“You are the light of the world. … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14, 16 NKJV).
We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Christian circles debating, deliberating and discussing the “experience” of the Holy Spirit. We draw lines in the sand to differentiate our positions, while failing at times to grasp the bigger reason for God’s gift to the church!
The prophet Joel wrote that the “evidence” of the Holy Spirit’s coming would be His ability to tear down walls, rather than build them. The proof would lie in generations ministering side by side, women and men being empowered, and the reality that cross-cultural ministry would become commonplace.
I would argue that the Bible emphasizes the “evidence” of the Holy Spirit more than it does the “experience.”
Although both Matthew and Luke described Jesus’ baptism in water by John the Baptist and Jesus’ immediate baptism with the Holy Spirit, Luke went further and wrote of the evidence of that baptism. He described the practical proof that Jesus had entered another level of spiritual engagement. Then, he said that our Lord “was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil” (Luke 4:1-2).
The rest of Jesus’ ministry was marked by this newly empowered partnership between heaven and earth.
Even Jesus assumed that the experience of the Baptizer would lead to a new level of evidence for the world. He said that the proof would be in our becoming living “witnesses” to those around us!
When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, other people become the beneficiaries of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. We now carry within us an arsenal of God-inspired resources to bring hope, direction and inspiration to the world. We have everything that we need to get the job done.
I’ll never take for granted being at the altar of Camp Courtney and having the unforgettable experience of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. I left that altar with a new spiritual language. But I also left with a whole new world of spiritual possibilities.
I didn’t just leave with a benefit, I left commissioned by God to a higher level of spiritual engagement and responsibility in ministering to others.
I want to be led daily by the Holy Spirit and to resist and confront the enemy, to challenge his dominion, while helping establish the rule and reign of God. I want my life to be proof of the evidence of the Holy Spirit.
For those of us who are married, we cherish the day we were married—not only the experience of a wedding, but also the evidence of a happy marriage that occurs every single year following the wedding. A full marriage experience is much more than the memory of the wedding day.
I pray that you will hold in high regard the day when you were baptized with the Holy Spirit. But more than that, I pray that you will focus on the evidence of this amazing benefit of the marriage between heaven and earth. The Bible says we are the Bride of Christ. Now that we’re baptized with the Holy Spirit, let’s live like it.
By: Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church
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