“Wait… this is a first class seat!” Imagine my surprise when I realized I would enjoy the benefits of first class on my overseas flight.
I had settled in my coach window seat, ready for a long plane ride when I noticed that a family was looking for people to trade their seats so they could be together. I was traveling by myself, so I offered my seat. The grateful father gave me his boarding pass, and I started making my way to the front of the plane to take his seat. Then it hit me! The boarding pass said seat 1A. That’s a first class seat! I enjoyed all the perks and it made that long journey so much better.
Here are some things that are important to notice:
1. I didn’t need a first class ticket to get to my destination. I would have still made it traveling in coach.
2. It was a free gift. I didn’t have to pay for it; I didn’t do anything to earn it.
3. All I had to do was be willing to give up my “comfort zone” and receive.
4. My value as a person didn’t change because I was flying first class instead of coach.
5. The first class seat didn’t make me any better than any other person on the plane.
6. But it made the journey much more enjoyable!
I share this to illustrate one of the primary gifts that God gives us: the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Just to be clear… We all receive the Holy Spirit at the point of our conversion. We see this depicted in John 20:22 when Jesus (after His resurrection), breathed on His disciples and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
But AFTER that event, He “ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5).
There is a difference between receiving the Holy Spirit (at conversion) and being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls the latter, the “promise of the Father.” And Jesus tells us that all of the Father’s gifts are good (see Luke 11:9-13). I don’t know about you; but if there is something that the Father wants to give me, and that Jesus says I should receive, I want it!
I don’t have space in this blog to mention all of the benefits of being baptized in the Holy Spirit (I may cover those in a subsequent entry). But I want to point out:
1. You don’t need the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to get to your destination. You only need to receive Him (by believing in Jesus) to be saved.
2. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a free gift. You don’t have to pay for it; and you can’t do anything to earn it.
3. All you have to do is be willing to give up your “comfort zone” and receive.
4. Your value as a person doesn’t change because you receive the Baptism.
5. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit doesn’t make you better than any other person – just better than yourself without it!
6. With the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, your journey will be much more enjoyable!
So, let me ask you, Have you received the “promise of the Father”?
All you have to do is ask Jesus to baptize you in the Spirit (Matthew 3:11), and then receive by faith.
1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
If you ask Jesus to baptize you in the Spirit, you are asking according to God’s will. So you can be confident that He hears you, and that you have the request that you have asked of Him.
Don’t settle for “coach” when you can fly “first class.”
Dr. Chiqui Polo-Wood | All Rights Reserved 2015