The Power From On High
If God’s desire for the lost is to be found and come to the knowledge of His saving grace, what is His desire for the found? I believe it is to grow up and become mature in one’s faith in Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:1-13, Colossians 1:28, Matthew 5:48, Hebrews 6:1).
Yet, soon after I experienced the sense of freedom in my salvation, I was tempted to give up living this life as a follower of Jesus because of rejection from my family members and hardships that I went through. Even though I had a tangible experience of encountering with the love of God for me and truthfully surrendered my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I overwhelmingly felt like I just could not live as a professing Christian for the rest of my life. I thought, "I'm not confident nor equipped enough to share my faith with others," or "I want to live a life of worthy in the calling I found in Jesus, but I cannot do it with my own strength." I almost quit. Have you felt the same?
Through this season of struggles in my walk with God, I learned about and genuinely desired the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a power to live this life on earth in and for Jesus as His followers and a distinctive experience that any believer will have, if one whole-heartedly pursues, after his or her salvation with the evidence of speaking in tongues as an initial sign (Acts 2:1-4, 17:1-6). The primarily purpose of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to be a witness for Jesus (Acts 1:8) and continue being sanctified (1 Peter 1:15-16, Romans 15:16). Any followers of Jesus cannot live victoriously without fully being filled in the Holy Spirit. I will say that I am a Pentecostal believer not because of my choice or preference, but by necessity. I need to choose to be a Holy Spirit-empowered believer in this world.
There are not many incidents that all the authors of the gospel account wrote down (such as Jesus feeding 5,000, Peter’s denial of Jesus, Jesus’s crucifixion, etc.), but one of them was that Jesus would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, and John 1:33). Jesus Himself clearly mentioned in His last words for His disciples to wait until being endued with the power from on high (Luke 24: 49). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is crucial in believer’s life.
Have you experienced this work of the Holy Spirit that is distinctively different from His work in your salvation? How would you answer if you face this question of Paul recorded in Acts 19:2, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”