How to receive the Holy Spirit

This article is linked to that on The Baptism in the Holy Spirit and assumes an interest in receiving the Holy Spirit; it contains some simple instructions for doing so. Another linked article is Speaking in Tongues.

1. Understand that the Holy Spirit has been given. John 7.37 – ‘if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink and out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water; this he spoke of the Holy Spirit that those who believe in him should receive, only he was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified’. Jesus has now been glorified, so the Holy Spirit has been given. Again Jesus said, John 16.7, that it was expedient for us that he go to the Father because he would then send the Holy Spirit. Jesus has now  gone and he has now sent the Holy Spirit. Again, the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem; then ‘when the day of Pentecost was fully come’ the Holy Spirit came to inaugurate the church. That day is completed; the Holy Spirit came to inhabit the church and bring His gifts.

2. Desire the benefit. If you are not convinced that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is separate from receiving Christ – and many people falsely think they were baptized in the Holy Spirit when they received Christ – you will need to be convinced; the scriptures are really very plain, but if you are not too sure, spend time with people who are. Once you are convinced, you need only be submitted to the purpose of the baptism or filling – ‘you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses…’ Actually, all that is really necessary is that you be open to God; the power of the Holy Spirit can come quite unexpectedly, but there can be blockages – if you don’t want the Holy Spirit and don’t want His gifts, you are not going to be yielded enough to receive. (Be warned – the Holy Spirit does ambush people!)

3. Ask the Father. Jesus said that we should do this, knowing that He will not disappoint. Luke 11.13 – ‘your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him’. It follows that God must be your Father; you must be born again, have received Jesus. John the Baptist said of Jesus, ‘He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost’; you need to have come to Jesus. Basically this is the only qualification; if you have been born again, you are clean and ready!

4. Believe you receive. Believe you receive the Person of the Holy Spirit. Receiving means taking a proffered gift; when you believe and act on the basis of everything Jesus says, that is receiving. Jesus does not just speak through the Bible, he also speaks through teachers and various gifts. You may need help to release faith; particular people are gifted to pray for others in this area (see Acts 8. 15-17); this is not necessary, but laying on of hands may be of help to you. Experience like this is both individual and corporate.

5. Expect to speak in tongues ‘as the Spirit gives you utterance’; sooner or later you will find words welling up within you – speak them. Having believed, the words will be there, a language from heaven that bypasses your conscious mind and enables freedom of communication with the Father of spirits. Whisper; speak; shout; sing!

Once you have believed and received, keep believing that you received and keep speaking to God in the language(s) he gives you. Some people find that fluency grows, others experience tongues as the ‘rivers of living water’ immediately. Either way, tongues (‘of men and angels’) is an ever-flowing stream, always available for prayer  and to  build you up ‘in your most holy faith’ (Jude 20). See Speaking in Tongues. Speaking in tongues is not the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, but is a result, a very desirable one!

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