God's Power Within You
Being a "Born Again" Christian believer provides quite a transformation in a person's life. Be excited about the new breakthrough life that will unfold.
Over time, old habits, old ways, and the sin that were part of our lives will be gone. It's good to feel 'normal' and 'clean' again. What more could you possibly ask for? Being "Born Again" was only half the blessing you received. Do you want the other half? It was destined to be given to you, but you haven't asked for it. You might wonder, What have I failed to ask for? The Baptism in The Holy Spirit!
You receive The Holy Spirit the moment you ask Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior. But, there is something more you need to receive, and that's the Baptism of The Holy Spirit with power. Jesus tells His disciples in Acts 1:8, "...you shall receive power when The Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses..." That's right, power, but what kind of power? We'll cover that, but know, detail can be read in Acts 1:1-8. Baptism means immersion, so when someone is baptized in The Holy Spirit, he is immersed in the power and presence of The Holy Spirit. In this experience, The Holy Spirit takes up residence in you when you ask Him to in-dwell in you, and you will note the immediate change in what you're feeling.
It is written throughout The Bible that God's people were "filled" with The Holy Spirit before, or as miracles, signs, and wonders happened. But what kind of power does The Holy Spirit bring? In the gifts, mentioned in 1st Corinthians 12, Apostle Paul states, "so you may know what you have never known." Now let's find out what these gifts are.
First, you should read all of 1st Corinthians 12, before reading more about the gifts. Understand these gifts are given by The Holy Spirit to Christians who have had this "infilling," but they are provided so that you may help Christians and non-Christians as led by The Holy Spirit. Also, these gifts are given so that Almighty God might minister to us as well, for we know we need it. When someone is "filled" with The Holy Spirit, that person has more power to serve God, making them more valuable, as time and circumstances will reveal. Now let's read about the gifts.
In 1st Corinthians 12:4, we begin with, "Now there are varieties of gifts but the same Spirit, (v5). There are varieties of ministries and the same Lord, (v6). There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons (v7). But to each one is given the manifestation of The Spirit for the common good." Now, read on and learn of each gift.
1st Corinthians 12:8-10 explains, (v8) "For to one is given the word of wisdom in The Spirit, the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit (v9), and to another the effecting of miracles and to another prophecy and to another, the distinguishing of spirits, to another, various kinds of tongues and to another, the interpretation of tongues..." (v11) "But one and the same Spirit works all things, distributing to each one, individually, just as He wills." Re-read this many times; there is nothing The Holy Spirit is restricted in, regarding the gifts of The Spirit.
Remember, there are different levels in which spiritual gifts operate. You'll achieve a higher level of gifting and effectiveness as you increase quality devotional time with The Lord. You'll need to listen and yield to what The Holy Spirit is directing you to do, as He calls you to use your gifts. Please know that your anointing and impartation will be recognized as you minister to others.
If for some reason, you do not have the baptism of The Holy Spirit, pray with other Spirit-filled Christians to receive this gift and watch your world be transformed again to something you never thought possible. Once you have received the gift, respect "the gift." Listen for the direction that The Holy Spirit gives you as to whom, when, and where He wants you to use it. Remember the example that Jesus gave; He only did what He saw His Father do, so we need to be responsive in like manner. However, we can petition The Lord when a special person has a need, waiting on The Lord for His reply. May you bring about many blessings with your new gift. Go with confidence, as you walk as a child of The Most High God, doing His will.
- Pastor Gary Stafford