The Holy Spirit baptism fascinates me. Regardless of how much I study it or preach on it, the subject continues pulling me into its depths. I cannot get enough of it. Consider Acts 2:1-4.
“When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
📷: Adapted from Caitlin Wynne
I love the enthusiasm with which God invaded that place. In fact, even though they had gathered within a single room –“And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying” (Acts 1:13) – Scripture clearly refers to that boisterous, bellowing wind filling not only the room but rather, the entire house. It was as if God was too excited to do the job tidily. He was too ecstatic to colour between the lines. He was excessive in His enthusiasm, filling an entire abode with His presence, rather wanting to overdo the job than underdo it.
He also did not creep in with a still, small voice like when He had spoken to Elijah (1 Kings 19). This time, He was loud. This time, He rushed in with force. This time, He assailed with might. “A rushing, mighty wind,” is how the bible describes the Divine Invader. Dear friend, that wind was God Himself, the Spirit of the Most High. It was Him who filled that place. It was Him who rushed in. He had spent enough time tiptoeing around the kings and prophets of the Old Testament. Those mighty icons had not been washed righteous by the precious blood of the Lamb. That blood had not yet been shed. God could only get so close to them. Their sin kept Him at bay. Now, He saw before Him one hundred and twenty blood-washed men and women. He could saturate these with Himself. There was nothing that separated Him from them. They were His righteousness and could now be carriers of His power and glory.
Then, after He had rushed, He settled and possessed. I love how as He settled upon each disciple, He appeared as fire. Why? The disciples were Jewish. They knew how God had settled upon Mount Sinai with fire in order to relay the ten commandments and their accompanying laws: “Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly” (Exodus 19:18). Yes indeed, that mountain had quaked and been enveloped in smoke. In Acts 2, those precious disciples became the peaks upon which He came down. And, rather than being swathed in smoke, they were shrouded in glory. And, rather than trembling and quaking as that mountain had – although I am sure they trembled a bit! – their tongues rumbled with heavenly languages.
And so, dear friend, understand what it means to be filled with the Spirit. It is a grand privilege. It is a miracle as great as the new birth. It means that God does not only live in your heart – as He does in every believer – but rather, it means that He has possessed you in your entirety. Mount Sinai was enveloped completely in smoke; not solely its peak, not solely its base. So God wants to envelop you, so God wants to possess you. This happens when you are baptised in His Spirit. All of Him goes into all of you. He possesses you in your entirety. How glorious! I am possessed by God, dear friend. What about you?