Day 7 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:40min reading)
DON’T LET SATAN MISLEAD
Because Satan fears this experience in the believer more than any other, he has spread much misinformation and confusion about what happens when a person receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He knows that the baptism of the Holy Spirit will break his power in the believer’s life, and the resulting powerful witness for Jesus Christ will bring Satan’s work to an end on planet earth. For this reason, he has done everything he can to confuse this teaching and cause many sincere Christians to misunderstand it—even be suspicious of it.
“There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come.” REVIEW & HERALD, MARCH 22, 1887
Receiving the baptism of the Spirit does not necessarily involve a highly emotional experience. One may or may not feel something at the time of seeking the infilling of the Spirit. However, the Spirit will make Himself known to the one in whom He dwells. His presence will begin changing the believer’s life from within his or her heart. A new power for victory and service will be manifested.
God desires to give His children this wonderful experience of Spirit baptism. However, in order to receive, we must ask in faith believing He will bestow it. Secondly, we must be willing to give ourselves completely to God.
“The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.” TESTIMONIES TO MINISTERS AND GOSPEL WORKERS, P507
Personal Reading for Discussion:
SEEK THE BAPTISM EVERY DAY
Another very important point is that we must renew this infilling every day. Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). The dying to self and infilling of the Spirit is a daily experience. It is not a “once and forever” experience. Paul tells us that the “inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). We need the renewing of the Spirit every day of our lives. Also, Paul’s command to “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) is a continuous action verb in the Greek meaning we are to keep on being filled with the Spirit daily. With the infilling of the Spirit, the believer is led by the Spirit. Paul wrote of the importance of this being a daily experience when he stated: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” ROMANS 8:14
In this verse, we find again that the verb form in the Greek is continuous action. Paul is saying, “As many as are continuing to be led daily by the Spirit of God.” Thus, we must receive the Spirit everyday to be led by Him everyday. Christ is our example in all things. Note what Ellen White wrote about the baptism of the Spirit in Christ’s daily life.
“Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others.”
BENEFITS OF RECEIVING THE BAPTISM
The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives power to our witness and brings forth the fruit of Christ’s character in the life. Paul spoke of this when he wrote: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18
God’s glory is His character (Exodus 33:18-19). Paul stated that the believer will be growing in Christ’s character, “from glory to glory,” (2 Corinthians 3:18) by the Spirit of the Lord that dwells in him. The infilling of the Spirit of God will “make you perfect in every good work, to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever” (Hebrews 13:21).
Ellen White reaffirmed the development of character the recipient of the Spirit’s infilling receives when she wrote: “When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace takes the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven.” DESIRE OF AGES, P173
Day 7 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead the church and you to experience a daily
- Spirit-filled ministry for Jesus
- Those on your prayer list
Day 7 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 25 to 28 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 45 to 48 of the PDF version])
- What is one of Satan’s greatest fears?
- What must we do to be able to receive the baptism of the Spirit?
- How often should we seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Ephesians 5:18?
- What are the benefits of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
- List attitudes and behaviors in the following texts that Paul warns us of that can cause us to grieve the Holy Spirit? • Ephesians 4:25-32 • 1 Thessalonians 5:14-19 21.
- How has the Spirit of God transformed your life?
- How have you experienced growing in Christ’s character?
- What actions can you take in order to continually experience growing in Christ?
Day 7 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 29 to 32 (pages 49 to 52 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 8.
- Prayerfully answer Day 8 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 8 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.