Baptized with Spirit and Fire

One minute a person is standing and the next, the Holy Spirit comes on them and they’re on the floor. It’s a rather strange phenomena, but I’ve seen it over and over again throughout the years. And it’s not new with today—it has characterized revivals throughout history, including my own Methodist tradition. John Wesley called it “thunderstruck,” though today it’s often called being “slain in the Spirit.” If I described some of the events where I’ve seen it happen, you’d likely think me crazy.

Why does this happen? I don’t always know. But when we plug into the Holy Spirit of the God of universe, I suppose falling over is hardly the weirdest thing that could happen. After all, the word “glory” can be translated “weighty,” or “heaviness.” It also shouldn’t be shocking, because though John came baptizing with water, Jesus came baptizing with “the Holy Spirit and fire.” Throughout Biblical history the Holy Spirit’s tangible presence was more reserved for the leaders of God’s people, like kings and prophets. But one of the prophets declared that God would one day give all of his people the Holy Spirit, and we have found that Jesus was the person and baptizer upon which that promise hinged.

We live in the most exciting time of spiritual history so far. As Christians, the Holy Spirit is as near as our own skin—something that not every God-follower could have said before Jesus. When we need counseling, we can ask him and find guidance. When we find the sick, we can pray for them and see them healed. When we come across demons, we can cast them out. When we run into troubles, we can pray for signs and wonders. When we want to hear the voice of God, we can ask and hear.

So be filled with the Spirit over and over, for Paul implies that we leak. Keep on drinking him in and go out into the world to do ministry. After all, Jesus told the disciples not to do ministry until they were clothed with power from on high. His Spirit is our new creation birthright, empowerment, fruit-grower, and resurrection bringer. He is everything we need to be everything God wants us to be.


*This devotional was created out of the themes of Luke 3:15-22 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.

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