You cannot be all that God wants you to be with- out His power, and the means of power that He has provided for you is His Holy Spirit. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance,” John the Baptist told those who came to him in search of truth and reconciliation with God, “but [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”1 And Jesus later promised His followers that He would “send the Promise of the Father” upon them, so they would be “endued with power from on high.”2 You can read the story of how they received the Holy Spirit shortly thereafter in Acts chapter 2.
If you have received Jesus as your Savior, if you have been “born again of the Spirit,” then you have already received some of that Holy Spirit power. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve received the full measure, or “baptism,” of the Holy Spirit. This is usually a separate experience that happens later.
The Greek word translated as “baptize” in the New Testament is baptizo, which means to be fully covered or completely immersed. Thus to be “baptized in the Holy Spirit” means to be completely filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God.
A glass of water makes a good illustration. If the glass has at least some water in it, you could say that it’s a glass of water, even though it’s not a full glass. Many Christians are like glasses with just a little water, a bit of God’s Spirit. But those who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit are like glasses that have been filled till they run over. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is such an infilling of power from on high that they cannot contain it!
Have you received the overflowing power of God’s Spirit? If not, you can right now. Just ask for it! 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 just have to ask for and receive it by praying a simple prayer like the following:
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, and help me to use them to love others more and to be a greater witness of Your love. Help me to develop a close relationship with You, to understand Your Word better, and put it into practice in my life. Amen.