I read this story today by Mike Olsen and I LOVED it!! I have never heard of anyone doing what this man did during his near death experience. It will warm your heart. 💕
“Mike, we found a match,” my doctor said over the phone. “You’re getting a new set of lungs. I’ll see you in surgery early tomorrow morning.”
I stared at my wife, Patti, in shock. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. This was the call we’d been praying for. I hung up the phone, and Patti swept me into a hug.
Five years before, I’d been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a disease that causes scar tissue to form in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. There is no cure and, in some cases, like mine, no known cause. Before my diagnosis, I thought I was healthy. I was 54 years old, the pastor of our church in Louisville, Kentucky. I had never smoked a day in my life. I was even a singer who’d performed on-stage. After my diagnosis, my condition had continued to deteriorate rapidly until I needed to be on an oxygen tank 24/7. I’d been on the transplant list for three years.
That night we packed a bag and hurried to the car, my oxygen tank in tow. During the drive to the hospital, I was lost in thought. Receiving a new pair of lungs was a huge blessing, but it was a lot for me to take in. Even though my lungs were no longer healthy, it was hard to reconcile losing the organs I’d used to take my first breath, sing my first song. They were about to be replaced by the lungs of a total stranger, an anonymous donor, someone whose death meant that my life would be saved. I felt guilty that I got to keep on living. It felt as if I were taking something from a stranger that didn’t belong to me.
I knew one potential risk of surgery was that my body could reject the new lungs. I couldn’t help but wonder—if my soul couldn’t come to terms with the transplant, what chance did my body have? Though I tried to push the question from my mind, it needled me like a thorn.
At the hospital, we settled in and waited for the operation, which was scheduled for 6 A.M. In the morning, the nurses prepped me for surgery. I kissed Patti and held her close. “Everything is going to be okay,” she said. Still, as the nurses got me ready, I remained uneasy. When they wheeled me into the operating room and put the anesthesia mask over my face, I sank into a timeless darkness.
Then I was conscious. I couldn’t feel anything, but I could see. What’s going on? I thought. I was in the operating room, but I wasn’t on the operating table. I was floating above it. From my vantage point overhead, I saw my body on the table. The surgeons were hunched over my body, conferring with one another, their voices strained. Something must have gone very wrong.
I kept rising upward. The scene below me disappeared, and I came to a space of swirling lights. Reds, to blues, greens, yellows, all spinning together in a mesmerizing display. The lights were comforting, as if beckoning me to follow. As I moved along, I heard voices. Singing voices. The melody was enchanting, but I couldn’t make out the words. That is, until a chorus of voices announced over the singing: “Mike’s coming home!”
“No,” I heard a commanding voice say. “He is just here for a visit.”
In a sudden burst of energy, I was transported to a place of blinding white light. It surrounded me and stretched on endlessly. I felt only pure peace and joy. I’d never experienced such bliss before. I was in heaven but, as that divine voice had said, only there for a visit. I knew what I needed to do.
I called out into the light—not with my voice but with my soul, “I want to thank my organ donor.”
A presence materialized behind my left shoulder. I turned and saw two figures approaching. I could see only the outlines of their forms, shimmering and iridescent. I recognized one as Jesus, and the other alongside him as my anonymous donor.
“Thank you,” I communicated. With every bit of my essence, I exuded pure gratitude. “Thank you.”
I sensed that the donor accepted my gratitude with humility. Then Jesus put his hand on my shoulder.
“These are your lungs now,” he said.
“Yes,” I agreed.
With that, I fell backward, the space of light turning into a speck before disappearing entirely. I was back in my body on the operating table at the hospital for a moment, then everything went black.
I’d later learn that I was in a coma for 10 days. During the transplant, the first lung went in fine. After the second lung was put it, the surgeon released a clamp too early. I’d bled out and needed to be resuscitated. Only through the staff’s best efforts had I been brought back. I was hooked up to a machine that breathed for me until I regained consciousness. Despite everything that had happened, the transplant was successful. I had my new lungs.
Today I continue working in ministry, while advocating for funding studies about IPF. I can even sing again. And I do it all using the lungs God gave me.
Last night I was asking Holy Spirit, “Why don’t people feel/experience the Love God has for them? Why is it only in their head (as a concept) and not felt with their hearts? What is the obstacle that prevents them from perceiving His Love and RECEIVING His Love?”
Holy Spirit showed me this:
The air is SATURATED with the Love of God! But we often cannot perceive it. One way to become more aware of it is to cultivate gratitude. Being grateful is a CHOICE. But we often focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. Gratitude draws MORE good things to you. It’s like a magnet of favor.
In Him we live and move and have our being. He IS Love! Yet many people do not perceive or feel God’s Love for them. They feel like an orphan, alone and not taken care of.
Start paying attention to all the GOOD in your life, the silent mercies you take for granted every day! Open your emotional heart and say to God, “Thank you. I know that is You.” It will transform the way you see the world around you! 😃 You will begin to feel God’s Love for you – it’s inescapable! You are living IN IT!
How do you know that someone loves you? By the way they treat you. God is being good to us every single day – we just don’t pay enough attention to it. Change your focus and you’ll see it!! 🙃😍💕
You are NOT alone! It’s impossible for you to be alone – you are IN Him!
Did you know there’s a difference between praying from your spirit versus praying from your soul?
I’ve seen this time and time again – especially in prayer meetings where various people pray. I can immediately tell from the frequency in someone’s voice (their tone, passion, etc.) whether they are praying from their spirit or their soul.
So what’s the difference? And does it change the results?
When we pray from our souls, we tend to connect with our emotions. We focus on the problem and we pray the problem out loud. When someone prays from their soul they often focus on the pain of the problem and it can make them cry or speak very passionately. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is one way of praying. It may make us feel better or sometimes it makes us feel worse (more emotionally upset). Here’s an example,
“Lord, you know what is happening with our young people. They are doing drugs, they are not listening to their parents, they are going after the world. Oh, Lord, you know this breaks our hearts. It is not right. We need you to intervene and change their hearts. They are headed down a very dark path that leads to destruction. We don’t want that to happen. We don’t want them to die young from a drug overdose or from violence in the streets. Oh Lord, please help us! Please help our young people turn to you!”
When we pray from our spirits, we are listening to the Holy Spirit and waiting to hear from the Spirit what we should say. We are not focused on the problem, we are focused on what the Spirit is saying. I often hear spiritual authority in someone’s voice when they pray from their spirit instead of from their soul. When someone prays from their soul, they are using their emotional energy to convey the importance of their request – by getting more passionate about it, they feel they are connecting more with God. When someone prays from their spirit, they are using the energy of spiritual authority and that has a completely different effect. Here’s an example,
“Thank you, Lord, that you are taking care of our young people. We see that some are not honoring you, but we know that you are already working in their hearts to dismantle their love of the world. Thank you that you have dispatched angels tonight to fight on their behalf against the darkness. We specifically release an increased awareness of Your presence and Your goodness in the lives of Sammy, Tom, Junior and Olivia. We expect to see the outworking of Your grace in their choices soon. Thank you so much for your love and kindness that you care about them and their future. You are a good, good Father!”
Often a prayer from the Spirit becomes more and more specific. Instead of just praying for “young people” in general, the Spirit will bring specific young people to mind and how to pray for them personally. God is a personal God – He knows each of us by name and can give us very specific insight into how to pray for those we care about. Or He may reveal a specific strategy He is using to reach a large group of people. Either way, it becomes more and more specific the longer we listen and pray what He is saying.
When we pray from our spirits, we are not trying to move God by our tears or our passion. We are simply agreeing with what HE is already doing and we are partnering with His purposes on the earth. How do you know what He is already doing? By listening to the Holy Spirit as you pray – He will tell you what to say and how to say it. I’m not kidding – it really works that way! Then, guess what? Those prayers tend to get answered more quickly and effectively! Why? Because you were praying according to His will, not according to yours.
John said it like this, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15
I LOVE to be in a prayer meeting where each person is listening to the Holy Spirit and only praying what they hear the Lord saying. There’s such freedom and power! It is incredibly encouraging as the Lord reveals His plans for the problems we see. By the end of the prayer time, we are so filled with joy and anticipation of what God is going to do!!
I don’t enjoy as much the prayer meetings I have been in when people are praying from their souls. It can be moving to hear how much they care about an issue, but often it begins to feel almost like charismatic witchcraft – trying to get God to do what YOU want Him to do. It’s actually quite painful at times as you sense the lack of faith in God’s goodness – when you “pray the problem”, it tends to grow in your mind and weigh you down even more. Yuk!
If you need help learning how to listen to the Holy Spirit, I created a short course to help with that. It only takes a few minutes to go through the material and then practice – I recommend 15 minutes each week for 4 weeks. The more you practice, the easier it gets! The course is called Developing A Close Relationship with God: A Simple Method. You can click on the course icon below to find out more information. You will enjoy it! 🙂
So how about you? Do you know the difference between when you are praying in your soul versus when you are praying in your spirit? Can you shift between them when you want to? Do you know how to listen to the Holy Spirit when you are praying? Comment below! Share your experience – I shared mine. We learn from each other that way. ❤
Related post you might be interested in: Spirit vs Soul, a two part series discussing the difference between the two & what it means for your everyday life
Here’s an example of what it means to follow Jesus.
Amy works at Best Buy, an electronics store chain. She used to work in real estate selling homes several years ago, but took a break after she had a car accident. During her recovery, her husband suddenly died of a heart attack. Without her husband’s financial support, she needed a job – fast. She felt drawn to work at Best Buy and did very well there – she became a “pastor” to the people she worked with and often had opportunities to pray for them and help them find hope. This job provided a much needed sense of stability to the sudden roller coaster of her life. She’s been there for almost three years now.
A few weeks ago, she began to feel the Lord directing her to go back into real estate. She was a little hesitant because it had been so long and she was used to getting a regular paycheck from Best Buy. It would take her out of her comfort zone. She told the Lord, “If you give me a listing to sell a house, I’ll resign.” Someone called her and asked her to list their home for $650,000 (USD).
However she still had doubts. What if she didn’t get any more listings? What if she couldn’t pay her rent? A friend in real estate told her that right now is a seller’s market which means it is hard to find properties that are for sale (new listings). Plenty of buyers, but very few people are selling. This discouraged her and made her wonder if she really should quit her dependable job.
As she pondered it, it dawned on her that with just 2 real estate listings she could make as much as she made all year with Best Buy! This gave her courage to step out. So she said, “Yes, Lord, I am willing. I will turn in my resignation tomorrow.” That night a woman she knew called her at 1:30am. The woman had been looking at a particular house she wanted and it was suddenly listed as available for sale. She asked Amy to write a contract for that house immediately – at 2am she completed the contract and sent it in.
The next morning the agent that had listed the house was shocked. Who writes contracts at 2am? She had to find out so she called her. Amy explained how much this woman wanted THAT particular house and had contacted her in the middle of the night. The agent explained that she had only listed the house for a few minutes last night and that the house was not available right now. However she said she would talk to the owner and get back to her. Within a few hours, she called back and said, “We’re not going to list the house to the public, but we ARE going to work with you and the buyer who really wants this house.”
That was the listing she needed. Praise God!
That morning she went to Best Buy and turned in her resignation, giving them a two week notice. Two days later a coworker invited her to lunch with some friends of his (a couple). She had met these friends at a previous event and felt prompted to go. They had a nice lunch and she went back to work. A few hours later, the woman called and said, “We are moving out of our condo and we want to buy a house. We want you handle the real estate transactions for both properties.”
That was a third listing! And she would represent them in a fourth listing when they bought a new house!
But wait, it gets even better. 😃
She wanted to have her own office, but did not have the means to rent a place. A lot of agents work from their homes, but she knew with family obligations, she would prefer to have a space to focus just on business.
The next day, a business associate from her past called her. He said he was having a lot of trouble doing business in his country due to COVID-19. He asked her if they could build a partnership where he could do business in a city near her and she would represent him. He told her, “Find an office we can use and I’ll pay half of all the expenses.”
Yes! In less than 1 week, she got three new real estate listings and she now had the means to get her own office! She also would have even MORE business as she partnered with this colleague who would send her clients who were looking for real estate in her area.
She said, “I had been waiting on God, but as I stepped out to walk by faith, I felt like He had been waiting on me! He had all these people lined up, ready to bless me with business – and here I was afraid to step out. He is a good, good Father.”
This is an example of what it means to follow Jesus – to step out in faith, obeying the prompting in your heart from the Lord, even when you have no idea how it will work out. It means taking the risk that God is who He said He is and that His plans for you are always good. ❤
Do you have a story like this that you’d like to share? Please post it in the comments! Or you can write a guest post for this blog. We’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Last week we talked about dealing with the Spirit of Fear. This week we are talking about dealing with fearful people – when people are really very afraid, afraid for their lives.
When people are afraid of death and they feel threatened that they might die, they become desperate. Desperation motivates people to do desperate things, usually ugly things – things you would not normally do. Things you would not expect – even dangerous things.
I asked the Lord what to do – how do you deal with people who feel this way?
Desperation can give people a sense of power to act boldly, however the fear driving it means that logic or reasoning doesn’t work. Their thinking is skewed. You can’t “talk them down” from their desperation – they are usually too far gone for that. Sometimes their fear triggers an inner child – meaning that they start thinking and reasoning like a three year old. Have you ever tried to reason with a scared three year old? It doesn’t work very well, especially if they are terrified.
What the Lord showed me was this: Fearful people use fear to control others. They may try to threaten you with bodily harm or public humiliation. They may try to threaten your life or your livelihood. They will try to find your weakness and exploit it – to try and get you to do what they want. Remember whenever they tried to get Superman, they often used Lois Lane as bait – if her life was in danger, they could manipulate him to come to that location in order to try and capture him. They knew he cared for her and would be afraid of something happening to her.
However when you show no fear, they have no control over you! When you stand up to them, it makes THEM fearful – it crumbles the illusion of power they thought they had. As a result, they often crumble and flee or give up their threats and simply leave you alone.
They also can be affected by the Peace and Love you carry – it disarms them. They are so desperate it makes them vulnerable, like children. They long for safety and security, which Peace and Love offer by their very existence. So sometimes they will crumble in the face of that Love and Peace. Or they will run away because it doesn’t make sense to them and they fear it. Either way – you are no longer being threatened by them.
I wanted to share this with you to prepare you. World events are starting to create desperation in a lot of people. If you are faced with a desperate person, don’t show fear. Don’t let them manipulate you. Offer Peace and Love in exchange for their threats. Be kind and patient. You will see them crumble and leave you alone. Maybe you can help them – maybe you can’t, but at least they will not be a threat to you any more.
What do you think? How do you deal with the desperate?
Many people describe near death experiences – this is the first one I’ve read that had a husband and wife who died together, but one of them came back. Can you imagine what that must be like?
Jeff Olsen: The accident happened while we were driving back to our home in Bountiful, Utah, from a visit to relatives in the southern part of the state. My wife, Tamara, was asleep beside me. Our seven-year-old son, Spencer, was in the back seat, playing with his toys. Our toddler, Griffin, slept in his car seat. The road stretched out ahead, and my eyes grew heavy. It felt as if I’d blinked for just a second.
That was all it took.
I lost control. The car rolled, windows exploding, gravel flying, as we spun over and over until I lost consciousness. I woke only for a second after we stopped. I felt horrible pain and heard Spencer crying in the backseat. Everything went black again. I was terrified. Where is my family? Are they safe?
Then, suddenly, I was calm. The pain was gone. I looked around. I was floating above our car accident. Before I could react, I felt a presence near me. It was Tamara. We were encircled in a bubble of light that was emanating complete peace. I knew then she was gone, but it was as if my grief were suspended. All I could feel was serenity. I wondered if we were on our way to heaven.
Tamara looked at me, her face serious. “Jeff, you cannot be here,” she said. “You have to go back.” How could I? She was here. Then I remembered Spencer’s cries. He was still alive. He needed me. I knew I had to make a choice. I pulled Tamara close to me. “Goodbye,” I said. I let go. Then I felt myself drifting away from Tamara and the comforting light.
Suddenly, I was in a hospital. I was not yet back in my body—I was still weightless, without pain. I moved freely through the halls, observing the people around me. Somehow, I was able to see their whole lives as I looked at them. Their stories, their fears, their experiences. I felt no judgment toward any of them. I was filled with the most incredible love and oneness with each of them.
I finally reached a room and stopped. The patient was in terrible shape, and doctors were rushing around him. Wait, I thought. Is that me? I recognized my own face now. I was horrified. I couldn’t go back to that! Then I remembered what Tamara had said. I thought of Spencer. I couldn’t leave him alone.
I let go and chose to move toward the body. The heaviness was the first thing I noticed, then came the horrific pain. But the worst part was the guilt. It hit me like a tidal wave. Tamara and Griffin were gone. Even as I sensed the doctors over me, working furiously to save my life, the only thing I could think was: This was my fault.
Dr. Jeff O’Driscoll was finishing his rounds at the hospital when Rachel, an ER nurse, grabbed his arm. “Come see this,” she said. “His wife is…here.”
Dr. O’Driscoll: Rachel and I stood in the doorway. The room was loud. A team of doctors worked to stabilize the patient. As I watched, the sounds around me faded out. I sensed a divine presence in the room. And then I noticed a light. In it was the form of a woman, floating above the patient’s bed. She had flowing, curly blonde hair and was dressed in various shades of white. Her form was almost transparent, and the look on her face was serene. She looked vibrant, otherworldly—I knew innately that this was the man’s wife. The divine presence in the room was allowing me to view her eternal soul.
She smiled at me, as if she’d known me forever. I sensed her immense gratitude toward the doctors who were working to save her husband. She looked directly at me and back at her husband, then back at me. Her eyes were intent.
Then everything slowly returned to normal. I could hear the doctors speaking, and I could hear Rachel again. “Did you see her too?” she asked. I looked again. The patient’s wife was gone. The trauma surgeon took the man to surgery.
Olsen: After a few months and 18 surgeries, I finally moved to the rehab wing. One night, just days before my release, I fell into a deep sleep and had a dream that was more powerful than any I’d ever had. I was standing in a big field. The serenity I’d felt in the bubble of light on the day of the accident returned. My body was healed, and I could walk freely. I felt light and started running. I noticed a corridor appear on my left. I entered and followed it to the end. I found Griffin there, asleep in his crib. He looked perfect. Tears filled my eyes as I picked him up and held him close. I could feel his breath on my neck as I rocked him. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive myself, I thought.
Then I felt a divine presence behind me. It exuded pure love. It felt like the love I’d experienced for the people in the hospital the day of the accident, free of judgment. I now understood that I’d been shown a glimpse of the kind of complete love that God had for me. I felt two arms wrap around Griffin and me, enveloping us. A reassuring voice said, “There’s nothing to forgive.”
For more information, I highly recommend the book Imagine Heaven by John Burke. It really encouraged me after someone close to me unexpectedly passed away. It is full of stories like this and it examines the details of these experiences in light of what the Scriptures say. Click on the book cover below to see the description on Amazon.
Symptoms of an unhealthy soul tie:
- You feel DRAINED by your connection to the other person. You give, they take and take and take.
- You feel especially VULNERABLE to the other person’s opinion, either good or bad.
- You don’t feel confident without their support. You are afraid of being abandoned by them.
- You don’t feel free to express who you really are – you HIDE your true self or you let them dictate your decisions.
- You are not able to express a different opinion – if you do, there’s a LOT of tension between you.
- You are unable to make decisions on your own – if you do and they do not agree, there’s a lot of PRESSURE to conform to their expectations.
- You feel emotionally tied to the other person even when you do not want to be.
- You can’t stop thinking about the person even though the relationship is over.
- You have an emotional reaction that is unpleasant when someone mentions their name or if you run into the other person unexpectedly.
- You feel like you can’t move on with your life; you feel tied to the past with the other person.
Can you have both an unhealthy soul tie and a healthy soul tie with the same person?
Yes, you can. Breaking the unhealthy soul tie can bring freedom to the relationship so that it becomes stronger and healthier for both of you. When we become intimate with someone – whether emotionally or physically – we build a bond with that person (a soul tie). A healthy soul tie enhances your life – you draw strength from the connection. Unhealthy soul ties have a negative effect on your life. You feel tied to someone in a way that sometimes pulls you down or holds you back, even if the person has passed away or is no longer in your life.
Some of the benefits of breaking an unhealthy soul tie are:
- You no longer feel drained by the connection to the other person.
- You experience inner peace (instead of turmoil over what they may think about you).
- You feel free to express who you really are.
- You are free to have your own opinions.
- You can make decisions that are best for you, without the pressure to conform to someone else’s expectations.
- You no longer feel emotionally dependent on the other person in an unhealthy way.
- You are able to move on with your life (if the relationship is over or the person has passed away).
Some people have expressed concerns about what will happen when they break an unhealthy soul tie with someone in their life. Will it damage the relationship? No, but it will change the way the two of you interact. If someone has been very controlling toward you, they may notice the shift in the way you respond to them. They may not like it, but it will be healthier for both of you in the long run. Overall, the benefits far outweigh the discomfort you may initially feel. A healthy relationship can only come from two people who are free to be themselves. Breaking an unhealthy soul tie gives you that freedom.
You might encounter some obstacles as you consider whether you are ready to break an unhealthy soul tie with someone. You might not be ready to let go or you may be afraid to lose the connection with the other person. Being ready to let go is a personal choice –you have to decide when it is the right time for you. Breaking an unhealthy soul tie will not damage the healthy soul tie you have – you won’t lose the connection you have. It will be stronger and clearer instead.
What obstacles might keep you from breaking an unhealthy soul-tie?
– you are afraid to lose the connection with the other person
– you are not ready to let go
– you feel responsible to make the other person happy (co-dependence)
– you feel guilty for wanting to be free to make your own decisions and have your own opinions
– you are afraid it will hurt the other person’s feelings or damage the relationship
– you are afraid of the other person’s reactions (retaliation, manipulation, etc.)
– you don’t know what life will be like on your own
Breaking an unhealthy soul tie can be emotional. It can feel like you are losing someone. But it is also very freeing. Some have remarked that it was like a pressure valve being released and they could finally relax. One person said they felt like the umbilical cord had finally been cut between them and their mother and they could now make their own decisions freely. A healthy sense of independence can be experienced when a soul tie is cut. You are finally free to be who you are meant to be – without the constant pressure to meet someone else’s expectations of you.
What are the signs of a healthy soul-tie?
– you feel strengthened by your connection to the other person
– you feel comforted by the other person’s support
– you feel more confident
– you experience a greater sense of well being
– you feel free to express who you really are in the relationship
– you are able to express a different opinion without fear of damaging the relationship
– you make decisions without feeling pressured to meet the other’s expectations
– you feel free to grow and become your best self
If you want to break an unhealthy soul-tie, you can do so today. You formed the soul-tie through your choices – through an act of your will. Therefore, you can now break the soul-tie, if you wish, also through an act of your will.
The Step: Soul Ties can help you determine if any unhealthy soul ties are holding you back.
Step: Soul Ties
Go to a place where you will not be interrupted. Take a few deep breaths, letting them out slowly to help you relax and to quiet your mind.
Say these statements/questions out loud and then wait for an answer. An answer may come as a feeling, a thought, a picture in your mind, a word, a memory or just an inner knowing. You can do this alone or with a friend. If no answer comes to the first question, this may not be the right time for this step. You can come back to this at another time.
“Spirit of Truth, is there anyone I have an unhealthy soul tie with? (pause and wait for an answer)
“Is there anything I need to forgive this person for?” (pause and wait for an answer)
Focus on an image in your mind of this person and say out loud, “I forgive you for __________________. I release you from the harm you caused me. I let it go.” (pause, release any emotions that come up)
Then say, “I break the unhealthy soul tie between me and you. I send back any part of your soul that I have kept and I take back to myself any part of me that you kept. I release myself of this connection in my soul. God, please restore my connection with You in this area of my soul.”
Take deep cleansing breaths – opening your heart to receive God’s Love. ❤
Forgiveness is an important part of breaking an unhealthy soul tie. If you are holding a grudge against someone, it ties you to them emotionally. If you try to break the soul tie, but you don’t forgive them, you won’t be able to break the power they have over your life. You’ll still feel connected to them, even if that person is someone you’d rather forget. If you need help choosing to forgive (you know you need to, but you are having trouble), here’s a helpful article (look for the PDF download).
To learn more about Soul Ties, you can read this post: Human Soul Ties
Excerpt from Freedom through Forgiveness: The Power of Forgiveness Can Change Your Life, Second Edition © 2012. Reprinted with the author’s permission.
Being baptized in the Spirit of God is beyond wonderful! If you have never experienced it, you are really missing out. 🙂
John the Baptist said, “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8) He was referring to Jesus Christ. John’s baptism by water was a sign of someone willing to repent and make a change in their life to follow the Lord.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit is a sign of surrender to the Lord – to be willing to be completely filled to overflowing or “immersed” in His Spirit (baptism means immersed). For most people this is a separate experience from their initial decision to follow the Lord. They want all that God has for them – they want more of Him so they ask to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
I was a follower of Jesus Christ for 5 years before I even heard of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was very surprised that no one had told me about it before – especially after I experienced it and saw what a HUGE difference in made in my walk with the Lord. It opened up a whole new realm of exquisite experience with Jesus. I could feel His presence – like right there in the room! I could pray for someone who was sick and they actually got better. Before that experience, if I told someone “I’ll pray for you”, I didn’t have a lot of confidence that anything would change for them. After being baptized in the Spirit, I could literally feel the power of God in my hands. It’s an absolutely wonderful experience and it doesn’t stop. You can ask God to baptize you with His Spirit and He will do it over and over at different times in your life. You can begin to live “full” of His Spirit – full of joy, peace, love, patience, etc. (Galatians 5 – the fruit of the Spirit)
In the book of Acts, Paul went to a city called Ephesus. There he found some believers. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” (see – just like me!)
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?”
So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:2-6)
This shows you that you can change your life and and be water baptized in Christ and still not be baptized in the Spirit. It’s something that happens afterwards. It’s not just having the Holy Spirit inside of you, it’s being immersed, filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit.
So how do I get it?
You just ask for it.
“If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
Jesus also told his disciples that receiving the Holy Spirit would give them power.
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:4,5 & 8a)
So even though they were already followers of Jesus, He told them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That it would empower them to do what He was leading them to do.
Jesus had already told them in John 14:12,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
Jesus did some AMAZING things and we get to do them too – by following His Spirit’s leading.
When I experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it really opened me up. It was like a brand new journey in learning how to walk with Jesus. I learned how to speak in tongues in prayer and worship – that was completely new to me. I learned how to hear the voice of the Lord and tell others what He was saying (called prophecy in the Bible). I learned how to pray for someone who was sick and I saw them recover – maybe not every time, but much more frequently that ever before. I learned how to protect myself from supernatural evil – like spirits of heaviness or fear that would trouble me at night. I learned A LOT – and I still am. I rely on the Holy Spirit to teach me whatever I need to know.
So if you’d like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, just say, “Jesus, I’d like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I open my heart to you – fill me up please!” Some people have an immediate experience – they feel something or they start speaking in an unknown language (which the Bible calls “tongues”). Some people don’t experience anything right away but it comes later. You can pray and the Lord to fill you up as many times as you want. There’s no limit!
Some people ask for another person to pray for them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Like in the book of Acts, Paul “laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” You can do that too, if you wish. It can help to increase your faith to have someone else pray for you who is already baptized in the Spirit. It is a beautiful experience to share with others.
If you follow Jesus, you already have the Holy Spirit inside of you – in your spirit. That’s where you are one with God. This is just a deeper experience of being immersed in the Spirit and it’s awesome!! 🙂
If you have any questions about this, feel free to post it below. There’s some great books on this topic if you want to learn more – here’s one to start with: Baptized in the Spirit: God’s Presence Resting Upon You With Power by Randy Clark