Understanding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit: Part 1
Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the infilling of the Holy Spirit or becoming baptized with the Holy Ghost is a vitally important part of successful Christian living.
There is however, a difference between being filled and becoming filled with the Holy Ghost!
The first is a continuous lifestyle and the second is a one-time event.
Some people confuse the two and make a mess of this doctrine when the truth is very simple.
Being Filled with the Holy Ghost
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is based on living day-by-day in continual fellowship with Him and obedience to Him.
It is, first of all, saturating your mind with the word of God, nothing draws you closer to the Holy Spirit than the entrance of God’s word. Then, it’s talking to Him and listening when He speaks, it’s cultivating His presence through an attitude of thankfulness, praise and worship, it means obeying Him without hesitation and without reservation.
It’s walking in love toward your fellow man, being quick to forgive and releasing hurts easily. It is creating an environment around you that welcomes and cultivates His Holy Presence. Toward this end, fasting also helps.
All this is the process of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
When you live your life like this it harnesses and concentrates the power of God in you, so when you begin to pray, preach or minister in any way, the power of God flows out of you much more fluently for effective ministry.
Another effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit is that it draws people to you who are seeking more of God in their lives. People tend to be drawn to you and instinctively look to you for guidance and leadership.
This is one of the unmistakable traits of a successful spiritual leader – Cultivating the character and power of the Holy Ghost or being filled with the Holy Spirit!
When I say “spiritual leader” I don’t necessarily mean one who leads a congregation or has some title or position in the church. A spiritual leader could be someone who works in a factory, a single mother or a high school student. Being a true spiritual leader has nothing to do with title or position but with manifesting the character and power of Christ in your everyday life.
Becoming Filled with the Holy Ghost
On the other hand, becoming filled with the Holy Ghost is a one-time experience, which I will explain like this:
The initial out-pouring of the Holy Ghost in the Book of Acts, Chapter Two HAS NEVER STOPPED HAPPENING!
The Holy Spirit began being poured out on the Church and has never stopped being poured out!
Today, if any believer wants to become filled with the Holy Ghost all he needs to do is step under the flow, open his spirit and receive the infilling. It’s that simple!
I’ve led many people to salvation and to receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and I always tell them it starts with knowledge and understanding.
You must be assured that God wants you filled with His Holy Spirit and since He commands us all to be filled then that pretty much takes care of that!
The Bible simply commands us in Eph 5:18 to, “…Be filled with the Spirit.”
This is NOT a suggestion but a New Testament commandment!
So, we are assured that God wants us filled with His Spirit and we know it’s because He wants us filled with His power so that we can become more effective witnesses.
Therefore, when we approach God to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost we must come with complete confidence and boldness before Him.
I teach people to simply ask and receive. It is an instantaneous experience! There is NO waiting involved.
The ONLY reason Jesus told His disciples to wait in the Book of Acts is for the Day of Pentecost to come. They weren’t waiting for the Holy Ghost to come, He could have sent Him any time; they were waiting for the RIGHT DAY to come!
The day when ALL the people would be gathered together so that they could ALL hear the Good News of the Kingdom of God at the same time! That’s why Jesus told them to wait for the Day of Pentecost to arrive.
So, when you’re ready to be baptized with the Holy Ghost there is no waiting involved. I have a short prayer below that you can repeat when you’re ready to become filled with the Holy Spirit.
Prayer to be Filled with the Holy Spirit
“Father, according to Acts 1:8 I know that it’s your will for me to be filled with Your Holy Spirit and right now I ask You to fill me in Jesus name. I open my spirit and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit right now and I thank you for it, Father. Amen!
The key to success in this experience is what you do while saying these words and what you do immediately after!
What you do while saying these words is literally, by faith, open your spirit and receive what God is pouring into you. It is your faith that makes it happen! If you know for a fact that God is pouring His Holy Spirit into you then it is happening. If you doubt whether it’s happening or not, then IT’S DEFINITELY NOT HAPPENING!
YOUR DECISION and YOUR FAITH makes all the difference!
It’s not up to God or the preacher or anyone else whether you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – IT’S UP TO YOU!
God has already sent Him as a gift and will not take Him back. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Immediately after you say these words and receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit you must co-operate with the Holy Ghost in order to begin speaking with other Tongues!