FIRST LOVE – DAILY DEVOTIONAL – DAY 16

“Spirit Baptism” – Your “behind the scenes” vs. the Bible’s “Highlight Reel”

Ok – lets play a game: “Weird or Not Weird” (W/NW)

W/ NW 1. Talking to a God you cannot see?
W/ NW 3. Believing an eternal being created everything we see?
W/ NW 4. Believing a man was professionally executed & came to life 3 days later?
W/ NW 5. Believing that a man physically walked on a sea and didn’t sink?
W/ NW 6. Believing that when you die, you spend eternity in heaven?
W/ NW 7. Believing that God’s Spirit can fill you, speak to you, fill you with power, speak through you and do miraculous things through your life?

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Well, if you’re like I used to be … 6 of 7 were easy to answer. Then came along #7 – and things get a little weird inside.

Isn’t it amazing how many “weird” or “supernatural” things we believe ABOUT GOD and ABOUT GOD WORKING in history are cool with us?

But when it comes to PERSONALLY experiencing HIM working in us and through us … we get a little check inside.

Do you know why? What are your thoughts?

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ONE REASON … is people who claim to hear God and be filled with the Spirit have gotten a reputation of doing some really weird things in the name of “being spirit filled” … and from the outside, many say “if that’s spirit-filled” then I don’t want that.

ANOTHER REASON … is we have been taught that the Holy Spirit ceased to act supernaturally in a persons life back when the apostles died and the Bible was completed.

ANOTHER REASON … is, we have sought His filling and presence before, but nothing really happened inside us and our “BEHIND THE SCENES” didn’t match the Bible’s “Highlight Reels”.

ONE LAST REASON … is because to believe 1-6 doesn’t require any level of relationship. Even # 1 doesn’t require relationship. Relationship has to be a two-way thing. In relationship, each has a role and there are expectations of each.

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What does God expect? What do you expect? Are they the same?

Talking to God without HEARING him talk back is not a relationship – it’s just us talking.

But #7 requires a personal relationship. #7 requires being led by the Spirit. It requires listening. Obeying. Trusting. Stepping out in faith. Changing. Self-control.

That personal relationship is only made possible by the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But … don’t let the language “baptism in the spirit” throw you off. Press in to see what it actually means.

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SPIRIT BAPTISM

Jesus was the first person ever baptized in the Holy Spirit and the first person the Holy Spirit descended upon and then remained within. In Acts 2, Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would do the same with us, thereby empowering us to walk in a new life.

However, many Christians avoid seeking to experience or understand this baptism because they think they don’t need it. Maybe – they know it kind of happens – but they’ve just lacked intentionality in asking God for it – and pursuing the fullness of God’s desire for relationship.

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The Bible says when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we are given power from on high. There is a major difference in my life, ministry and personal experience with God and faith after being baptized IN the Spirit and walking IN the Spirit.

Do you want to be immersed in the Holy Spirit? You don’t have to wait. Receive Him today.

We will talk later about what to expect and what the experience is like for many different people.

Everything about faith is weird to the carnal mind – but, for those with the Spirit, it is Abundant Life. (I Corinthians 2:11-16).

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PRAYER
Holy Spirit, thank You for introducing me to Jesus and for bringing me to salvation. Thank You that when we receive You, You help us to live holy lives full of Your power and grace. I receive You today. Immerse me in Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

FOR FURTHER STUDY
Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; 1 Corinthians 12:13

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