Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Upper Room in Jerusalem.
Two thousand years ago, a group of 120 gathered in this very room. They were the first to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but certainly not the last. This ordinary, run-of-the-mill group was equipped with power, strength and passion to fulfill the will of God for their lives. As a result, the bible says, “that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:41).
What would this world look like if we all walked in that kind of power? The bible says every nation under heaven was represented there in Jerusalem and they ALL heard the “wonderful works of God” (Acts 2:11) spoken in their own language.
The Holy Spirit gave their words meaning. More than that, He gave their life new meaning!
I have found in my own life not only is it difficult to function without the Holy Spirit’s fire, it’s impossible. Without His ignition, my words fall flat and empty.
But how do you keep this fire burning?
First, I talk to the Holy Spirit. I think sometimes we forget the Holy Spirit is a person! Frequently I find myself talking to the Holy Spirit during my prayer time as I walk through our woods in Georgia. In John 14:26, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Helper and says, “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” He is our helper and our teacher. We need the Holy Spirit to keep the Word of the Lord fresh and alive in our hearts.
Many times, I sing to Him. There is nothing quite like true, undefiled worship to usher in the presence of the Holy Spirit. When Paul and Silas sang, doors were opened, chains were loosened, and prisoners were set free!
Lastly, I have disciplined myself to be in His word daily. Now, I know you may be thinking, “But you’re a pastor, it’s your job!” Let me assure you, if I only studied to create messages I would burn out. I study to fuel the flame that He has placed deep within me. I read His Word to know Him personally.
At 16, my life was transformed when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. When that fire fell on me, there was no turning back. There was a new fervor. A new drive and passion to press forward seeking more of Him. Just like the 120 in the Upper Room … when the Holy Spirit comes, something changes in you. Gifts are awakened, purpose is stirred, and peace that comes only from the Comforter shelters you.
Does this mean every day I wake up overflowing with these things? Not always. But He has yet to fail me. It takes diligent effort on our part to keep the fire burning!
As long as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). And when God is near to you, there is nothing that can keep you at bay.
So where do you find yourself today? Maybe you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit, but the embers of that old fire are just smoldering. Fan the flame! Maybe you’ve never been baptized with the Holy Spirit …
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:9-13 NKJV)!