This quarter, we focus on the baptism with the Holy Spirit in our weekly devotional series. This week’s devotional comes from Luke 2 – 8.
John the Baptist announced: “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming … He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16, NKJV).
Jesus repeated the same promise during His ministry, just before He returned to heaven. Praise the Lord for the fullness of the Holy Spirit! You and I could never live an authentic life of ministry without it.
The apostle Peter said that we have received the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit because the Lord Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33). However, being qualified through Christ to receive it and actually experiencing this promise can be two different things.
Sad to say, but many believers actually know nothing of the Holy Spirit’s power.
What about this? It isn’t enough for a person to sit back and say, “I already have everything I need in Christ.” Instead, we should say, “I know that everything I need is mine because of Christ; now I choose to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit in my daily life.”
Further, having one initial experience of empowerment is not enough. The exhortation of the apostle Paul in Eph. 5:18 is that we be continually filled with the Spirit.
We learn from Luke’s Gospel that Jesus set forth a wonderful example for His leaders in how to remain Spirit-filled in ministry, even in the midst of a busy life. Luke noted that as Jesus continued His ministry, “so He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
Jesus clearly scheduled into His life regular prayer retreats. They took place in solitary places—sometimes after exhausting ministry—at the upper Jordan, at the Mount of Transfiguration, before He chose His apostles, and in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus received fresh guidance and anointing from the Father during these times of prayer.
I have had to prod myself again and again to have these appointments with the Lord in order to be freshly filled with His Spirit. If you are dry or weary in your ministry for Christ, perhaps you need to reestablish some solitary places where, in His presence, you will be filled anew with His love and His power for your life and for those you serve.
By: Fred Horner, Asia coordinator with Foursquare Missions Press
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