A Personal Experience Of Baptism In The Spirit

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Experiencing the baptism in the Spirit
Photo: © Kevin Carden Lightstock.com

My Wife's Conversion & Personal Crisis

Around this time my wife began attending a women's Bible study group where the reality of the Holy Spirit was evident from their conversation and experiences.

Some months later my wife had a personal encounter with God sitting in our living room. I was rather dismissive and tried to make out it was just emotionalism. In any case what did she know about God? It was I who had been brought up in a Christian home from birth!

About eighteen months after my wife's conversion, we experienced a period of crisis which led to me crying to God, if he existed, to show up because the family was going down the drain.

Delivered From Addiction To Nicotine

The first sign of an answer to my anguished cry was that the LORD delivered me from addiction to cigarettes. For more than twenty years I had smoked up to forty or fifty cigarettes a day, in spite of several attempts to break the habit.

On a cold, dark winter evening at the end of January 1981, after attending a class in Christian counselling, I lit up a cigarette in the car park outside the church before opening the car door. As I did so, I felt a hand on my right shoulder. Turning round to see who was there, I saw no one. At that moment I was aware of the words:

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit with whom you have been sealed."

I later discovered it is part of EPHESIANS 4:30. The next morning I discovered I had no craving for cigarettes and, although I experienced the usual physical symptoms of withdrawal from nicotine addiction, realised that God had done something I had failed to do myself.

Overwhelmed By The Holy Spirit

One month after deliverance from smoking I experienced the power of God as I sat listening to a talk on the conditions of revival.

As the speaker described the origins of the Hebridean Revival in Lewis in 1948, I found myself being bent double where I sat.

Later when he mentioned the Welsh Revival of 1904, he described how Evan Roberts had cried:

"O God, Bend me!"

At that moment I was bent double again for some five to ten minutes, finding it difficult to breathe. My eyes became like a couple of taps out of which gushed streams of water while my body was filled with tremendous heat.

As a graduate in psychology, my first reaction was to question if I might be having a nervous breakdown or suffering from some other psychological condition. It became clear however that the only change was in my attitude to God and the things of the Spirit. Now I had absolute assurance of salvation and felt I could raise the roof of the church single-handed with praise and worship.

The next day I was taken to see a pastor who moved in the things of the Spirit. After I described the events of the previous month, he said:

"Well, it looks to me as if the LORD has baptised you in his Spirit and cleaned you out of your addiction to nicotine once and for all." 

A year later I was baptised in water along with two of our children in a ceremony of believer's baptism in the Baptist church we were attending.

Hallelujah! All the glory and praise belong to God.

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