A little preparation is needed before presenting the baptism of fire. Let me begin with an example, a parable story.
Imagine a wild animal, possibly a horse or wolf. Its whole life has been running wild with the herd/pack. But, one day it finds itself separated from the others, possibly by disaster, injury, or predator attack. It is now experiencing being lost and alone. A passing man notices and approaches the wild animal with compassion and soothing words. He offers food and binds up any wounds. The wild animal begins to trust the man. One day, the man is ready to move on. It is decision time for the wild animal…..will it go back to the herd/pack or go on with the man?
The animal has now come to love and trust the man so it decides to go with him. Arriving at the man’s homestead, the animal is given the shelter of the barn and the fence. However, its wild nature begins to sense this restriction and bolts frequently until the new home feels comfortable and safe. With time and training, the companionship of the animal and man grows until the animal is domesticated. They now love one another and can work together as one. The animal’s strength, ability, and purpose is multiplied at the hand of the man. Certainly, its obedience has brought it much blessing (empowerment to prosper).
When we realize that there is more to the world than what we can see…and come to a time where we find ourselves separated and alone (maybe in need of help), we may be ready to hear the compassionate voice of God. He will come show He is real and ready to feed and heal us. We may acknowledge His existence (believe He is) and even receive from His hand. But, then comes the day we need to decide if we are going to go back to the world and its ways, go it alone, or if we are going to follow God and go His way. This means total commitment and changing our lives! It is more than just knowing/believing God exists.
If we say “yes” to Yeshua Jesus, then that is being “born again”. It is leaving the old behind and becoming a new creature in Him. It is giving up all to join the One who is all in all. It means following Him and fellowshipping with Him. It is a higher calling. Repentance means changing directions…from wild worldliness to obedient holiness. Water baptism is the public declaration and experience of committed change of direction to follow Yeshua Jesus. Like in the water baptism of Yeshua Jesus, the Holy Spirit will come to meet us there. He does not require us to be holy before He will enter us and fellowship with us. He comes when we decide to join Him.
But, the parable did not end there. Now that we have come into the Father’s house and kingdom, we come into a restricted area. Sin is repulsive in this place. Sin is destructive so it is fenced out for our own protection. It is now time to increase our fellowship and training under our new companion. Will we revolt and jump the fence or allow correction, instruction, and training? Sadly, some revolt and go back to their wild previous world.
But, there is another way. We can agree to be baptized by a refining fire. We can decide to submit totally to the mastery of the Holy Spirit. We can deny our own self and desires in order to become united and one with Him. The Holy Spirit will empower us to do it. He will put Himself in us, in our heart and mind. If we are trusting and obedient, we can become domesticated and holy as He is holy. We can become filled up with Him and His ways! We can walk and work together with Him and accomplish things impossible had we remained wild! This is being filled to the full with our Trainer, the Holy Spirit. It is a relationship and a process. The Bible calls is “sanctification”.
Colossians 1: 9-14, “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
And it does not stop there with our willingness to live in His house, His kingdom. We must train and grow. We must keep on keeping on. The temptation to go back to the wild herd/pack is everpresent. We must stay close to Him. He never leaves or forsakes us and we should never leave or forsake Him either. In the baptism of water and the baptism of fire, we have real committed relationship! If you are ready for that kind of commitment, then you are prepared for the baptism of fire by the Holy Spirit.