The other morning while spending time with the Lord, two words rose up in my spirit: ‘PURPOSE’ and ‘POWER’. I believe that everything we receive from the Lord, whether it’s the truth from His written word, His refreshing presence or a spontaneous message He speaks into our spirits, it is always for the specific purpose of manifesting His power in our lives.
Not one moment we spend in the presence of the Lord is insignificant. Not one word of truth is only for our general knowledge. That’s because every word from God has the power to perform what it says. Isaiah 55:11 tells us that every word from God, whether written or spontaneous, is truth and is empowered to produce exactly what it says in our lives.
For instance, God’s Word says that Jesus died and rose again to become our Saviour. That truth is not meant to be just head knowledge; we are meant to believe it with our hearts, let it be the confession of our mouths and by faith, we literally receive Him as our Saviour; knowing and experiencing Him in a very real and personal way. The same is true when the word says Jesus is our Healer. Those words are meant to become our reality, where we don’t just know about the Healer, we experience Him as our Healer and our Provider and everything else the Bible says He is to us.
Essentially, everything about God and His Word is meant to be transferred to us to not just know about, but personally experience. And this is all done by the work of the Holy Spirit. We can never over-emphasise the importance of His role in the life of a believer!
Take a look at what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit in John 16:13-15:
“But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
He will honour and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.
Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.”
Jesus said everything that the Father has belongs to Him, and the Holy Spirit will take it all and disclose and transmit it to us. What a powerful promise! Everything that comes to us from God is done by the Person of Holy Spirit!
Just as a side thought, I did have someone tell me that it’s dangerous to put too much emphasis on the Holy Spirit to the point we don’t make Jesus the focus of our faith. The truth is, it’s impossible to do that because the function of the Holy Spirit is to glorify and honour Jesus. That means, wherever the Holy Spirit is appreciated, Jesus is glorified because He immediately places all attention on Him. When we experience the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit, all we can focus on is Jesus.
Anyone who reads the Bible will see the absolute importance Jesus places on every believer being baptised in the Holy Spirit directly after receiving our salvation. In Acts 2 we read how He insisted that after His ascension, the disciples go to the upper room in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to baptise them in power before they do anything. They were to wait to be filled with power that would enable them to carry out the Gospel, first to their own land and then to the surrounding nations of the earth. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was so significant because it completely filled and flooded each believer with the miracle-working power of God, where they would be able to not just do the works Jesus did, but greater works would be done since every believer would be empowered - compared to just one man. And the evidence of this baptism of the Holy Spirit would be speaking in tongues. In fact: every single believer, who was in that upper room that day, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues - without exception.
This is by no means the only time we see this happen in the New Testament church. In the 8th chapter of Acts, we see Philip leave Jerusalem and travel to Samaria. Here, with the boldness he received from being baptised in the Holy Spirit, he leads many to the Lord, lays hands on them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and all receive the evidence of it by speaking in tongues. In the 9th chapter of Acts we see Saul of Tarsus have an encounter with Jesus, and Ananias is led by the Holy Spirit to lay hands on Him to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Later, in the book of 1 Corinthians, Paul urges all believers to speak in tongues, saying that he is sure he speaks in his heavenly language more than all - because he knows the powerful benefits it holds for every believer.
In Acts chapter 19, we read how Paul traveled to Ephesus and found some disciples there. He asked them is they had been baptised in the Holy Spirit. They had only being baptised by John the Baptist and didn’t even know about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. To this Paul showed them how to become born-again and baptised them in the Name of Jesus Christ, laid hands on them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and each one of them were given the evidence of that baptism by speaking in other tongues. From that day on the church of Ephesus began to grow and become productive for the kingdom of God because of the boldness and power of the Holy Spirit that resided in those believers.
There are so many accounts in the New Testament where we read of believers being baptised in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and the supernatural power that consistently follows their preaching of the Word. Even after the original apostles had gone from the earth, church history has been significantly marked by believers who are baptised in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, with the demonstration of signs, wonders and miracles following the preaching of the Word, just as in Bible times. And the Holy Spirit is still filling and baptising believers today, empowering them to do what is humanly impossible without the power of God at work in and through them.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a precious gift for every born-again believer and is essential for us to live out our Christian faith purposefully and victoriously. I recently watched a teaching by Ted Shuttlesworth Jr. on YouTube. He entitled his message ‘Seven Benefits of Speaking in Tongues’. It so touched my heart that I have decided to use the next couple of letters to share these benefits with you. My purpose is to stir up a holy hunger in every believer who either reads these letters or watches the videos, to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. And for those believers who already speak in tongues: to stir up a hunger and determination to purposefully take up this remarkable gift and make it a far more regular practice in your daily life. I have no doubt that this is exactly what you will eagerly desire and pursue once you understand the amazing benefits of operating in this gift.
So get ready to be stirred up to live on purpose in the unmistakable power of God that is available to you as a believer!
All my love,