Baptized with the Holy Spirit
Key Verse: Luke 3:16c
“… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Additional Reading: Luke 3:1-16
John the Baptist went ahead of Jesus and told people that Jesus was coming and would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit. John, of course, was baptizing His followers with water. These two things were symbolic of the work of God in all our lives, when we allow Him to work. First, we should be baptized with water, symbolizing our decision to no longer do life as we want to do, but to listen and obey what God wants us to do. Second, we surrender the rights of our life to Him and allow God to sanctify us. This second work is where we tell God that He can do in us what He wants to do, and we’ll go where He wants us to go. As we make this surrender, the Holy Spirit now has all of us and we are filled with Him.
I realize that there are many differences in God’s church as to what “to be filled with the Holy Spirit” means. Each church has a few scriptures that they use trying to prove their point. I certainly won’t solve the mysteries of the Holy Spirit in this devotional. Let me give you a couple of thoughts for you to wrestle with.
First, the Bible says that everyone who has Jesus in their hearts, has the Holy Spirit. We can be sure of this fact because of Romans 8:9c: “And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ”. Every believer can trust that they have “all” of the Spirit of God living in them the moment they believe. The problem is, the Spirit does not have all of us when we first believe. As we grow and learn more about the work of God, we become more and more convinced that God is worthy of our trust in every detail of our lives. It is then that we can truly say to God: you can have all of me – I will follow you! It is then, I believe, that a person is “filled with the Spirit”.
The Apostle Paul wrote the Thessalonica church: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it”. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24) The word “sanctify” means to set apart, to dedicate something or someone to God exclusively. When we pray that prayer of surrender, we are telling God we are willing to be set aside for His exclusive use. We are telling God that we are willing for Him to do His work in us, so that we won’t serve the cravings of our flesh. We must understand that we give God permission to work because we can’t sanctify ourselves. We can say the words, and truly mean it, but that doesn’t mean we’ll have the will power to truly so “no” to all the ungodly desires of our flesh. Only God has the power to do a work so complete in us, that the Holy Spirit truly has ALL OF US!
I hope you’ll pray the prayer that I am closing with. As you pray it, remember what 1 Thessalonians 5:24 tells us: “the one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” God doesn’t remove our humanness, but he does purify our intentions so we can serve Him.
Father, I trust your plans for me. I give myself and my future to you. I want you to be in charge of my life… please sanctify me, In Jesus’s Name, amen.