Beans and Rice: Part 2
Because this is a two-parter, I recommend going back to read Rice and Beans: Part 1 again. Your answers to those questions will benefit you as you consider today's devotion.
We talked about 2 Timothy 1:7 that says:
"You have not been given a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and self-control."
I believed in the truth of this verse, but I never experienced it as a reality. Fear controlled my life; I still didn't feel loved; and as for self-control... well. I fell short.
Like the body needs both beans AND rice, a confession of faith needs both baptism in water in Jesus' Name AND the fire of the Holy Spirit.
When I first heard this, I responded like my friend who was surprised about incomplete proteins... "What?!? How can that be?!?” Doesn't it all happen at the same time? Nobody ever told me that before!
But check this out:
While Jesus explained the concept of needing to be born again to enter the Kingdom of heaven, and while Jesus explained that “God so loved the world, He gave His only Son,” Jesus also explained:
"Truly, truly, I say to you. Unless one is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God"
(Look it up! John 3:1-24).
Born of water and born of the Spirit.
Some people in the early church had an experience similar to mine. They believed, confessed, and were baptized in water. But check it out. When the apostles came to groups of believers like this later, the apostles taught them it was incomplete. They proceeded to lay hands and baptize them in the Spirit as well.
So, there were two distinct and separate times where these believers were baptized. Once in water. Later on, in the Spirit. Craziness, you say? Not what you have always been taught? Well, me either. But read it in Acts 8:9-17. Read it for yourself. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Also, think of the original disciples and the many others who followed Christ. They believed. They confessed that surely, Jesus is the Son of God. They were baptized in water. But it wasn't until later on, in the upper room, when they were baptized in fire of the Holy Spirit.
For others in the Bible, they experienced the opposite order. These groups of believers had been baptized in the Spirit but they had not yet been baptized in the water. So when the apostles came to teach them the fullness of the Word, they instructed that these people needed the water baptism as well. An example of this is in Acts 10:44-48:
“Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God.
Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
They were baptized in the Spirit and then in water in Jesus' Name.
No matter which baptism happened first, the apostles instructed the believers to receive both. Back to our rice and beans metaphor, you could say it like this...“Hey yall. You're trying to live in power and strength off of an incomplete protein. You need both.”
This all may be brand new to you. It was news to me and I'd been in the Word for a decade! But I'm telling you. My walk didn't produce fruit like this before I was baptized in the Spirit. Like I said, I was still encaged in fear. It was a huge bondage in my life and ability to function. I believed His Word about a spirit of power and love and self-control, but didn't experience it.
Suddenly John, Luke, and Acts took on a totally new dimension. I encourage you today to ask questions. To ask God. Listen and read with open eyes, ears and hearts to receive the truth of His Word. Let's not hold fast to “what we've always been taught” because that's what the Pharisees did, after all. We want to hold fast to what is the Truth of God's radical Living Breathing Word.
If you are trying to live out an empowered life in Christ and have believed and been dunked in the water, you may be at the same dinner table I was eating at. I was eating rice only. It was incomplete. I needed the missing component to complete the meal. I needed the power of the beans, if you will.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Acts 1:8
How about you?
Ask the Lord where you are at. Ask Him what you need to be consuming in your spiritual diet. He so greatly desires to give good gifts to His children. He longs to feed His children what is good and pure and true. It's not complicated. We just humbly ask the Lord to fill us up ...and He does!
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section. I will be happy to tell you more and others will benefit from the conversation.
Also, the best resource I know on the topic is written by Quin Sherrer, The Beginner's Guide to Receiving the Holy Spirit. It's short, to the point, Scripture-based, and it walked me through all the basics. She addresses common fears, misconceptions, truths and testimonies about the baptism of the Spirit. I highly recommend it!