Day 1—Jan 7, 2018
John the Baptist needed and desired the baptism of fire—the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
JOHN THE BAPTIST was the greatest of all the Old Testament prophets. His responsibility, his anointing, and his place in history all put him at the top of the list. Jesus is the One Who pointed out this fact in His remarkable affirmation of John in Matthew 11. Over half the chapter was dedicated to his honor. John had so much going for him—he walked in the spirit and power of Elijah, he ended Heaven’s silence with his cries of the Kingdom of Heaven being at hand, and he was given the privilege to pave the way for the Messiah. Yet according to John, he was lacking one primary ingredient—Jesus’ baptism. This desire came to light when Jesus came to John to be baptized in water. John had trouble figuring out how he could baptize Him as Jesus was not the one in need. In the overwhelming contrast with Jesus’ perfection, John realized his need. He confessed his desire with, “I need to be baptized by You” (Matt. 3: 14). Interestingly, this all came about right after John had prophesied, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 3: 11). It was fresh on his mind. This was the context for his confession. Jesus carried what John longed for—the baptism of fire.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
MATTHEW 3: 11-12
Bill Johnson: God has used my experiences in traveling to other places to set me up for life-changing encounters at home.
ONCE, IN THE middle of the night, God came in answer to my prayer for more of Him, yet not in a way I had expected. I went from a dead sleep to being wide awake. Unexplainable power began to pulsate through my body, seemingly just shy of electrocution. It was as though I had been plugged into a wall socket with a thousand volts of electricity flowing through my body. My arms and legs shot out in silent explosions as if something was released through my hands and feet. The more I tried to stop it, the worse it got. I soon discovered that this was not a wrestling match I was going to win. I heard no voice, nor did I have any visions. This was simply the most overwhelming experience of my life. It was raw power… it was God. He came in response to a prayer I had been praying for months—God, I must have more of You at any cost! Expect Him to answer your cries for more. This is one prayer that He truly loves to answer. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself praying and feel like you are not experiencing instant response. God visited me in response to a prayer I had been consistently praying over a period of time. Also, be open to receive His visitation in whatever way He chooses to reveal Himself. PSALM 84: 1-3
My very flesh cries out for Your Presence. My body was formed to experience You, just as my soul and spirit were. Every touch and taste of Your Presence stirs me to hunger even more. Every time You draw near, I am both satisfied and left desiring more. Thank You for the gift of Your Presence. It not only fills the deep places of my spirit and soul, but actually satisfies the cry of my flesh.
WHAT IS FATHER SAYING TO ME TODAY?