I was fifteen years old when I realized that I loved God, and wanted to serve Him. I decided to ask my dad about becoming a Nun. He told me there were many ways to serve God, and he handed me the Bible. He told me the Bible would answer and questions I have about God. I took the Bible and in the evenings, I would read the Bible under one of the lamp posts, a few yards away from my home.
I didn’t follow through with the desire of my heart; instead I succumbed to peer pressure and hung around with a group of godless teenagers. I did drugs and became a very rebellious person, and my life began a downhill spiral.
It wasn’t until I was nineteen years old, that things started to fall into place regarding my relationship with God. It was Spring time, and I remember driving down the highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, while at the same time, I was 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 their sins.” Then he extended an invitation to the audience to pray the “Prayer of Salvation” with him. I prayed, too. When we finished praying Pat encouraged all those who prayed that prayer to call somebody that you knew, or call the 700 Club and tell them that you had just prayed the “Prayer of Salvation.”
“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)
I called the 700 Club. The lady who answered the phone was happy for me. As we were wrapping up our conversation, she asked me, “Have you received the “Baptism in Holy Spirit” since you believed?” I told the her, “no” and I asked her to mail some information to me about the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.”
As the days passed, I began to read my Bible, regularly. I found that I needed to be baptized in water.
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 be baptized, 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 he told me what time to be at the church service for the baptism. When I went into the church, the people were very friendly. I was baptized and began attending that church on a regular basis.
Several weeks went by and Tina, 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 God and His Word, so I told her, sure! At the end of my first Ladies Bible Study, Tina asked me once again, if I had received the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,?” I told her, no. Again, she asked me if would like to receive the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit?” I was a little embarrassed, because I didn’t know what to expect, so I declined.
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, so I got down on my knees land asked God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. God answered my prayer. I was so excited! I went to the telephone to call one of my friends and tell them the Holy Spirit is real. I picked up the and receiver my legs buckled: I slid to the floor. It turned out my friends weren’t as happy for me as I thought they’d be, but that didn’t slow me down. I had more zeal than knowledge of God’s Word and I had not yet learned to be led by the Holy Spirit, so I suffered some emotional bumps and bruises, as I began to witness for Jesus.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a blessing from God which causes ordinary people to become extraordinarily effective as witnesses for Jesus Christ.
“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, LORD, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:5-8 (KJV)
By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Since the Day of Pentecost. Please read the second chapter of Acts.
God’s plan has been to supernaturally equip every believer, so that the ministry of Jesus Christ may continue through us.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 (KJV)
His ascension into heaven:
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9 (KJV)
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:
“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49 (KJV).
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the impartation of this necessary power so that God’s servants can carry out their calling.
They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. Revelation 12:11 (NIV)
In † Christian Love, Susan Osten