My heart was overjoyed as I listened to one of our general superintendents Dr. David Graves speak on the subject of the Holy Spirit during our recent General Assembly for the Church of the Nazarene. He called our Church to receive a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t matter what denomination that you are affiliated with, all believers can and should receive fresh baptisms of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because it is necessary to our life and ministries and foundationally, it’s biblical.
A few years after the early believers were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they were being challenged by religious leaders. Rather than shrinking back in fear, the early believers began to cry out in prayer. As they gathered, the place where they had assembled was literally shaken, and they were all filled yet again with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31). Simply listening to the news or reading the newspaper reveals that churches all over our nation and beyond are being threatened by various sources. We are up against a tide of iniquity, immorality, economic challenges, and spiritual warfare on every front. These are not days for the Church to draw back or compromise our message to appease our culture. Like the early church, we must corporately gather and cry out to God expecting that He will extend His hand to heal, perform signs and wonders, and mostly, fill us yet again with a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit.
Fresh baptisms were not an occasional occurrence with the early Christians. The Bible says, “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52). Did you note that? They were “continually filled” with the Holy Spirit. What would your life look like if you were constantly filled with joy and the Holy Spirit? The essence of the kingdom that we carry within us is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Why should we not expect to increase in the very elements of the kingdom that has no end?
Everything that we do is to be sourced through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will enable us to do greater works than Jesus (John 14:12), teach us all things(John 14:26), and guide us into all truth (John 16:13). We are to witness by the Spirit (Acts 1:8), speak by the Spirit (Acts 2:4), prophesy by the Spirit (Acts 2:17), and live by the Spirit (Gal. 5:25). The Bible tells us to sow in the Spirit (Gal. 6:8), pray in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18), and to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:15). So it’s absolutely imperative that we receive fresh baptisms of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus taught us to pray with persistence—literally shamelessness—until an answer is given (Luke 11:5-13). In the context of His lesson, Jesus emphasizes our need of more of the Holy Spirit when He uttered this statement: “how much more will yourheavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” The question is not will the Holy Spirit fill us buthow much do you want? The Bible indicates that God will give the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:34).
The Bible says, “We were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). There’s little wonder then that Paul would say, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18). An alcoholic doesn’t drink just one time. They live to drink, and their bodies crave it. Therefore, someone who constantly drinks alcohol lives under its influence. We have been designed, however, to drink of the Holy Spirit. That would imply that we’re to be filled with the Spirit all the time; we are to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul used a present tense verb for filled (pleroo). We should never stop being filled with the Holy Spirit.
What would impede us from receiving a fresh baptism or filling of the Spirit? Dr. Graves stated very boldly in his message that complacency is a big reason for not hungering after a fresh touch. My heart breaks when an invitation is given to receive an impartation of the Spirit and people sit unmoved or unstirred. A lack of hunger can often reveal that we’re filling ourselves with something of lesser value. Don’t let lethargy keep you from pursuing fresh baptisms with the Holy Spirit. Truly we are either drawing closer to God through fresh baptisms or else we’re drifting from Him (see Heb. 2:1).
My mother turns 87 this year. A few years ago, she was at a prayer conference in Fort Worth, Texas. Dan Bohi laid hands on her and she received a fresh encounter with the Spirit. She came back from that conference with a new hunger and boldness. To this day, she will lay hands on people and pray for their healingor sometimes prophesy over them with boldness. I’m discovering as I travel across the nation that senior adults are experiencing fresh baptisms with the Holy Spirit in many of theservices. Rather than retiring they seem to be “refiring.”
All ages can receive a fresh touch from God. You don’t have to be in a service to receive a fresh baptism. Open your heart to the Lord where you are and seek Him for a fresh touch.
Father, I ask that you give me a fresh touch of your Holy Spirit. I open my heart and life to you. Wash over me, cleanse me, and fill me anew with your Spirit. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.