Many growing Christians come to a point in their spiritual journey where they become hungry to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, along with the gift of speaking in tongues. As they seek this experience, they discover, as I did, that it took months to receive it.
After polling many people who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues, the consensus was that if someone would have clearly explained the steps they needed to take, they would have stepped into this much sooner. I met one person who sought it unsuccessfully for 50 years, and after 10 minutes of teaching him how to, he received on the spot. Let's put an end to this needless misery and suffering.
The five key ingredients to receiving this empowering encounter with the Holy Spirit are: believe, ask, earnestly desire, love and yield.
- Believe it's available. We begin by believing that there is such a thing as the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that it is available today for all to experience, and that we can receive it (Luke 3:16, Acts 1:8).
According to your faith, be it unto you (Matt. 9:29, Heb. 11:6). Since I was taught that it wasn't available to me today, it took me many months to overcome such teaching and become scripturally convinced that it was. I was like the disciples in Ephesus: I had repented but had no teaching about the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-6). Paul took the Ephesian disciples on the next step in their journey:
"When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied" (Act 19:6).
- Ask the Lord for it. We have not because we ask not (John 16:24, James 4:2). Once we believe it is God's will to baptize us, we ask for this amazing gift of grace. We pray, "Lord, baptize me in the Holy Spirit. I want Your presence, wisdom and power to flow out through me. I want the Spirit to rest upon me. Grant me the gift of speaking in tongues, so my spirit can speak mysteries to You, unhindered by the limitations of my mind. Grant me the power to heal those who are sick and to release the captives by casting out demons. Grant me words of wisdom and knowledge and discerning of spirits and prophecy. Thank You, Lord. I receive these gifts."
- Earnestly desire—get passionate. Go after it. When we ask, we receive, at least jurisdictionally. However, we may not see the full manifestation and operation of the gifts immediately appear. Maybe we feel like nothing happened. Maybe we wanted to speak in tongues and nothing poured out. So now what do we do? Do we decide it didn't work? Do we say I tried and failed? No, instead we get zealous. "Earnestly desire spiritual gifts" (1 Cor. 14:1b, NASB). We go after this with a passion. We do not give up until we receive that which God has promised to us. "Lord, what do I need to do to see the power of Your Spirit manifest in my life as it was in Jesus' life?"
- Love. Love is the carrier wave of the Spirit. We see the disciples were in one accord in the upper room (Acts 2:1-4). They were in unity. Love and grace were flowing. Love is the heartbeat of God. "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16b). Jesus healed as He was moved by compassion (Matt. 14:14). The anointing of God's Spirit flows where love abounds. The baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues are one aspect of this anointing.
"Lord, I lay down all anger, resentment, vengeance and judgment toward myself, others and You. Circumcise my heart. Cut out that which is evil. Flood my heart with Your love (see 1 John 4:7). Thank You, Lord!"
You have just paved the way for the Spirit to flow.
- Yield. To yield is to place at one's disposal. Jesus yielded His will to the Father's. "I can do nothing on my own initiative" (John 5:30a). The Bible says, "yield yourselves to God" (Rom. 6:13b, MEV).
"Yielding" as applied to speaking in tongues:
If I want to speak in tongues, I need to yield control of my tongue from my head to my heart. This means I speak, but do not consciously form the syllables with my mind. Instead, I tune to flow, and I speak any sounds which flow out. I fix my eyes on Jesus. I speak, honoring the syllables which emerge as coming from the river of the Spirit who flows within (John 7:37-39, Ezek. 47:1-12, Rev. 22:1-2, Acts 2:4).
I am taking a step of faith, believing that there truly is a river, and that this river of the Holy Spirit flows within me. I choose to honor and yield to His flow. I am a believer. I believe I can live the Bible. It is more than a dusty book of other people's encounters with Almighty God. It is a path that lights the way so I can have my own similar encounters with Almighty God.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
For the original article, visit cwgministries.org.
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