At the time I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit I was in terrible place. I had broken up with my girlfriend and the turmoil hit an all-time high. I was consumed with grief, so I took that grief to God in prayer.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing. As I knelt at the side of my bed sobbing and crying out for God’s intervention I had an experience. All of a sudden an audible and tangible wind burst into my room. I remember so clearly hearing a “SWOOSH.” Then it entered me and I heard myself speaking in a strange language. But because I had only been exposed to the traditional Baptist and Methodist church, I had no grid for what was happening. At that time I had not heard of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” So this was all new to me. That being the case, I resisted it.
I was so confused by the whole experience that I never did it again. In fact, it would rise in me during worship and I would yield for a second, question why I was saying these gibberish-sounding words, and then resist it. It took years for me to feel comfortable speaking in tongues but now I do it every single day.
With the baptism of the Holy Spirit, however, come other benefits and special abilities. For starters, the passion for pursuing righteousness and reading the Bible was much stronger. I also noticed that I was more perceptive and revelatory. I also started getting urges to preach these revelations. It would come upon me suddenly and I would jump up and preach them to anything around. I also started hearing God’s voice clearly, having visions and dreams, and writing articles to hand out to people.
One on the best advantages I have experienced from the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the anointing of fire and His voice. The two form a winning combination in my life. For those who don’t know what the anointing of fire is, John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and Fire. I cannot speak for anyone but myself but I experience the fire of God as a literal sensation of heat. It feels like moving heat and electricity or warm lava and varies in degrees of intensity. Sometimes it is very hot and heavy (weight wise) other times it is light and fills the atmosphere around me. Whoever is around at the time can tangibly feel the presence of God.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire has also empowered my spiritual hearing. Over the years I have learned to hear God in various ways. Sometimes He speaks to me in an internal audible voice. It is an inner voice and it is always shocking to me no matter how many times I hear it. Other times God speaks to me in a flow of spontaneous thoughts and ideas. Sometimes it is conversational; other times my mind lights up with information and I suddenly know things. Sometimes it is information about people and most of the time it is information or knowledge. I also experience the voice of God as an unction, or a feeling that I need to do or say something.
I also experience God in visions and dreams, which we know are flowing pictures upon the mind. This happens while I am asleep or in a state of daydreaming. This is also how I get my sermons and teachings and the illustrations to use. God usually says something that captures my attention, and then I grab paper and pen, sit on the side of the bed, and just watch and listen as He lays out the sermon/teaching. Sometimes I see the entire sermon beginning to end and it always includes some illustrations (pictures/scenarios that I can see).
I can truly say that my life has not been the same since that night God baptized me in the Holy Spirit. That experience forever changed who I am as a person. I am a man on fire for Christ because of it.
Things to Note: The baptism in the Holy Spirit came while he was alone, seeking God with emotional intensity for healing of his heart. It came with tongues initially, which he had no training on so he resisted for a while. Other changes which the Spirit brought were: a passion for pursuing righteousness and reading the Bible, greater perception and more revelation, and an anointing to preach these revelations. God’s voice and power to heal were greatly enlarged.
Related Resources:How to Be Empowered by the Holy Spirit!