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Baptized In The Spirit: God's Presence Resting Upon You With Power 20

All Christ-followers have the Holy Spirit living within them. And yet, there is more. When you are baptized in the Spirit you will experience new dimensions of God’s power resting upon you in a supernatural way!

Baptized in the Spirit: God's Presence Resting Upon You With Power 20

A Dove. The dove is the most common symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, it was a dove that signaled the end of the flood (Gen 8:8-12). When Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove (Mt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22; Jn 1:32). The head of the dove is often surrounded by a nimbus or round halo-like sphere which may be solid, which represents holiness, or inlaid with three rays which indicates that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity.

In other words, Peter says, we have entered the last days: the Messiah has come, he has accomplished redemption on the cross, he has risen and ascended to the right hand of God, and the interval before he returns in glory will be marked by an incomparable outpouring of the Holy Spirit on men and women, old and young, slave and free, near and far. And the people of God in this period are to be a people born of the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit to bear witness to "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." We live in the latter days of the Spirit. We live in the days that Isaiah (44:3) and Ezekiel (11:19; 36:26f.; 39:29) and Joel (2:28) prophesied and longed to see. There are no more decisive turning points in redemptive history that must happen before Jesus returns to establish his kingdom. This is it. These are the days of Pentecost, the days of the fullness of the Spirit, the days of worldwide mission.

Seventh, the saints of old experienced victory over fear by the presence of the Spirit. When God wanted to encourage the people to rebuild the temple after the exile, he said, "Work, for I am with you . . . My Spirit abides among you. Fear not" (Haggai 2:5). Just think, if Jews returning from God's judgment in Babylonian exile can take heart that God's Spirit will protect them, how much more fearless should we be who have the overwhelming assurance of God's love and power in Jesus' death and resurrection! Old Testament saints knew then and Christians know today that victory over all threats and obstacles belongs to God. Zechariah 4:6 says, "Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts."

Finally, the Holy Spirit gave some in the OT a gift of prophecy. For example, when Moses gathered with the seventy elders of Israel at the tabernacle, it says in Numbers 11:25, "The Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him and took some of the Spirit that was upon him and put it upon the seventy elders; and when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did so no more." Evidently, God only gave a brief taste of prophetic powers to the seventy elders. It seemed to point to something more that might come in the future.

23. The different versions of the "missionary mandate" contain common elements as well as characteristics proper to each. Two elements, however, are found in all the versions. First, there is the universal dimension of the task entrusted to the apostles, who are sent to "all nations" (Mt 28:19); "into all the world the whole creation" (Mk 16:15); to "all nations" (Lk 24:47); "to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Secondly, there is the assurance given to the apostles by the Lord that they will not be alone in the task, but will receive the strength and the means necessary to carry out their mission. The reference here is to the presence and power of the spirit and the help of Jesus himself: "And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them" (Mk 16:20).

Unexpectedly, Jesus comes towards us often disguised in ways in which we cannot see him. Jesus comes to us in our place of need, yet sometimes we are desperately afraid of our true need. It is hard to imagine Jesus wanting to meet us somewhere we do not want to be. Still, he comes and descends gently upon us through his Spirit. Be still and rest in Christ's presence as you pray with John's testimony of Jesus coming towards him.

Almighty God, thank you for the gift of today. Thank you for the countless things around me that I often take for granted, from the crisp morning air and the autumnal colors of the trees, to the skipping child on his way to school with his mom, or the playful dog stopping to check out every interesting bush or flower she comes upon. These simple gifts remind me of your love; may my words and actions this day remind others of your love for them, too.