Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I went to see and hear Natalie Grant here in my hometown the other night. I have heard her live a couple of times before and I think she's a very talented singer and songwriter. What I appreciate the most about her though is the Holy Spirit working in her life. She truly ministers and I was very blessed by her performance. I am seldom moved by music alone but if the Holy Spirit is at work I'm in. When she sang I was truly worshipping and praising Jesus. With shouts, singing and praising in the Holy Spirit. She's spirit filled I'm sure.
There are so many Christians that think that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is just about speaking in tongues and to them it seems odd and not something they want to be part of. It IS speaking in tongues but it's also most of all an ability to just get lost in the spirit. To shout and worship from your spirit in a way that can't be expressed by human words. To express the inexpressible.
There was a little old lady sitting next to us on the bench. I started to speak to her and I could tell that she was spirit filled. And just by looking at her seeing the joy that just oozed out of her.When I asked what church she goes to she told me it was one of the Assembly of God churches in town. I knew it! After the concert I hugged her before we left and I just felt that love in the spirit between me and her, (a total stranger), that only the Holy Spirit can give. It's a total surrender to the love of God.
If you're not baptized in the Holy Spirit, ask the Lord to fill you with the signs of speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues will help you stay filled with the Holy Spirit. The tongues can be used in many ways. To me personally it's mostly a prayer language where I can pray out things that I don't even know about in the spirit. I also worship in tongues where I speak to God about His greatness and His love and His wonderful plans.
Don't miss out on a wonderful gift from God to you as a believer that will increase your understanding of His love and give you boldness and fire for Jesus.
"On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." Acts 1:4-5
Christians know about the day of Pentecost which you can read about in Acts 2:1-4. Many seem to rationalize and try to imply that what happened then were just for that particular time. Still they claim to believe in all of God's word.
Verse 4 says:
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
I think Acts is a model for how we as Christians should spread the gospel. Wherever people in Acts heard the gospel they were also baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. That's how they knew, they spoke in tongues!
"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God." Acts 10:44-46
"he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied." Acts 19:2-6
Here's what John the Baptist said about Jesus:
"I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matt 3:11
In Paul's letter to the Corinthians he talks a lot about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.
"For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries." 1 Cor 14:2
"He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification." 1 Cor 14: 4-5
Many misinterpret this to say that we should not speak in tongues, but that's not what Paul is saying because in 1 Cor 14:18 Paul says: "I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;"
No, he's just talking about being careful of how to display the tongues in public. I believe it can be done, if it's done in order. We used to pray strong in my church, all together in tongues, but when it came to speaking out loud it had to be done in order and the pastor was in charge of who could speak or prophesy.
"What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding."
1 Cor 14:15
If you are born again that is a work of the Holy Spirit and salvation is the greatest miracle of all. But there's MORE! We, just like the apostles in Acts need to be transformed and filled with the Holy Spirit so we boldly can proclaim the gospel. We are called to proclaim the gospel and not some sophisticated, intellectual, worldly soup. We need power! If we don't have power, the enemy has power over us.
It's not enough to be "churched". I see a lot of people that is just that; "churched". If God hadn't transformed my life I had never set foot in a church. I had no need for conformity or tradition. But when Jesus saved me on that beach in Spain, I couldn't wait to meet my brothers and sisters. And God led me to a church where the Holy Spirit was so strong, His presence came over you already in the foyer and you couldn't walk straight sometimes.
And you were not the same when you walked out of the church as you were when you came in. An ongoing mighty transformation all the time.
And you can't hide in an atmosphere like that. You become transparent which may sound scary, but it's not, because the love of God is there to cover you. Kind of like in the Garden of Eden where they were naked but they didn't know it. And when you're loved like that it's easy to love everybody. It just flows out of you.
So just ask the Father to fill you. He is good and only wants the best for you.
"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!” " Luke 11:11-13
Jesus loves you!