I know I said that I was going to talk about how to get to know Jesus better, but I want to start here before we start talking about that.
This is what is on my heart today.
Acts 2:38 is considered the blueprint for salvation. Now, there is a lot of controversy surrounding it, but this is the way I see it.
Keep in mind, this is coming from a logical, factual thinking Aspie.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38 (King James Version)
I have looked at various versions, including Hebrew and Greek versions of this scripture. The word “shall” is consistent in each version – ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
When we look at the word “shall” and how it was used during that time (it is basically an obsolete word now), its definition was “necessary and imminent.” Basically, in this verse, it means that if you are where God wants you to be, you are going to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and there is nothing you can do about it.
See, it is important that you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (speaking in other tongues) but you can’t make it happen. You can’t control it. The first parts are definitely within your control, choosing to repent and get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. However, at that point it is God’s ball game.
To receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, you can pray for it, seek it, ask for it, but try as you might you can never make it happen yourself.
To say it is “necessary” is only part of the story and therefore only partly accurate.
There are a variety of reasons why it doesn’t happen for some people. They may have sins they have not confessed to God. They may feel unworthy of the gift. They may feel a little freaked out over the thought of having an experience like that. Whatever the case, surrender yourself to God, submit to Him.
For me, it happened before I was baptized, around the time I made the commitment to obey God’s word and dress as a woman (Deuteronomy 22:5 “5The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.). I began wearing skirts and dressing with modesty (the Bible is very clear that we are to dress modestly and not tempt our brothers to sin. I’m sorry, pants, tight skirts and especially jeans are usually NOT modest. They are often quite sexual in nature, revealing the female form which is what we, as Christian women, don’twant.) I had also begun to grow my hair. I was still wearing make-up at that time, but it wasn’t long (a few months) and I did away with that as well. When I began dressing as a woman and dressing with modesty, I became immersed in the spiritual world. God honored my obedience and He has continued to do so.
Anyway, as I began to shed my worldly self and move closer to God, He began to bless me in ways that I can’t even begin to explain to you. He gives me insight and speaks through me and things happen, people change. And this happens almost every day!
My point here is that when you submit to God, give Him every part of you and shed your worldly self, He will honor that.
Then when He determines that you are ready, you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
It does have to happen, it must happen, but you can’t control it. Your job is to seek it with all of your heart.
Have you received the gift of the Holy Ghost? Was it before or after your water baptism? What have you given up to follow Him?
Are you willing to give it all up for Him?