A Practical Guide to Being Baptized and Filled with the Holy Spirit
This article assumes that you believe in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues. If this is not the case, or you have questions on the subject I refer you to the more extensive article here.
What to Do to Be Baptized in the Holy Spirit:
1. You must believe in your heart that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, confess Him as Lord, and give yourself to Him.
2. You have to mean business with God. The Holy Spirit is God Himself, and He will come to live in you, He will even fill you on a day to day basis. Why should this be? The Christian life is based on a covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We share all we have with God. Just as water may fill a sponge, but the water is not the sponge, so we may be filled with the Holy Spirit, but we do not in the process lose our individuality. The fact is though that we were made for God, and without God’s presence filling our lives, we will ALWAYS fall short of God’s will for our lives. No one can fully keep the word of God or fully believe the promises of God without giving a big place to the Holy Spirit in his or her life. This is very important. The Holy Spirit is holy. So we must mean business with God.
3. We have to first be trusting that the blood of Jesus Christ washes away our sins. We have all sinned, and to be reconciled with God, we need to turn from sin, and trust the sacrifice of Jesus has dealt with the consequences of our sin. To really be forgiven by God, we have to forgive all those who have hurt us, cheated us, robbed us or whatever. Whether it is family, former friends, church people or even Christian leaders we must forgive those who have hurt us in order for the blood of Jesus to wash us, and for our hearts to have confidence before God.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14,15). Some of God’s children don’t have their sins forgiven because they won’t forgive others. Such people will not be ready to receive healing, deliverance, the baptism in the Holy Spirit or anything really until they do reckon the debt that person owes them for their wrongdoing as null and void.
4. We need to know that God promises the Holy Spirit baptism to us. He commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Word of God says:
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18)
Just as much as it is not acceptable for a Christian to be drunk, so it is not acceptable that we be not filled with the Holy Spirit. Just as a sponge can have a little or a lot of water in it, so are we with the Holy Spirit. We need to keep turning to God on a daily basis in prayer to be the way God wants us to be.
We can’t be filled if we don’t believe the promises. “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 11:13).
Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let Him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. (John 7:37, 38).
“praying always with all kinds of prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). We can’t do this fully without praying in tongues. Paul said, “I wish you all spoke with tongues” (1 Corinthians 14:5) and Jesus promised that those who believe in it will do it. “And these signs will follow those believing these things: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17).
Enough of that. For further references see http://www.christian-faith.com/bible-studies/Holy-Spirit.html
5. We must ask in faith really believing that we will be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues as the Spirit will enable US (Acts 2:4). We must believe that we have received what we ask for, including tongues, and then it will manifest. (Mark 11:24).
6. Having come thus far, we must know that the Holy Spirit is ALREADY within us. So the unknown tongues which our MINDS do not understand the meaning of us are within us with the Holy Spirit. We now have to trust God to speak out those unintelligible words He is giving us in response to our faith. He is there, He has all the gifts and capacity. When we believe this in our hearts, we take action corresponding to our faith, and boldly make the sounds and syllables that come, trusting God. In all this we yield our tongues to the Holy Spirit, but not to say “Alleluia”, “Praise the Lord” or even to copy what others seem to be saying. We are not speaking English when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit (unless of course you don’t know English – this can and has happened). We do not speak at all in a known language, but in the unknown one which comes up from within. We say those words we sense in our heart, of which we know not the meaning (but God does). We take this step, willing to be fools for Christ, and then His glorious power fills us from within and without.
7. We can thank God and praise God. Most people will feel the power of the Holy Spirit baptizing them, but some may have to go in faith, on the promises of God alone, in order to keep praying in tongues. Eventually God makes us all conscious of His presence. In a few cases it may take some time. But you will know that the Jesus HAS baptized you in the Holy Spirit, when you see the difference in your life, your witness and your love for the things of God.
TO MAINTAIN FULNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is absolutely essential that we regularly pray. Not much time should go by without praying. We can pray in tongues in all kinds of places and situations. This will help us to maintain fulness of the Holy Spirit. But it is not sufficient. To be full of the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis, we must OBEY God, His Word and His promptings.
“We are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO OBEY HIM.” (Acts 5:32).
Disobedience quenches the Holy Spirit and this can’t really be made up for by more and more speaking in tongues alone – though praying in tongues may help us to gain strength to do God’s will as He shows us.
I suggest that you try to pray for one full uninterrupted hour in the morning before the demands of your family and daily life mean you must give your focus to these things. This requires discipline, yes, but there is no way to maintain the fulness of the Holy Spirit without personal discipline. We simply must give time to the One we love. Jesus said, “Could you not pray with me for one hour?”. There is a big difference between 55 minutes and one hour in God’s economy. After one hour, its much easier to live in the presence of God for the rest of the day. Its not possible for everyone, but I believe that doing it in the morning first thing has the best results.
Jesus requires that we ABIDE IN HIM. If we don’t we may be LOST.
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned”. (John 15:6).
To abide in Christ we must keep God’s commandments, most especially the commandment to walk in love. Therefore learn from God’s word and God’s Holy Spirit how to make adjustments to your thinking and behaviour consistent with walking in love. Only then will you be able to maintain the fulness of the Spirit. You can have spiritual power and gifts without love, but it doesn’t mean God will accept you on the Last Day. The one thing He requires of us is to walk in love. This will motivate us also not to neglect our prayer life and the various gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit which build us and others up.
God bless you.