Good morning Church and God Bless on this Pentecost Sunday!
I will start this Sermon with a little back ground on Baptism, then head into Baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
WHY DID JESUS NEED TO BE BAPTIZED?
So why would Jesus need to be baptized by John?
Well… Jesus’ baptism by John was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, Mark 1:1 starts out: “The BEGINNING of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” and then Mark starts telling us about Jesus’ baptism by John.
In Luke 3:23 we’re told of Jesus’ baptism by John and then we read: “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he BEGAN HIS MINISTRY…”
Obviously, for some reason, Jesus’ ministry began with His baptism.
Now, at this point in Jewish history, water baptism served one of 3 purposes.
1st, there was the Baptism Of Repentance.
This was what John the Baptist’s was preaching.
But of course Jesus didn’t need to repent because He hadn’t sinned.
The 2nd kind of baptism was for people who desired to convert to Judaism.
It was a Baptism Of Conversion.
If you were a Gentile who wanted to convert to Judaism, they baptized you in water.
ILLUS: Jamieson, Fausset and Brown explained that: “The Jews were accustomed to say of a heathen proselyte, on his public admission into the Jewish faith BY BAPTISM, that he was a new-born child.”
So, baptism was used when someone wanted to convert to Judaism. But Jesus had no need to convert to Judaism. He already was one. He’d been born a Jew.
So baptism in those days could be for repentance or conversion… and Jesus did not need to be baptized for those reasons. So, for what OTHER reason would a person be baptized in water back then???
Well, the only other people who experienced baptism – in the Jewish faith in that day were priests. The Law dictated that especially the High Priest was to “washed with water.” And the Temple had pools set aside for just that purpose.
In Leviticus 8:6 we’re told that – by the instruction of God — “Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water.”
Then, later, during that ceremony Moses “poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him.” Leviticus 8:12
This act INITIATED Aaron’s ministry as High Priest. When Aaron and his sons were washed with water and anointed with oil, they BEGAN their priesthood and were empowered to make sacrifices and to handle holy things as God’s representatives.
At that point (their baptism) God put His mark of approval on the ministry of Aaron and his sons.
The Bible tells us that Jesus’ ministry began with His baptism by John.
After His baptism, the Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit as it descended on Him in form of a dove. And the Father put His mark of approval on Jesus by loudly declaring:
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
This was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry as our High Priest.
Did you realize Jesus was our High Priest?
Indeed He is!
Hebrews 4:14: “…we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God…”
From the day of His baptism by John at the Jordan until His death on the Cross, Jesus (as our High Priest) prepared the ultimate sacrifice for our sins… His own body.
In three different books the Bible tells us the same precepts about the same subject, What is the importance of three different references to the same subject? to establish a fact needs two or three witnesses! here we have Matthew, Mark and Luke!
Matthew 3:11 (KJV)
King James Version
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear : he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
King James Version (KJV)
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
King James Version (KJV)
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus gave His disciples (and by extension, us) wonderful promises related to the coming Holy Spirit. According to Jesus, the Spirit would have quite a ministry in our lives. Not only would He be a comforting presence, but He would also be God’s good-faith deposit in our hearts, ensuring our salvation (Ephesians 1:14).
One of the phenomenal benefits of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in this, the Church Age, is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Elsewhere called the gift of the Holy Spirit (not the Holy Spirit Himself, but the gift given by the Holy Spirit), and being filled with the Spirit, Spirit-baptism is a life-changing, lifelong experience in which one’s level of intimacy with God is heightened in a way that transcends the limitations of our humanity.
What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let’s define baptism. The English “baptize” is from the Greek, baptizo, which means to plunge or to whelm (as in overwhelm). To be baptized in water, then, is to be plunged or overwhelmed with water. This is why most Protestant churches baptize by fully submerging the candidate in water. It is in keeping with the definition of word.
Translating this over to Spirit-baptism, it simply means to be plunged or whelmed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Rather than being baptized in the Spirit, as in water, we are baptized with the Spirit. He who at the point of salvation inhabited the spirit now infills it. We are whelmed from the inside, having His transformative presence flood us.
Now, what does this mean on the practical level? Well, it means that we are able to strengthen the inner being in a special way, through a special ability to converse and commune with God in a “super-human” way. (No, this isn’t about to get creepy. Just keep reading…)
The first thing we must understand is that there’s a difference between the indwelling and infilling (baptism) of the Holy Spirit. When we get saved (born again; give our lives to Jesus), the Holy Spirit immediately takes up residence in our spirit (Ephesians 1:13; Romans 8:9b). It is His presence within that quickens our spiritually dead spirit to life, and brings about a gradual transformation of spiritual growth, gradually graduating toward perfectly reflecting the character of Jesus in our lives (from “glory to glory”, as 2Corinthians 3:18 puts it). This is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
The infilling, on the other hand, is a subsequent experience that begins when we cross the threshold of yielding our inner selves to the pre-existing presence of the indwelling Spirit. In other words, the Holy Spirit, who already lives within our human spirits from the moment of our salvation, saturates us with His presence in Spirit-baptism.
Take note that you can’t be filled with the Spirit if He doesn’t already dwell in you. In other words, Spirit-baptism is only available to born again believers. He can’t fill a spirit that’s still spiritually dead. Now, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when a person gets born again and filled at the same time. That’s definitely possible, as being filled is simply a matter of yielding the inner spirit fully to the Holy Spirit—which a brand spanking new convert is perfectly capable of doing. and so there is no confusion, Does a person have the need for either Water or Holy Spirit Baptism to make it to Heaven? The answer is no, remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus? Jesus Himself said the thief was going to be with Him.
So then, salvation brings the Spirit of God within, whereas Spirit-baptism is what causes the presence of the Spirit to fill you to the overflow, to the point that what’s within is stirred up, expanded, and flows out. This is pictured in a prophecy Jesus gave to His disciples concerning this wonderful experience.
“‘He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.”  But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The “belly” (as the King James Version renders “innermost being”) is symbolic of the inner spirit. It is from this core of our being that this supernatural river of life is stirred up and flows. It is from there that the presence of the Spirit within fills to overflowing. Now, some people mistake this prophecy of Jesus as referring to the coming indwelling of the Holy Spirit (which also had not taken place yet); however, this is not the case. The way we know this is really a teaching in itself, so suffice it to say that if you begin reading at verse 33, it becomes a little clearer (especially when compared to what other passages teach on the subject—again, examining this in detail is a teaching in itself).
One of the other ways this outflow of the Spirit of God through us is pictured is in Jesus’ prophecy concerning the Spirit coming upon us and empowering us to be witnesses of Jesus through the preaching of the gospel.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
So then, one of the primary purposes of Spirit-baptism is to minister to others. Whether visualized as rivers of life-bearing water flowing out of us or the power of the Spirit upon us, Spirit-baptism empowers us to supernaturally speak life to spiritually dead (unsaved) or even spiritually dying (saved but on spiritual life-support) people. We are to be a wellspring of vitality and spiritual strength, not a self-righteous group of holier-than-thou super-saints who go around judging and condemning others (as many of the denominations known for emphasizing the Spirit-filled life are sometimes (mis)characterized, e.g. Pentecostals, Apostolics).
Those of us who believe and teach Spirit-baptism often—and regrettably—fail to emphasize this external priority with Spirit-baptism. We so often get hung up on the ecstatic and very personal side of Spirit-baptism that we neglect the reason this personal benefit exists in the first place—to strengthen us through heightened personal intimacy with God, yes; but especially and ultimately to position us to minister the grace of God in the power of the Spirit. It’s about others, not just about us!
It’s one thing to realize that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a valuable gift that God has made available to His children. It’s another thing to actively seek it. Some teach that we shouldn’t seek Spirit-baptism, and that it’ll just happen what God determines it’ll happen. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
“Then He said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;  for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;  and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’  ‘I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 
‘So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  ‘For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.  ‘Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?  ‘Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?  ‘If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?’” Luke 11:5-13
Once again, we have a passage that’s often misinterpreted as applying to the indwelling, rather than the infilling of the Holy Spirit. However, a little logic should clear up this misconception. Jesus teaches, here, that it’s not only perfectly acceptable, but even desirous that we seek the Holy Spirit. Now, think about how the indwelling takes place. A person gives his/her life to Jesus and the Spirit of God makes that person’s spirit His home. Nowhere in this process of salvation does the person have to seek the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to knock on the Spirit’s door in order to be saved and for the Spirit to take up residence. To the contrary, Revelation 3:20 pictures Jesus standing at the door of our hearts knocking, not the other way around!
But Jesus says in this passage that we should seek after the Holy Spirit—that if we knock on the proverbial door, He will open it to us! Now, that’s wonderful and encouraging news in itself; but we have to understand that this is a different experience than being born again. In salvation, Jesus seeks us out, knocking on our door with the message of the gospel, inviting us to receive Him as our Lord and Savior. In Spirit-baptism, we become the one actively seeking… knocking… asking.
So, the point Jesus was making in this passage, which we now see is referring to Spirit-baptism (the gift of the Holy Spirit), is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does not have to be a long, laborious task. God already desires for us to cross the threshold into Spirit-baptism. All He needs from us is a seeker’s heart, one that is open and yielded to the Spirit, who already resides within.
Contrary to what some churches teach (especially in the traditional Pentecostal denomination), there is no need to “tarry” for the Holy Spirit. To tarry, in its simplest, biblical form is simply to wait; however, in many churches, the idea of tarrying has become a hyperstatic, spiritualized ritual in which the seeker is encouraged to make vain repetitions until they begin to stumble over their words, thereby simulating the sounds of glossolalia (i.e. speaking in tongues). The problem in this ritual is that people are seeking and simulating an empowerment that only the Spirit can give, rather than simply yielding to the Spirit who gives this ability.
As for tarrying in the biblical sense—waiting for the Holy Spirit—this is not a sound practice for Christians to engage in. Yes, it’s true that before ascending back to Heaven, Jesus commanded His disciples to go to Jerusalem and tarry until they were endued/clothed with power from God (Luke 24:49). It’s also true that this enduing is, in fact, the Holy Spirit coming upon them, as Jesus said in Acts 1:8 (quoted above). However, once the Holy Spirit came (for during Jesus’ ministry, He had not yet come—John 7:39; 15:26; 16:13), there was no need to continue to tarry/wait. Wait for what? He’s here already!
So, we don’t have to wait. We simply have to seek. But, how do we seek? Do we simulate tongues? No. We simply pray and ask God to give us the baptism. We worship Jesus, and lose ourselves in His presence. We allow His Spirit within us to be stirred and to rise in us, as though God is pouring the wine of His Spirit into the cup of our hearts until it overflows. As the Spirit begins to move in us during this time of prayer and worship, and as we yield to that move/unction, we will be filled. He already desires to fill us. All we have to do is ask/seek/knock. We do that, and then yield to Him so that He can do what we’re asking Him to do.
Being filled doesn’t take 1-3 hours of tarrying. It doesn’t take someone telling us to make this or that kind of sound. It simply takes us losing ourselves in the presence of God, and allowing that presence to stir and swell up in our hearts. It takes us trusting His prompting and letting go—surrendering ourselves to His unction (more on this unction in a moment).
How do we know we have received the Baptism?
I’m so glad you asked this question… Is Spirit-baptism like salvation, where we may or may not feel different but accept by faith that we’re filled? Absolutely not! Such is definitely the case with being born again; but when we cross the threshold into Spirit-baptism, these is a definite and perceivable indication. There is an initial and necessarily ongoing evidence.
Now, this is one of the more controversial aspects to the baptism of the Holy Spirit; however, if we allow Scripture to be our teacher, there is really only one conclusion that we can draw.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Acts 2:1-4
When this promised gift of (given by) the Holy Spirit arrived… when the first group of Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit, the experience manifested itself through glossolalia—speaking in tongues. The experience was so explosive and demonstrative that flaming tongues rested on each one, visually representing the sign of the baptism.
John the Baptist (called so because he baptized people in water) prophesied that Jesus, who was yet to reveal Himself at that time, would baptize us with “the Holy Spirit and with fire.” He showed how the two work together in one during the baptism experience. This fire is quite literally the tongues of fire that manifested on the Day of Pentecost. Speaking in tongues, then, is the fire through which Spirit-baptism manifests itself. It is the initial evidence that one has been filled with the Spirit.
Now, let me pause for a moment and talk about speaking in tongues. You may be wondering what exactly it means. Speaking in tongues is the act of speaking in a language that you’ve never learned. It may be a human language (called “tongues of men” in 1Corinthians 13:1) or a spiritual language (called “tongues of angels” in the same verse). What happens during the experience is that the Holy Spirit unctions/prompts our spirit to pray. But since the Holy Spirit is praying on our behalf through our spirit, it is a perfected prayer.
Also, because our spirit is the vessel through which the prayer is made, our mental cognition (which is a function of the soul) is completely bypassed. We open our mouths and allow the words to flow, but we have no awareness of what’s being said. It’s not a language we know because it’s not a language we need to know. If we did know it, our soul (mind/consciousness) would undoubtedly interfere, as would be the natural response. Instead, the soul is kept out of the loop, and the inner spirit prompts our mouths to produce a language of the spirit.
Why is it necessary to bypass the soul? Well, our souls are in a state of growth. When we got saved, we began a process of maturing in the Lord, and in this process, our soul is gradually transformed. But, this is an ongoing process, during which the soul is still subject to error. Think about it. Our thinking, our emotions, and our will are most certainly not perfected. So, this supernatural ability to bypass our imperfect ability to consciously pray and allow the inner spirit to pray is an amazing gift. Perfect prayers are offered, and even though our soul (our mind) is not edified through the experience (because we have no idea what was said), we’re still built up in the spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4a).
This is one of the reasons that crossing the threshold into Spirit-baptism can be so challenging, even though it doesn’t have to be. It can be a scary thing to feel something welling up within you, wanting to burst forth—something that will unconsciously move your body (which you—that is, the conscious you—are accustomed to being in control of). So, even though we desire the baptism, something in us holds on, preventing us from fully letting go and letting the Spirit unction us in this fire. But letting go is precisely how we cross the threshold.
This is why I always recommend that a person seeking Spirit-baptism just ask God for it, and then enter into worship. As we flow in worship, we can more easily lose ourselves, and it is in the losing of the conscious self that Spirit-baptism becomes an easier thing to achieve; not because we’re tarrying and simulating, but because we’re losing ourselves in the Presence.
Keep in mind that speaking in tongues is not something we can do in and of ourselves. That’s why simulation exercises often practiced by people who tarry are wholly unbiblical. It is the Holy Spirit who provides us with the ability. We can spend all day and night trying to speak in tongues. Nothing will happen. It’s His infilling that we should seek, not the evidence of it.
Are you sure tounges is the initial evidence?
As I said before, the idea of tongues being the initial evidence of Spirit-baptism is quite controversial. Even though most Pentecostal, Apostolic, and other charismatic churches accept this fact, a great many don’t believe it’s so. They often respond that there are many evidences of a Spirit-filled life, including manifesting the fruit of the Spirit (spoken of in Galatians 5:22-23). However, Scripture itself presents a sound and irrefutable case that glossolalia is, indeed, the initial evidence of being filled with the Spirit.
We already saw that when Spirit-baptism was initially endowed on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), it manifested visually in tongues of fire, and every person in the place they were gathered spoke in tongues. But, this event was not the only occurrence of people being filled with the Spirit.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.  All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.  For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God…” Acts 10:44-46
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” Acts 19:6
“Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,  saying, ‘Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 8:17-19
In conjunction with Acts 2:1-4, the first two passages show that tongues continued to accompany the initial infilling of the Holy Spirit. Now, Acts 10:46 says that they were speaking with tongues “and exalting God;” but we cannot understand exalting God as a second evidence because in order for something to serve as evidence, it would have to be exclusive to those who have crossed that threshold. Yet, all creation can exalt (praise and honor) God, even the stones! Likewise, Acts 19:6 says that the people were speaking with tongues “and prophesying;” yet people prophesied for thousands of years before Pentecost. So again, it can’t be considered an evidence. It’s in keeping with what Scripture elsewhere says about exalting God and prophesying to understand that they did these things in conjunction with their tongues; but that the tongues, themselves, were the evidential element.
The third passage recounts Simon the sorcerer being so impressed that the Holy Spirit was given with the laying on of the apostles’ hands that he offered to pay them for the ability to do the same. Here’s the million dollar question: How did he know the people who had hands laid on them had received the Holy Spirit? If it were simply a matter of the apostles telling them that they’d received the gift of the Holy Spirit, Simon certainly didn’t have to offer money to be able to do the same. No. These people did something that nobody else did. They did something that served as proof that the Holy Spirit had come upon them. Even though the passage is not specific in identifying what served in this evidential capacity, every other instance of Spirit-baptism recorded in Acts contains the single, consistent manifestation of tongues.
This, coupled with the fact that John the Baptist prophesied a coming baptism with fire, and the fact that tongues initially manifested through tongues of fire makes a clear cut and—dare I say—indisputable case for the fact that Spirit-baptism is initially evidenced by glossolalia. It has been my experience that a refusal to accept the biblical witness on this point is almost always resultant from a lack of one having personally experienced tongues and, as a result, choosing to hold the idea of Spirit-baptism captive to their (lack of) experience. They don’t want to think of themselves as not having crossed that threshold, and so they remove the threshold altogether and teach that once one is born again, they immediately receive the baptism, and that there is no initial evidence. This is, quite simply and most definitely, not the case.
That said, there’s absolutely no shame in not having received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. While it’s a wonderful and, I believe, very important aspect of the Christian experience, it doesn’t make someone less Christian to not have been filled. People who are filled are not less likely to fall short. They’re not less likely to misinterpret Scripture. They’re certainly not less likely to fall prey to pride, in thinking that they’ve achieved a “higher spiritual status” than other believers. They’ve simply activated a wonderful gift that Christ has made available to all born again believers.
Why should we continue speaking in tounges?
It would be a grave mistake to read my continual reference to tongues being the “initial evidence” of Spirit-baptism and conclude that because it’s only the initial evidence, it’s inconsequential beyond that point. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Tongues are the fire of the Holy Spirit. They are the means through which He empowers us to a heightened experience of intimacy and to be witnesses of Jesus Christ.
How tounges enable greater intimacy!
As we’ve discussed, tongues is a means of communication with God on a level that is not possible with the conscious mind. Through the practice, the Holy Spirit prays a perfected prayer to God through our spirit. Our understanding (conscious awareness) may be unfruitful, but our spirit is still edified.
Jude 20 says that we build up our most holy faith through praying in the spirit. It’s interesting that he didn’t just call it our faith, but our “most holy faith.” The idea is that faith is generally a product of the soul (of our mind and will). We choose to believe God. Even before getting saved, we had to release faith in order to become born again; yet our spirit was dead at the time, so that faith had to be born somewhere. It was in our souls.
But, prayer in the spirit—which builds up the inner person who was recreated after the image of God after we got saved—allows the building of a greater faith than the soul can muster. It allows faith which pours forth from our spirit… faith which pushes past our conscious awareness and taps directly into the spirit-realm. This faith is built up as we speak to God in the spirit, and as He speaks right back to our spirit—a “most holy faith”, indeed!
The apostle Paul said in 1Corinthians 14:2 that when we speak in tongues, our spirit is speaking mysteries. Divine revelation and insight is imparted through the consistent practice of tongues (a.k.a. praying in the spirit). Where do these mysteries come from? Well, the one enabling us in the first place—the Holy Spirit. As He reveals these mysteries to our spirit through praying in the spirit, we receive and deposit those revelations deep inside. As we develop more spiritually, we tap into those truths and can begin to discern those mysteries consciously (1Co. 2:9-16).
As we continue to develop through this special communion with God, we are more greatly enabled to fulfill our commission—the ultimate reason for which Spirit-baptism was given in the first place—being a witness. When it’s all said and done, it’s all about ministry. It’s all about being able to help draw others to Christ and, if they already know Christ, to draw them nearer. It’s not that people who haven’t received the baptism cannot be witnesses, and cannot draw others. But, it’s a special enablement that is made available to us, one which transforms our own lives, and can help us to transform others’ lives. Why would we turn that wonderful gift down?
It’s because Spirit-baptism is ultimately about others that Paul presents an excellent teaching on the whole point of spirituality in 1Corinthians 14. He says that even though he speaks in tongues more than anybody else, in a public gathering, he’d much rather speak in people’s native language with a word from the Lord in order to help them. He also said that even if he speaks in tongues, if he doesn’t have love for others, that enablement is reduced to nothing but a bunch of meaningless noise (clanging symbols, he called it). Why? Because if the ultimate purpose is ministry—to help people, and to draw them to a deeper depth in their knowledge of and relationship with Jesus—what’s the point if love is not the singularity from which our efforts spring forth? All we have at that point is vain religion, no better than that of the Pharisees. All we have is a form of godliness, while we’ve denied its true power (2Timothy 3:5).
Speaking from experience, I cannot overstate the importance and blessing of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I often think about where I would be in my spiritual walk had I not crossed this threshold. I rely on His unction. I rely on being able to pray a perfected prayer
when I think I know what to pray, and also when I know that I don’t know what to pray. Being able to pray in the spirit for someone’s unspecified need is so much better than just praying, “Lord, I don’t know their specific situation, but you know. Lord, do it!” It’s gratifying to know that the Spirit knows exactly what the person is going through, and that He can use my mouth to pray the prayer that needs to be prayed.
I’ve also come to rely on the spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:17). As a teacher of the word (but also just as a Christian), I often employ my prayer language during times when I know that I’ll need revelation in order to adequately accomplish my goal. When knowing that I need to minister to someone dealing with a unique or unknown situation, it’s good to be able to pray in the spirit, pulling those mysteries out of the spirit-realm, and depositing them within so that, at the appointed time, God can release them to my awareness during the time of ministry.
I also employ tongues very often during worship. I live to worship, and I definitely honor Him with my conscious awareness. But, I also enjoy being able to exalt him (as they did in Acts 10) with perfect exaltation… with perfect words of praise and adoration. Oh what a joy and a privilege to be able to commune with Him on this plane!
If you haven’t received the baptism of the Holy Spirit—the gift of the Holy Spirit—I implore you… Seek it! He wants you to have it; so it’s just a matter of you aligning your desire with His, and yielding to His Spirit within you. If you have received the baptism but don’t consistently exercise your prayer language, change that. Pray in the spirit every day! Build up your most holy faith, and see how it elevates and edifies you. During times of distress and challenge, let the Spirit pray the perfect prayer through you. When praying for others, after praying with your limited knowledge (as we all have), let the Spirit take that prayer to another level!
It’s called the gift of the Holy Spirit for a reason. I hope that you take full advantage of it, not only for yourself, but also for the sake of the Kingdom, that you may be a witness endowed with power from the Lord.
May He fill your cup till it runneth over!