This Pentecost, some of us need to pray for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Others of us pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
To see the difference between baptism of the Holy Spirit and filling of the Holy Spirit, we need to go back to the book of Acts.
After receiving their commission from Jesus to be His witnesses to the whole world, the first disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem until they were “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
Jesus is even more specific as to what will happen to them in Act 1:5:
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”Acts 1:5
What is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?
Baptism with the Holy Spirit, when understood from the biblical perspective, means to be initiated into the empowering work of the Holy Spirit.
That means to start having the Holy Spirit falling upon us for power and equipping.
Acts 1:8 is perfectly clear that this experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not to make you holy, or to bring you to salvation, but rather to have power to be witnesses to Jesus Christ.
This is just like the Spirit of Yahweh coming upon the Old Testament prophets, priest and kings in order to equip them for work.
After the disciples received this initial experience of empowerment of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost we read in Acts they were filled with the Holy Spirit again and again, as they were about the work of fulfilling the mission they were given.
For those who have never been “initiated” or brought into this empowering dimension of the Holy Spirit, pray for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit to be able to fulfill the vision and mission God has given you.
Not as a word of judgment but as a fact, many faithful Christians, and indeed whole congregations, are seeking to follow Jesus Christ and do their part in the Kingdom of God in their own strength and wisdom.
God no doubt honors these sincere efforts and blesses them, but there is so much more fruit that God wants us to bear for His glory, if we were but to ask for and receive the provision of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit that is promised to all of us.
My Own Experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
This is what happened to me years ago while a missionary in Korea.
I came up against my own inabilities and powerlessness to fulfill the calling that God had given me.
It was at that time that I asked for and was baptized with the Holy Spirit.
I was opened up to this whole empowering gift-giving dimension of the Holy Spirit’s work.
It has made all the difference and I am astonished at the fruit of what God as been doing through me.
Please understand that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is promised not just to the missionaries or pastors but for everyone who is called to follow Jesus Christ, no matter what your calling may be.
So I urge you to ask Jesus to initiate you into the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. He is eager to give you all you need to do what He is calling you to do.
Pray for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit!
Free Resource: The Walk Prayer Guide
This is a WALK of Prayer that may be done alone or in a group to go through the Steps of Praying for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
This is for those who have never asked Jesus for this equipping before in order to fulfill the mission Jesus has given them.