I was fifteen years old, when God placed His hand upon me – it’s hard to explain how I knew – I just did. The only way I knew how to answer Him was to ask my dad about becoming a Nun. I periodically, attended a Catholic Sunday School class, and occasionally, I went to church with the neighbors across the street from us. In high school, I lost interest in God and succumbed to peer pressure. I got involved with the wrong group of friends and the sin in my life snowballed.
It wasn’t until I was 19 years old, that things started to fall into place concerning my relationship with God. It was Spring time, and I remember driving down a highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, while wondering what could I do to feel as pretty inside as those flowers looked outside: I felt so dirty. After I became a Christian, I realized that dirty feeling was the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
A few days later, I was ironing and watching TV. I was listening to Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club. Pat asked a question that got my attention, immediately. He asked, “Is there anyone out there who has not asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart, and to forgive them of their sins.” He then extended an invitation to the audience to pray with Him, and ask Jesus to come into their hearts. I prayed.
When we finished praying, Pat asked all those who prayed that prayer to call somebody, and tell them what they had just done, or to call the 700 Club to let them know. I wrote down the number of the 700 Club, and called them “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10 (NIV)
The lady who answered the phone was happy for me, and then she asked me the following question: “Have I received the baptism in Holy Spirit, since I believed?” I told the her no, and asked her to mail me information about the Holy Spirit.
As the days passed, I began to read my Bible, and found that I needed to be baptized. (Water baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.) I had no church affiliation, and I didn’t know which church to call to baptize me, so I decided to open the telephone book to churches, close my eyes, and point. When I opened my eyes, my finger was on a church called Full Gospel Fellowship. I called that church, and asked the Pastor to baptize me in water. He was happy to do so, and told me what time to be at the church service for the baptism. When I arrived, the people there were very friendly. I was baptized, and began attending that that church on a regular basis.
After a few weeks, one of the elder’s wives approached me, and asked me if I would like to have a Ladies Bible Study in my home. I had a hunger to learn more about Word of God, so I told her, yes. At the end of my first Ladies Bible Study, the Elder’s wife, Tina asked me whether or not I had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit? I told her no, and then she asked me if would like to – I was a little embarrassed because I didn’t know what to expect, so I told her no.
After everyone went home, I began to think about her question. I came to the conclusion, that if God had more to offer me – I wanted it. I got down on my knees and prayed, asking God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit and God answered my prayer.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a blessing from God which causes ordinary people to become extraordinarily effective as witnesses for Jesus Christ (Acts1:5, 8). By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Since the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) God’s plan has been to supernaturally equip every believer, so that the ministry of Jesus Christ may continue through us (John 14:12). His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:9) did not mean that Jesus’ ministry on earth stopped, but rather it was an essential step which released even more of His ministry. As the Head of His Church He now directs growing multitudes of Spirit-empowered men and women to carry His Gospel around the world (Luke 24:45-49). The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the impartation of this necessary power so that God’s servants can carry out their calling.
In Christ’s Love and † Grace, Susan Osten