11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11. ESV.)
Baptized With Water For Repentance
In high school, I was so head over heels in love with God! I remember sitting on the trunk of my mother's car and gazing up at the sky. The clouds squeezed together and rays of sunlight fought to stream through. It was times like those I pictured God making His face to shine down on His people. As if at any given moment a dove would ascend and a voice like the thunder would roll.
It was during that season of my life that I was baptized. I had grown up (more or less) in the church, I knew all the bible stories, and I desired to truly know God...though admittedly I do not believe it was until I was 30 when I came to understand the character of God and receive His grace and the Holy Spirit. It was then I noticed the fruit I had not experienced in my teens and twenties.
Baptized With the Holy Spirit and Fire
I feel faith is exceedingly intimate. Revealing the depths of my beliefs is like bearing the very core of my heart and soul. It cuts straight to who I am and how I conduct myself. On the eve of one particular day (about 3 years ago) I had spent thinking (and debating) regarding baptism, I had a dream that made my heart feel like it was going to explode!
I was on a riverbank I have never seen before. The lighting and colors in the dream were bright, warm, yellows, golds, comforting, inviting, cheerful. I was standing in line to be baptized and my dear friend Mindy was with me. We were happy, excited. She stood by my side and I think we were talking about baptism. The line was long as there were many there who wanted to be baptized. I started to wade into the water and then, I was in the presence of Christ Jesus!
He was right there beside me! I touched Him and the love radiating from Him was more than my earthly body could stand. I wanted to come right out of the flesh then and there! It was like the pressure of air inside a balloon against the latex skin...eventually it pops as the gas molecules inside become too great to continue to be contained. That was the love I felt inside of me! And it seemed so real.
The details of the dream are fading away but the feelings I experienced while immersed in the dream are still so strong. I hope I never forget them.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." — Maya Angelou