You for Your promise that You will freely give the Holy Spirit to those who ask You. Father God, I love You so much. I want all that You have for me. Jesus, please baptize me in the Holy Spirit right now. I accept the Holy Spirit as my Lord and Boss, and the Spirit of adoption who binds me to You, shows me Jesus, and will teach and guide me.
Precious Holy Spirit, please have me completely and totally for Yourself. I surrender to You. Thank You, Father God. Thank You, Jesus, for baptizing me in Your Spirit. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for living inside me and transforming me right now. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
Now stop and let Him touch you. And as He touches you, talk back to Him–even if all you can do is cry out, even with sounds or words in languages that you don’t understand.
Did the Holy Spirit touch you as you read this post? If so, please leave a comment below (later, after you let Him have His way in your heart!).
Read all the posts in this series about the power gifts!
- Diverse Tongues (Speaking in Tongues)
- What Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (and How To Receive It)
- My Story: How I Received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Words of Knowledge
- How I Learned to Use My Prayer Language
- The Gift of Prophecy
- Discernment of Spirits
- How Words of Wisdom Accomplish the Impossible
- How Interpretation of Tongues Helps You Know Father’s Heart
- Miracles that Bear Witness for Jesus
- Easy Faith for the Impossible
- Healings That Change the World
If one or more of these encouraging words spoke directly to your heart, would you leave a comment below and share? I’d love to hear how Papa is speaking to you.
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