How are we baptized in the Holy Spirit?
First, let's look at where this is found in the Bible. Jesus, before ascending into Heaven, instructed His disciples to wait in the Upper Room until the Holy Spirit came (Acts 1:4).
They waited and waited. Probably wondering, after such a long wait, if He was ever coming. Maybe they formed committees--those for and against staying. They may even have debated the issue.
When they came in agreement, gelled in unity, the Holy Spirit arrived and endued them with the power of the Spirit like a mighty, rushing wind. (Acts 2:1-2).
Before the Holy Spirit filled him, Peter had been fearful. When he walked on the water, he feared drowning (Matthew 14:29-30). He feared for his life when people asked him if he knew Jesus, the man who would be crucified (Mark 14:67-72).
After being filled, Peter preached with boldness (Acts 4:8-13). He and the other disciples, through the Holy Spirit, started churches--groups of Believers who came together to hear the Word preached (Acts 2:47).
There is much controversy over the baptism of the Holy Spirit because of the evidence of speaking in tongues. This is one of the hot button issues that has divided the church as well as healing, prosperity and women in ministry.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit?
After Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to us. He is our Helper. Our Comforter (John 14:26). Our Counselor (John 14:16 AMP). He is our Ultimate Life Coach.
If we let Him, He will guide us and direct our steps (Psalm 37:23, Isaiah 42:16). He will speak to us of witty inventions (Proverbs 8:12), give us creative ideas, teach us to prosper (Isaiah 48:17). All so that we can be a blessing to others to further the Kingdom of God (Genesis 12:2).
Why is there a controversy concerning speaking in tongues? I suspect it stems from being afraid of the unknown.
Many people confuse the gift of tongues--speaking in front of the congregation and giving a message that must be interpreted (I Corinthians 12:10)--with the evidence of speaking in tongues, which is available to all (I Corinithians 14:1-2).
The latter, personal tongues, is for the purpose of edification and interceding for others and situations (I Corinthians 14:4).
Others believe this is only a gift for the disciples and those in the early church and is not available, nor is it relevant, for the Body of Christ today.
In our society, we have violence--shootings, murder and stabbings. We have sexual messages on the television and in the movies. We even have drugs and alcohol being offered to us. This is a time when praying God's perfect will is to our advantage.
Praying God's perfect will is exactly what we are doing when we are speaking in tongues. It is a secret language between God and us. When we don't know how to pray, we pray in tongues (Romans 8:26).
When we pray this way, the Holy Spirit prays through us. As He does, He prays the perfect will of God. It is the only way we can pray God's perfect will in every situation.
Praying in the Spirit, or in our prayer language, we have nothing to fear. We are praying through to the other side of the problem. Things have to change in our lives when we pray God's perfect will. No ands, ifs or buts. We are praying that His will be done in our lives instead of ours.
Why must we be filled with the Holy Spirit, or baptized, as some say? Because the Bible commands it.
Much power comes in our lives when we are filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is able to guide us, direct us and do through us what we cannot do through ourselves.
Can we be filled with the Spirit and not speak in tongues? Yes because we choose not to open our mouth and use them. There is no such thing as being filled with the Spirit half way. We are either filled or not. The choice is ours.
So how do we become baptized in the Spirit? We do the same thing we did to become saved. We make a decision that we want to be filled.
We believe in our heart that we can be filled and ask God to fill us with His Spirit...and believe that He has. The evidence of speaking in tongues might not manifest right away, but wait on it.
I heard Creflo Dollar once say that if we pray one hour a day in tongues that things have got to change in our lives. They cannot stay the same. Why? Because we are praying the perfect will of God.
We bypass our mind when we pray in tongues because we do not understand what we are praying.
When we pray in English, or whatever language it is that we speak, we can decide whether to agree with what we are praying. We can doubt it or reason it out.
If we don't know what we are praying though, it becomes increasingly difficult to disagree with it.
It is our spirit praying to God. A holy conversation that we have the privilege of being part of.
If we want real power in our life, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
We should ask God to lead us into the truth regarding speaking in tongues. And He will. What we do with the information we receive is up to us.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications.
To learn more about her, go to coachannagail.com
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