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Fostering a Setting for People To Receive, part 3
By Scott Erickson
A lot of people seeking the Baptism are not sure what God is going to do. They may be very interested in knowing what God has for them, but they don’t know what it is or what it looks like.
Philip’s ministry in Samaria in Acts 8 intrigues me. Philip was preaching and good things were happening—miracles, signs, and wonders. The church in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to take part in Philip’s ministry. In verse 17, when Peter and John laid their hands upon them “they received the Holy Spirit.” I think we should pray, like Peter and John did, that people might receive the Holy Spirit, the gift God has already offered.
We can help people anticipate the Lord’s promise by saying, “When I lay hands on you, I believe you’re going to receive the Holy Spirit.” In this way, we’re creating in people a great sense of anticipation that what is said in God’s Word is what we’re going to do and what is going to happen.
God honors believers who have decided they will receive when someone lays hands on them. “When that pastor or that leader or that Sunday School teacher lays hands on me, I am going to receive the Holy Spirit.” We must create an atmosphere Built on the Word of God. Sometimes people feel unworthy and want to come to their own conclusions. We need to be people who simply say, “Lord, I know You know what my weakness is. I ask You to help me receive right now.” We need to believe and anticipate with people that they can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. God’s gift of His Spirit is reserved for His children, and He desires for us to receive the Holy Spirit.
We must also remember the role faith plays for the candidate who is seeking the Baptism. If someone comes to the altar to receive the Holy Spirit while harboring doubts in their mind, or if they’re thinking about how they were raised (perhaps in an anti-Pentecostal environment), Satan can use that doubt to prevent them from receiving the Holy Spirit. The believer must reject these doubts and claim what God has promised. A person who yields to the Spirit can know that God is going to do something great in their life.
Furthermore, the Holy Spirit wants to continue working in every person who has received the Baptism. We should not just emphasize that the Bible says the person who has been filled with the Holy Spirit will speak in other tongues. I believe the Bible also shows a new doorway for ministry that the Spirit-filled believer will experience. We should pray in tongues every day. Praying in the Spirit is a tremendous tool for our spiritual growth and empowerment. Outside of the Word and the name of Jesus, praying in the Spirit daily keeps a person saturated in the love of God, keeps them refreshed, keeps their heart on fire and in tune with the Spirit, and enables them to see great things happen for the purposes of the Kingdom.
This article was excerpted from Helping Others Receive the Gift, compiled and edited by Tim Enloe. To purchase this book, click here.