Stunning ~ Both Times

John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.  I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ John 1:32-33 NLT

When John baptized Jesus, the man who wore sackcloth and feasted on locusts and honey was breathless with wonder.  He lowered the Lamb of God beneath the surface of the river Jordan.  I can imagine that time stood still as this holy act unfolded in slow motion.  Jesus was submerged, and then a dove descended and rested on Him.  While this only lasted for a moment, neither was ever the same again.  This was confirmed as the heavens opened and God spoke words of blessing over His Son. 

John made it clear that though he baptized Jesus with water, it was a precursor to an even more stunning event. This Messiah would one day baptize His disciples with the Holy Spirit. This one event in the Jordan was loaded with prophetic overtones. As John poured water over the head of the Lamb of God, Jesus would pour the fullness of the Holy Spirit over each new convert. With the Spirit, He would seal them until the day of redemption.  What if we could have seen and heard this event at our moment of belief.  “I have called you and you are mine,” Jesus might have said.  Perhaps it unfolded in slow motion, like His own baptism.  One thing I know; my spirit was energized from something dead to something living.  This anointing of the Spirit of God accomplished its purpose.  I was blessed to live and serve in the power of the Messiah just as Jesus was blessed to live and serve in the power of the Spirit.  

Jesus left the holy place in the Jordan and entered the wilderness of temptation, testing, and faith building.  I left the holy place of my moment of conversion and entered the wilderness of life too. Daily, I am tempted. Daily, I am tested. Daily, I have opportunities for faith building. But unlike Jesus, I often doubt the love of the One who anointed me.  No matter how often I faint, the Spirit still offers to fill me with Himself. He sustains my faith.  Though it may flicker for moment but it is never extinguished. My spirit, even at this moment, feels the impact of these moment-by-moment encounters.   

My own baptism of Your Spirit was no less beautiful, no less miraculous, than the one You experienced as the waters of the Jordan washed over Your head. Jesus, Your Spirit still speaks words of love over me every single day. The anointing lives on. I am strengthened. Amen

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