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This quarter, we focus on the baptism with the Holy Spirit in our weekly devotional series. This week’s devotional comes from Matt. 18 – 24.

When I met Christ, it was a radical experience. He brought me out of darkness and from a lifestyle that would have led me directly to jail. When I became a Christian, I immediately dug into God’s Word and believed what I read. 

Jesus told His disciples that they would “receive power” when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8, NKJV). I truly believed that promise was also for me, and I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. God began to use my hands to carry out miracles just as Jesus and His disciples performed in the Gospels and the book of Acts. 

My life has not been the same since.

Jesus’ miracles are described throughout the Gospel of Matthew. Sometimes we forget that He performed these miracles in the authority of God and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 21, the elders and priests challenged Jesus with two questions: “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” (Matt. 21:23).

Jesus responded with His own question: “The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?” (v. 25). All they could say was that they did not know (v. 27). Jesus was questioned and yet refused to answer His accusers. He recognized the authority of the Holy Spirit in His life and knew who had sent Him.

How easy it is for us to doubt God’s power or to become distracted by naysayers who would rather question theory or practice. We are reminded in Romans 8:11 that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. The baptism with the Holy Spirit is the acceptance of a Helper who aids us as we continue Jesus’ work here on Earth.

We have been given authority through Jesus, the Baptizer. It is easy to shrink back instead of praying with boldness. Maybe we worry about what others will think or say. The reality is, we will be judged, questioned and maybe even ridiculed. If Jesus was questioned, we will be, too.

But I remind myself it’s not about me. The Holy Spirit empowers us to heal the sick, raise the dead and cleanse those with disease or to drive out demons (Matt. 10:8)—all for His glory! 

May we walk in the authority and power of the Holy Spirit, given freely to us by Jesus, the Baptizer With the Holy Spirit.

This power will change the world.

By: Sean Tavakoli, a sophomore at Life Pacific College (LPC) who represents LPC at camps around the U.S.

Share your journey through the Gospels » Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you personally as the Foursquare family reads through the Gospels! Download the reading plan bookmarks for 2012, and you can also subscribe to the weekly Foursquare Leader Prayer email to receive insights and inspiration from Foursquare leaders around the world.

is a freelance writer living in Long Beach, Calif.