John answered them all, â€œI baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.â€ Luke 3:16 (NIV)
John did something with water. Jesus did something with the heart. John did something in the physical. Jesus did something in the spiritual. Was John â€˜putting downâ€™ what he was doing? I donâ€™t think so. He was preaching the â€˜good newsâ€™, the gospel, of repentance and exhorting the people to turn from their sin and walk a new life. He was speaking what the Spirit of God wanted to do! There is a connection on what happens on the outside and what should happen on the inside when I am baptized by water and Spirit!
If my spiritual life is just a checklist of â€˜stuffâ€™ that I do, then I will be sitting in a church for 50 years and still not know my need for a Savior! Too often we in the church look with our human eyes and decide our spiritual health (and the spiritual health of others!). Do I sing hymns in church or praise choruses? Do I raise my hands in worship or not? Do I speak in tongues or not? Do I put on my â€˜faith faceâ€™ and breeze my way through life no matter what is going on or not? All of these external â€˜checksâ€™ have a spiritual counterpart that can only be â€˜checkedâ€™ in truth by God.
Have I truly repented of my sins and made a change in my life? Do I have a personal, intimate relationship with God? Am I filled and empowered by Godâ€™s Spirit to go through each day as He ordains? Do I present my worship of God from my heart no matter how loud or soft I sing? Do I care about the person next to me in worship? Have I asked God for a servant heart?
Jesus was about a heart change. So was John. Jesus showed us what a changed heart looks like. John said Jesus was powerful and would change people with His Spirit and with fire. Our old man is burned away when Godâ€™s Spirit enters us. We are refined. When we follow Jesusâ€™ example through baptism, obedience to God, worship of the Father through our love and service to others, our heart can be changed. When our hearts are changed, we want to follow Jesusâ€™ example.
Let us open our hearts to God today. Let Him examine every corner or our lives. Let us be completely cleansed and completely His. Every day is a new day with God with opportunities for His Spirit to be more in us. There is ALWAYS MORE of GOD!