The Holy Spirit
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; — Acts 1:8
I realize that Christians are all over the place with the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and how it all works. You can find preachers who teach that there are no gifts of the Holy Spirit working in today’s world, and you can find ones who absolutely believe these gifts are essential if you are going to be any kind of useful to God.
All I can do is speak from experience. Here is what I know for sure: After “receiving Jesus” into my life . . . you know, repeating the sinner’s prayer and then being baptized, I was a pretty religious guy for the next five years. I went to church and put on a great face every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I also did every dumb thing imaginable on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. I looked like I was having fun, but conviction would eat me alive in all those settings. I could not be happy in church because I was not living right, and I could not be happy in the world because something in me knew I was not living right. I was in this horrible cycle of sin. I would sin, tell God, “Please forgive me, I’m sorry and I’ll never do it again,” and then repeat.
Things did not change until I went to Fairview Church of God in Seneca, SC. I will never forget this specific service that had to be designed for me and me alone. At the end of that service, I found myself at the altar with pretty much the entire church praying over me to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I left that place completely different. Within a year, I was able to cut off most of my known sinful activity. Most importantly, the Bible and prayer went from being a chore, to being a desire. I would read the Bible and see things that I needed to apply to my life, and then I would do them . . . not out of obligation, but out of love for God. I couldn’t believe how things had changed.
I have no clue where you are in your walk with the Lord, but you do. Are you on fire for Him? Do you desire the Word? Do you want to be around Him? Or is He simply a duty or a chore? I believe with all my heart that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is available for you today.
For the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen on any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy spirit. – Acts 8:16-17
If I were a believer living in absolute defeat right now, I would do one of two things. One, I would find me a church where they believe in the Holy Spirit Baptism. I would let them know that I want it. Two (and I kind of like this one better), call someone who you are absolutely sure is full of the Holy Spirit, and ask them to lay their hands on you and pray for you to receive the Holy Spirit. Go to their house or let them come to yours, do it all out loud, and make the biggest deal of it that you can.
I realize all that I’m saying here is pretty hardcore. I am writing all of this because there are far too many powerless Christians in the United States of America.
Lord, nothing and no one has changed my life like You. Will You please change the lives of people through the power of the Holy Spirit? Lead me to someone that I may place my hands upon and say, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” Change us, Lord. Help us to truly live this stuff out. Help us to make a difference in the lives of defeated Christians, and in the lives of those who are completely lost without You. Amen