Four:
The Holy Spirit

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A Gift from Jesus

Think about how the apostles must’ve felt when Jesus told them that He would need to leave them soon to return to His Father. They had been living with Jesus for three years and had grown close to Him through all the things they had experienced together. He was not just their teacher and leader; He was their friend. Not only were their lives with Him happier and more meaningful than ever before, but He was also changing the lives of so many people around them. Jesus knew that it would be disheartening for His apostles to hear that He would be leaving them, because they had grown dependent on having His human presence with them.

Prior to His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus encouraged His apostles by telling them:

John 14:26 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Watch it: Jesus on the Holy Spirit

Jesus wanted His disciples to know that even though He wouldn’t be with them in the flesh, He would still be with them in spirit.—And not just with them, but in them.

Jesus knew that His disciples would need God’s guidance through the Holy Spirit to bring them into an even closer relationship with Him. They would also need the help of the Holy Spirit to remember all that Jesus had taught them while He was with them, so that they could share His teachings with others.

It is easy to understand why the apostles needed some persuasion in order to believe that it was actually a good thing that Jesus was going away. In John 16:7 we find Jesus telling them, “I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I go not away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.”

So not only did Jesus tell them that it was not a bad thing that He would soon be leaving, but He also told them that it had to happen so that the Holy Spirit could come to them. He wanted them to really get the point that the Holy Spirit coming to them was a big deal! Jesus knew that there was some pretty thrilling stuff in store for His disciples, and that once they were filled with the Holy Spirit they would be used by God in ways that they had never experienced before. He didn’t want them to mourn His leaving, because they had a job to do.—A job that would not only change their lives, but also change the lives of all generations to come!

When Jesus told them that those who believed in Him would do greater works than He did because He went to His Father [1], His disciples must have wondered exactly what that meant and how it would actually play out. So in John 16 He tells them that it would be through the power of the Holy Spirit that they would fulfill the greatest mission of their lives—to free the souls of men by telling them about a living Jesus who could forgive their sins and give them eternal life!

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Jesus was with His disciples off and on for forty days before He ascended to heaven. During this time Jesus gave them vital instructions on what they should do once He left them. He told them to wait until they received the power of the Holy Spirit before embarking on the commission He had given them—to “make disciples of all nations” [2]

Acts 1:4-5, 8 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. … You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me."

He knew that their witness would be so much more powerful once they received the Holy Spirit. The disciples did what Jesus said. They waited in Jerusalem, and they weren’t disappointed!

Listen: The Bible Experience: Acts 2

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Bible speaks of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Greek word from which we get baptize is baptizo, which means to be fully covered or completely immersed. To be baptized with the Holy Spirit means to be completely covered, immersed, and filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God.

Here’s an interesting account by Merlin Carothers from his book, Prison to Praise. Merlin tells us what happened to him when he received the Holy Spirit:

Be Filled
The services [at Camp Farthest Out, a retreat at Morehead City] were unlike anything [I had] ever attended. People sang with uninhibited joy, clapped their hands, and actually raised their arms while they were singing.

I felt very much out of place, but agreed there was a joy from which I could learn something. Some [folks] urged me to have a private talk with a certain lady who they said had unusual power.

"The Holy Spirit is still doing the same thing in many people's lives today," she said. "Jesus still baptizes those who believe in Him. I'd like to pray for you, that you might receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit."

Without hesitating I said, "Yes."

She placed her hands on my head and began to pray. I waited for "it" to hit me. Nothing happened. I didn't feel a thing.

I'm going to pray for you in a language you will not understand. As I pray you will receive a new language of your own."

Again she placed her hands on my head. I felt nothing, saw nothing, heard nothing. When she was through praying, she asked if I could hear or sense any words within me that I didn't understand. I thought for a minute and realized that there were in my mind words that didn't mean anything to me. I felt certain that these strange words were strictly a product of my own imagination, and I told her so.

"If you said them out loud, would you feel [like a] fool?" she asked.

"I certainly would."

"Would you be willing to be a fool for Christ's sake?" This put the situation in a different perspective. I'd do anything for Jesus. Haltingly I began to speak out loud the words that were forming in my mind.

Still I felt nothing different.

"Your experience is based on faith in a fact, not on feeling," said the lady.

I sat in deep thought. I didn't feel any different, but was I different? I looked up; an amazing realization had just hit me.

"I once again know that Jesus Christ is alive!" I said. "I don't just believe, I KNOW!"

Why, of course! The Holy Spirit brings witness of Jesus Christ, says the Bible. Now I knew that to be a fact. That was the source of the new au­thority of the disciples after Pentecost. They didn't remember a man who had lived and died and risen again. They knew Him in the present tense because He had filled them with His Holy Spirit, whose primary purpose is to witness about Jesus!

What a marvelous truth: Jesus living in us; His power operating through us.
"Thank You, Jesus!" I stood up, and something hit me! I was suddenly filled and overflowing with love for everybody in the room.

I marveled. I had been a pastor for many years and worked hard at it, yet I had never seen so much happen in the lives of so many in the short time since Jesus invaded my being in the fullness of His Spirit.

Excerpted: Prison to Praise, by Merlin Carothers (Carothers, 1970)

The Purpose for the Power

Here are a few things that the Holy Spirit gives us power for:

1) To share our Christian faith

Isn’t it cool that after Merlin Carothers received the Holy Spirit, He learned how to let go and open his mouth in faith to speak whatever God impressed on him? He didn’t even have to think about what he should tell people when he was witnessing to them. It just flowed.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power from the Holy Spirit which would enable them to be witnesses. This is a major purpose of the infilling of the power of the Holy Spirit—to help us to have the boldness and conviction that we need to share Jesus’ message of salvation with others.

If you feel shy when it comes to talking about Jesus with others, you’ll be happy to know that the Holy Spirit can give you the courage that you need to overcome your shyness so that you won’t even care what others might think of you.

Going back to the disciples, before the power of the Holy Spirit was given to them, these men were a bit clueless. They depended on Jesus’ human presence a whole lot and most likely felt incapable of doing the miracles that He did or of speaking with as much conviction as He spoke with. But after receiving this infilling of the Holy Spirit, they became courageous and filled with conviction, so much so that daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [3]

Acts 4:31, 33 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

2) To love and care for those around us

Something else that is significant about Merlin’s story is that after He received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, He felt an incredible love for those around him.

If you have a hard time getting along with your parents, with one of your brothers or sisters, or with one of your peers, remember that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of love. God is the very Spirit of love.

1 John 4:7-8, 11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. … If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

3) To help us be filled with joy

One sign of those who are filled with the Holy Spirit is how joyful, happy, and positive they are. Jesus said:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is … joy.

Think of something that makes you very happy. This could be traveling to a place you have always wanted to visit, or acquiring a much-desired gadget, or attending a friend’s party, or seeing your favorite sports team win a game. When fun and good things happen to you, you feel the joy!

This type of joy is like a taste of the joy that you can feel when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. And the difference with a temporary joy (such as the ones described above) and with the joy that the Holy Spirit gives us is that the Holy Spirit’s joy is always available to us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. This joy comes from the assurance that Jesus loves you, and that no matter what you experience in your life, God can bring good out of it.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 5:11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.

4) To strengthen our prayer life

Have you ever had a hard time expressing what was on your heart to God? You wanted to go before Him and pray for something that was important to you, but you didn’t know where to begin.

In Romans 8:26, Paul says that even though we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray, “the Spirit makes intercession for us.” This means you can ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you and through you!

5) To guide us

It can be so confusing sometimes to know what to believe in or whom to follow. So many people will tell you that they have the truth or know what the truth is. But how do you know if what they say is right?

John 16:13 says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.” So, if you’re really not sure what to do, you can always pray and ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit to help you know and discern between what’s the truth and what’s a lie.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

The Wild Goose Chase
… I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to pursue the [Holy] Spirit’s leading through life than Wild Goose chase.

I understand that “wild goose chase” typically refers to a purposeless endeavor without a defined destination. But chasing the Wild Goose is different. The promptings of the Holy Spirit can sometimes seem pretty pointless, but rest assured, God is working His plan. And if you chase the Wild Goose, [the Holy Spirit] will take you places you never could have imagined going by paths you never knew existed.

We try to make God fit within the confines of our cerebral cortex. We try to reduce the will of God to the logical limits of our left brain. But the will of God is neither logical nor linear. It is down-right confusing and complicated. A part of us feels as if something is spiritually wrong with us when we experience circumstantial uncertainty. But that is precisely what Jesus promised us when we are born of the Spirit and start following Him.

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: adventure.

Nothing is more unnerving or disorienting than passionately pursuing God. And the sooner we come to terms with that spiritual reality, the more we will enjoy the journey.

The saying in Spanish that we saw on a Sprite can … we adopted it as our mantra: Otro día, otra aventura. Translation: “Another day, another adventure.”

I love those four words inspired by Sprite. I think those words resonate with one of the deepest longings in the human heart—the longing for adventure. And I’m not sure I could come up with a better description of what it’s like to pursue God. Take the Holy Spirit out of the equation of my life, and it would spell b-o-r-i-n-g. Add Him into the equation of your life, and anything can happen!

Excerpted: Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God,
by Mark Batterson (Multnomah, 2008)

Having the Holy Spirit as our guide throughout our lives will no doubt lead us to experience an adventure-filled path!

6) To help us understand the Word

The Holy Spirit also helps us to understand the Word of God. We don't have to have years of theological education to know what God is telling us through His Word. All we have to do is ask His Spirit to open our eyes to the truths in God's words.

The Nature of the Holy Spirit
Did you ever read the Bible and had a difficult time understanding it? … I’ll never forget a guy who couldn’t read or write. His name was Brother Maise. Oh, I loved this man. He knew God. He would have people read the Bible to him. And they’d read it to him and he would just ponder it and ponder it and ponder it and ponder it. … Next time I would see him, there would be light on his face. And he would say, “You know, I had trouble with this passage, but I just prayed: ‘Lord, help me to understand this.’ He had no access to the tools we do now. He couldn’t look up other words, because it was all Greek to him. But I was amazed how God honors His Word. The Holy Spirit indeed teaches us all things and he [Brother Maise] would come up with the most incredible understanding of the Word. It wasn’t because he was brilliant at all. It was because the Holy Spirit taught him.

Excerpted: "The Nature of Jesus," by Gayle Erwin

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit can also give us what the Bible calls gifts of the Spirit. Paul wrote,

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 There are diversities of gifts, but the same [Holy] Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Below are specifics of some of the gifts of the Spirit, but something important to keep in mind is that even when you or others receive one of these fascinating gifts, you can only use such a gift to testify of Jesus, to lift Jesus up, to boast of Jesus’ greatness. In John 15:26 Jesus tells His disciples, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”

These gifts should cause others to see Jesus in you; these gifts are not for the sake of bringing others to you, but to bring you and others closer to Jesus.

1) The gift of unstoppable faith

"If you have faith as a mustard seed," Jesus told His followers, "you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you". [4] Mustard seeds are among the smallest of tree seeds. So what Jesus is saying here is that it doesn't take a whole lot of faith to do something as big as to move a mountain. But that small amount of faith has to be put to use in order to be strengthened.

You had a measure of faith given to you when you received Jesus into your life, and that faith grows a little each time you read, absorb, and act on God's Word. But if you want even greater faith, you need to ask for this gift from the Holy Spirit. Once your faith has developed, then you can have more confidence to use just a pinch of faith for pretty big things.

Faith is believing in the unseen.

Or as one man put it:

You can have very little faith in thick ice and it will hold you up just fine; you can have enormous faith in thin ice and you can drown. It's not the amount of faith you can muster that matters up front. It may be tiny, like a mustard seed. But your faith must be invested in something solid. — Lynn Anderson

And that something solid is Jesus.

Listen: The Power of a Touch

The Power of a Touch 
In Luke chapter 8 we read that one day Jesus was on His way to the house of a man whose daughter was gravely ill. The crowd was pressing around Him as usual. In the midst of the throng was a woman who had been sick for 12 years with a constant flow of blood. All that time she had gone from one doctor to another, but without success. She had spent every bit of her money on doctors and had suffered much from their treatments, yet the bleeding continued.

Desperate, the woman thought, Oh, if I could only touch Jesus, I know I would be healed!

Then, seeing Jesus afar off, she anxiously made her way towards Him. It wasn't easy to get through the pushing, shoving mob of onlookers who were all trying to get as close to Jesus as they could, but she was driven by that thought. She just had to touch Him—even if only the edge of His garment!

Finally she came within reach and, stretching out her hand, she was able to barely touch His robe with her fingertips. No sooner had she touched Him that the bleeding that had plagued her for so long stopped. A warm and wonderful feeling of health and well-being swept through her body. She knew that after all these years of pain and suffering, she was healed at last!

Jesus paused for a moment. He had felt that healing power go out from Him. Turning to the crowd He asked, "Who touched Me?"

His disciples looked at Him with amazement, saying, "With all this great crowd pressing around You, You ask who touched You?"

But Jesus already knew who had touched Him. He turned to look upon the astonished woman.

Still trembling with the realization of what had happened, she fell at His feet and told Him her story. Lovingly and tenderly, as a father would speak to his child, Jesus said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you whole. Go in peace and be healed of your disease." Jesus was making it clear to the entire crowd that touching His clothes had not made her whole—it had been her faith.

That woman had put her little bit of faith into action, and the result has echoed down through the centuries: "Your faith has made you whole!" 

Activated, Vol.1, Issue 12

Many ordinary people have received the gift of faith and have gone on to do great things for God. And it doesn’t only happen to those great men and women you have read about. You can have faith for both the simplest and the seemingly impossible things of life, if you believe that this gift is for you.—And once you receive this gift, be faithful to preserve it and help it grow by being a faithful student and doer of God’s Word.

You can also strengthen your faith by reading the accounts of men and women who have tested and proven their faith. These accounts will show you that there is no limit to what can happen when it comes to faith, and that you too can receive and use this gift to make your life and the lives of others more spectacular.

2) The unseen gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and discernment

Wisdom in this instance is knowing how to use the knowledge that God gives you. It’s knowing how to accurately judge things that happen in your life by applying the Word of God, which is the source of true wisdom.

The spiritual gift of knowledge goes far beyond just knowing stuff; it's getting a peek at the heart and mind of God. You know things you wouldn't otherwise know, because God shows them to you through His Holy Spirit.

Discernment is having "good taste and judgment"—in this case, specifically, it’s the ability to recognize the intentions or purpose of what people say or do.

These three gifts of the Spirit are called unseen gifts, because you can’t detect them with any of your five senses—but they can sure help you make good decisions and make your relations with your friends, family, and other people you work with better.

James 3:17 The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 1 Corinthians 2:4-7 My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age … but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.

3) The guiding gift of prophecy

Jesus loves to speak to us, and one way He speaks to us is through prophecy. You can receive direct messages from the Lord in which He gives you love, encouragement, comfort, and even instruction and counsel. Most prophecies come in the form of a verbal message which you can hear in your mind, but sometimes prophetic messages come by direct revelation, through dreams and visions.

Joel 2:28 It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

The gift of prophecy is an important and practical gift of the Holy Spirit, because it can help you in so many ways. It also works closely with the other gifts that the Holy Spirit offers—it helps to strengthen your faith [5] and it's a boost to practicing wisdom, knowledge, and discernment, etc.

Jesus speaks anytime, anywhere, if you believe!

Listen: Prophetic Directions

Prophetic Directions
My friend, Wolfgang Simson is an intellectual German, but he recently found himself in a predicament that required him to lay down his intellect and trust God like a child. He was scheduled to speak to a houseful of church leaders in Cairo at 5:45 PM. His contact put him in a cab at 5:00, showed the driver an address, put it back in his pocket, and said farewell.

Half an hour later, the cab pulled up—in the wrong place! And Wolfgang didn't even know what the right address was. Moreover, his Arabic was almost nonexistent. He knew how to count from one to ten, and he knew the words left and right and straight ahead, but that was about it. He said a brief prayer for help, and God immediately answered. "Prophesy to the taxi driver!"

"Lord, I-I'm a Lutheran," he stammered in his native German, "and I don't even know which direction it is."

"PROPHESY!" came the distinct voice of God again.

So with only 15 minutes left, Wolfgang obediently began barking orders at the driver. "Alatuhl! (straight ahead) "El shemahl!" (to the left) … "El Yameen!" (to the right). Every corner, every alley was a decision, and he strained to feel the Holy Spirit's promptings as the cab bounced through Cairo's chaotic streets in the Egyptian heat. He even took short cuts only a professional driver could have known. It was a high speed proof test of Isaiah 30:21: "Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

Exactly 15 minutes later the cab came to a stop right in front of the meeting house. The wide-eyed cabbie, keenly aware of the supernatural nature of this trip, refused to take any fare!

The moral of this story is that the world has changed, and God wants to speak to you directly, in practical ways, and you need to gear up for this, to learn to listen to Him.

Excerpted: Megashift: Igniting Spiritual Power,
by James Rutz (Empowerment Press, 2005)

Watch it: Stop and Listen, a skit by OneTimeBlind

4) The Amazing gifts of healing and miracles

"And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will ... lay hands on the sick, and they will recover" [6] "The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up." So "pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much". [7] These are not just grand words spoken by a grand man—these are promises Jesus gave for us to claim and act upon in faith.

We may feel uncertain that something so simple as praying over someone to be healed does the trick, but the Holy Spirit can give us the courage to claim these promises and to believe them to be true.

People think that miracles were either only performed by Jesus or were a thing of the past, but Jesus still performs miracles for and through His people today.—And sometimes these miracles happen to those who don’t know Jesus that well, but He allows it so that those who witness the miracle can believe in His love for them.

The English word miracle comes from the Latin mirari, to wonder at. Miracles grab people's attention. Often Jesus allows miracles to happen so that people’s attention will be drawn to whatever message He wants to give to them.

Listen: Time Enough to Give a Message

Time Enough to Give a Message
A 12-year-old gypsy girl died in Argentina. She had been a Christian for some months, but her attempts to be a witness to the tightly knit gypsy community had been rejected.

In the wee hours of the morning, in the middle of her funeral wake, she suddenly sat up in her casket, causing the people in attendance to jump up, rejoice and dance, and start dismantling the funeral setup.

"Don't take anything down!" The girl said. "Jesus told me to return just to tell you that He loves you and that you have to accept Him if you want to be saved. That's the only reason I'm here. At ten o'clock Jesus will come back for me, so leave everything like it is."

At 10:00 AM, her Lord Jesus came back and took her home. Her gypsy friends swarmed into the kingdom.

Excerpted: Megashift: Igniting Spiritual Power, by James Rutz

5) The extraordinary gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues

The Apostle Paul refers to the gift of tongues as "the tongues of men and of angels". [8] Sometimes these are earthly languages—tongues of men—as was the case on the Day of Pentecost, when the apostles preached to the crowds of foreigners in various languages which they had never learned. [9]

Tongues are mainly for your own encouragement. Even when you don't understand the words coming out of your own mouth, speaking to God in praise in tongues uplifts your spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.

God knows exactly what is being said in tongues, and He will give you the interpretation if you ask Him and if it's something you are meant to understand.

The gift of interpretation of tongues is virtually the same as the gift of prophecy. The only difference, really, is that the message first comes from God in an unknown tongue. Tongues and interpretation can be a wonderfully uplifting way to hear from Jesus.

There you have it! Those are some of the gifts that the Holy Spirit can give us. Jesus knows what gifts of the Holy Spirit you need and can benefit from. But more important than receiving these gifts is what you do with them after you have them. For example, if you have the gift of prophecy, but instead of using it to encourage others or get clear direction from the Lord, you try to use it to get to do the things you want to do (such as telling your parents that you received a prophecy that said you could do something, when in fact, you didn’t take the time to ask the Lord about it), then in the end, you will end up hurting not only yourself (by slowly losing trust and faith in your gift), but also others (by their losing faith in you and your gift).

Also, sometimes we ask Jesus for a gift, which He gives us, but that gift won’t work for us until we begin to use it. If you received an iPod as a gift but all you did was keep it in your drawer, it wouldn’t do you much good. In order to make your iPod work for you, you need to download iTunes, get it connected, copy over the mp3 files you want to listen to, and then hit the play button. If it’s your first time using an iPod, it may be confusing or difficult to know how to use it, but the more you use it, the more you learn about the interesting features that are available to you and the more you enjoy it.

Just Ask

Just like with faith, when we receive Jesus we receive a portion of the Holy Spirit. But there is more! Jesus offers you a chance to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:1-6 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

If you want the Holy Spirit to enter your life, all you have to do is ask. It's as simple as that! You can't earn it or be worthy of it any more than you could earn or be worthy of salvation. It's a gift. You have to ask for and receive it by praying a prayer like the following one:

Dear Jesus, I know that I need more of Your love and power in my life, so please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Give me the gifts of Your Spirit that You know I need, and help me to use them to love others more and to be a witness of Your love. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, who can help me to continually grow closer to You, to understand Your Word better and put it into practice in my life. In Your name I ask.

Footnotes

[1] John 14:12

[2] Matthew 28:19

[3] Acts 5:42

[4] Matthew 17:20

[5] Romans 10:17

[6] Mark 16:17-18

[7] James 5:15-16

[8] 1 Corinthians 13:1

[9] Acts 2:1-11