Q. I was wondering why we don’t experience the power of the Holy Spirit in the same way the early Christians did (found in the book of Acts)?
At a recent church meeting, two ladies were prayed with to receive full baptism of the Spirit.
Both sincerely asked to be filled with the presence of God; nothing happened. The concerns here are that the ladies referred to will begin to doubt the love of God, their question being ‘Why has He filled others but not me?’
I know that it is possible to seek the manifestations of God rather than God himself, but I don’t believe this was the case here. Jesus tells us to ‘..ask and we will receive…’, and that ‘mustard seed ‘ faith is all that is required. So what is wrong here? Why does something that appears so easy become so difficult?
Just as I believe it is wrong to tell a sick person that they weren’t healed because of a lack of faith or because of sin in their lives, I also believe it would be inappropriate to apply the same reasoning in this instance.
Although in some cases this is a possibility, is this not suggesting that the responsibility lies with the individual; thus resulting in feelings of inadequacy or condemnation?
If I remember rightly, the accounts in the book of Acts reveal an abundance of God’s Spirit and in the case of Pentecost, faith was never an issue because nobody asked in the first place!
Thank you for your time and for fulfilling the call of God on your life.
A. Are you sure nothing happened? Reading between the lines, I get the impression you were looking for a visible sign as proof the baptism of the Holy Spirit had taken place. For example, in some parts of the church the gift of tongues is seen as the acceptable demonstration of the baptism’s effectiveness. This is not Scriptural and forces many into counterfeit manifestations to avoid having their spirituality or even their salvation called into question. Perhaps your two ladies received other gifts and were either too naive or too honest to “fake it.”
1 Cor. 12:7-11 begins, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” It then goes on to describe different gifts that are given to different people, closing with “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
This passage confirms that every believer gets at least one gift, and that the Holy Spirit decides what the gift(s) will be.
How many times have good sincere believers had their faith questioned and their Spirits quenched because the Church, however well intended, cast doubt upon their standing before the Lord simply because they couldn’t manifest a gift that the Holy Spirit hadn’t given them? How many have failed to perform the unique contribution the Lord designed for them because in failing to demonstrate the gift they didn’t have, they didn’t look for and use the one they did?