Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Holy Spirit drenching

Image: pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 1:1-11

TO CHEW ON: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:5

My pastor spoke on this passage two days ago (from when I’m writing this). What a happy ‘coincidence’!

One of the parts from his talk that sticks in my mind is the part about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

On Easter Sunday in our church, 50 people were water baptized in front of the congregation in two services (eight planned, 42 decided that day in church, when pastor gave the invitation and made available T-shirts, towels, dryers, etc.). So the image of people getting baptized is fresh in my mind. They start out dry, they end up drenched and dripping.

The baptism of the Spirit is like that. I love how pastor expressed it:
 “Being baptized is being soaked, saturated, drenched. Jesus told the disciples to wait to be soaked, saturated, drenched in the Holy Spirit. He wants you to get caught in the rain of the Spirit” - Rev. Derrick Hamre, in “Making Room for the Spirit.”

Where I live, we get lots of rain and I know what it’s like to get caught in it. It soaks your hair and trickles down your neck. It spots your glasses and makes your jeans clammy and cold. It even squishes into your socks and shoes. I ask myself, have I ever been so Spirit drenched?

An aspect of this baptism Pastor brought out is that it’s not salvation. We do receive the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus into our lives and make Him Lord (Ephesians 5:1-21, specifically verse 18). But this Holy Spirit baptism experience is often (but not always) subsequent to salvation. It was for the disciples. Jesus had already breathed the Spirit on them (John 20:22) but here they were baptized. It was also a second experience for the new believers in Samaria (Acts 8:13-17). For Cornelius and his family, though, it occurred at the time they first believed (Acts 10:44-48).

Finally, we need to keep in mind the reason for this baptism. It’s not for spiritual thrills and chills but for power to carry out Jesus’ final assignment to us:
‘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’” Acts 1:8.

Let’s not get drawn into theological arguments over this Holy Spirit baptism (and I know there are many). Rather, let’s just read what Jesus says and be open to the Holy Spirit’s baptism of empowering as He came on the Christians in Acts—however and whenever He chooses.

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, I open my life to You today. Drench me, fill me, use me in any way You choose. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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