Many believers who desire the baptism of the Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues continue struggling to receive these gifts despite multiple attempts. I had shared my story of struggles and disappointments, which finally turned into joy and excitement when I eventually became filled with the Spirit and began praying in tongues.
Whether you have had multiple unsuccessful attempts at receiving the baptism of the Spirit before or this is your first time, I will share with you a simple and easy step-by-step process you can implement right now wherever you are to receive the baptism of the Spirit and to speak in tongues. The three-step process is straightforward: demolish strongholds, fan to flame your desire, and seek a Spirit-filled believer to pray for you. The first step is optional, specially designed for those who do not know what to believe because they are unsure or have heard many controversial perspectives. I will explain these steps below, but let us start by ensuring we refer to the same thing.
What is the Baptism of the Spirit?
It is essential to clarify what we are doing here and what we want to achieve. Interestingly, there are different perspectives amongst Christian on what the baptism of the Holy Spirit is. The three most important views are :
- New birth experience,
- Gradual spiritual sanctification of the Spirit, and
- Post salvation experience, where the Spirit comes upon a believer accompanied by speaking in tongues and other spiritual gifts.
There are Bible verses that back up each of these views to different degrees.
However, for our purposes, the third view is what we have in mind here:
The baptism of the Spirit is a post-salvation experience where the Spirit comes upon a believer and is usually accompanied by speaking in tongues, prophecy, and other spiritual gifts.
It is an event, just as on the day of Pentecost, and outward manifestations always follow it, usually speaking in tongues and prophecy.
Step 1: Demolish Strongholds
The first step I recommend, especially in the days of varied opinions, is to demolish strongholds. No, I do not mean fight demons! As the Bible teaches, spiritual strongholds are ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that oppose, resist, or fight against God’s purpose in our lives( 2 Corinthians 10:5). And yes, I have mine, just as you probably do, too.
Origin of strongholds
Depending on your denominational background, how long you have been a Christian or your prior Christian experiences, you probably have ideas about the baptism of the Spirit and speaking in tongues. A stronghold is formed when those ideas are not biblically true—and often, the one who has them does not know they are strongholds! If we know something is not true, we will stop believing it! We believe what we believe because we are sure it is true—whether it is indeed true or not. That is a human limitation—we can believe a lie and yet not know it. And these things we believe, truth or falsehood, control our attitudes.
You need to be sure or know the truth of what the Bible says about this gift, what to expect, and how it operates. There are different ideas out there, so amongst those ideas, one is the truth, and the others are errors. It is your responsibility to know which is which. The Bible is the only sure book of truth: but there is disagreement because the things about the baptism of the Spirit or speaking in tongues are not as clear-cut as the truth that Jesus is the Messiah.
How to pull down strongholds
My recommendation for demolishing strongholds in your life is straightforward. You should do a personal Bible study on the subject with no external influences from your denomination, ministers like me, your pastor, or even theologians. Once you complete this study, you can then draw your own conclusions on the subject. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this simple but critical piece of advice, especially if you are confused about what to believe: please stop listening to any sermons on this topic (for now), drop any Christian book you are reading, put aside your denominational doctrines or what your local Church or pastor says, close the browser to my website or teachings on this subject, pick up your Bible with the few resources you need and do a topical or thematic Bible study.
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These are the few critical questions you should answer, amongst others:
- What is the baptism of the Spirit?
- Is there an encounter with the Holy Spirit that differs from the time of salvation?
- If there was such an encounter, was it always accompanied by the gift of speaking in tongues?
- Is this second encounter with the Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues for some believers, or potentiallyfor all?
Act on the results of your study
If you do a personal study and then conclude that there is no second encounter with the Holy Spirit after salvation, or speaking in tongues is not for the believers today or is just for a few believers, then there is no need to seek the gift, and you can end with step 1. What is good about this is that you have an opinion guided by your own effective Bible Study on the subject and not what others or your denomination have told you.
Step 2: Fan to flames your Desire
Once you are sure about what the scripture says about this gift, you can proceed with steps 2 and 3. Until Step 1 is settled as a foundation, any attempts to proceed to step 2 or 3 will crumble as a collapsing tall building. The reason is simple: your ideas and what you hold as true control your actions. If you believe speaking in tongues is not for the believers today, it is useless to seek it. Or if you think you are one of those God has chosen not to speak in tongues, it will show in your actions.
You cannot walk in faith with any trace of uncertainty about what God wants or His will. If you are not sure of God’s will, your faith is already shipwrecked. That is the reason you have to be established in step in step 1. If you conclude, it is not God’s will for you, then no need to proceed. You can keep it aside—probably until something changes. Once you are sure scripture says it is for you today, you can confidently proceed with step 2.
The Fire of Desire
Desire holds a central place in receiving the gifts of the Spirit. Desire is often called thirst in scripture, and water, which is the Holy Spirit, is given to those who are thirsty! No thirst, no need to provide you with water.
Fan to flame your desire by stirring and encouraging it. One of the consequences of prior failed attempts or discouragements is the dampening of our spiritual desire. However, do not let this desire die. Instead, cause it to increase until it consumes you!
Step 3: Seek for a Spirit-filled Believer or Minister to Pray for You
There are two basic principles to understand in this step:
- The principle of ask, seek and knock, and
- The principle of impartation.
Ask, Seek and Knock( A.S.K)
The principle of ask, seek and knock teaches us a profound truth regarding receiving from God. Please read about it here before continuing this article, if needed. Yes, you can simply ask God for the gift of the baptism of the Spirit, and He would give it to you. However, such cases are rare. The Father gives some gifts in life when we simply ask, but we have to seek or knock for others. The baptism of the Spirit is one of those gifts that often need something more than just asking—seeking and knocking mean putting in the effort or pushing through beyond obstacles to receive what you want. Still, it does not mean earning it by our works or sowing some financial seed to receive it.
The baptism of the Spirit and gifts that follow are an impartation : it is a spiritual transfer from one believer to another. After the Spirit came on Pentecost (the first time), subsequent infillings with the Spirit or baptisms were accomplished through the Apostles.
The classic method of impartation in the days of the Apostles was the laying on of hands. You do not lay hands for people to be saved; laying hands is a spiritual device that transfers spiritual gifts from one believer to another. It is not a Pentecostal or charismatic thing. It is the way God works. And it is not an empty activity, but a spiritual transaction takes place: so the Lord even warns that we should not quickly lay hands on people ( 1 Timothy 5:22).
Put A.S.K and Impartation to Work
Recognizing the principle of A.S.K and impartation, I recommend seeking a Spirit-filled believer or minister to pray for you, whether in the setting of a meeting or one-on-one. Since it is an impartation, it is a spirit-spirit transfer mediated by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the right believer with the right heart is critical.
For example, you should not go to someone who does not believe that speaking in tongues is something for believers today.
Laying on of hands is not the only means of impartation. Cornelius and his household got baptized in the Spirit while Peter was still preaching, with no one touching them! ( Acts 10:44).
Do Not Be Discouraged
As I shared in my story about seeking this gift, I was so discouraged that I stopped going forward to altar calls or attending meetings for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I used the Nicodemus pathway—secretly sought help!
It does not have to be in a public meeting; you can meet with someone to help you in private. This is especially true for those who have been in the faith for a while or are ministers still seeking this gift.
And remember, it could take a few attempts. I have heard of stories of people who asked for it, received prayer, but nothing happened. However, as they went home, God met them on the way! Whatever the case, do not put God in a box.
Deshen Online Conferences( DOC)
The Lord has put in my heart to start regular online sessions of praying with believers for the baptism of the Spirit and speaking in tongues as part of our Deshen Online Conferences(DOC). By His grace, we should complete this soon, and we will notify you by email. If you are not subscribed to our newsletters, please do so here.
But I will teach on “How to Be Baptized with the Holy Spirit and Speak in Tongues”, and will also pray for the baptism of the Spirit this evening during Deshen Live Bible Study at 7 pm Central Time Thursdays. Even if you cannot attend or are watching the recording, extend your faith as you watch to receive. Remember, it is an impartation, and as you make the spiritual connection of listening and praying with me, the transfer can occur!