Baptism: Born From Above
Carmel MTC (Boston)
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
This passage in Acts has an interesting take on the happenings in Samaria. The Book of Acts describes the journey and revealing of the Holy Spirit to so many new believers in Christ. Among the new believers, we have Simon, who was once claimed to be “The Great Power” in Samaria. After Simon was baptized, he followed Philip around to see all the miracles performed, but he wanted more. In Verse 18, we find Simon offering the disciples money in exchange for the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are all Simons in our own nature, claiming to have our own ‘power’ when we are farthest away from God, but when we get closer to Him, we want more, but on our terms. We want God to work through us, but preferably if He could answer our prayer requests first. This is synonymous to one of the fundamental laws in physics (Newton’s Third Law of Motion) – “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. It is human nature to have expectations for situations presented to us, it is how we think. For instance - In general, most people work hard, but they expect to reap the rewards of that hard work at some point in time. Without those expectations, why would anyone work hard at all?
The scriptures are relevant not only in the past but also for the future. What we learn from our Christian faith, is that man-made rules of this world don’t apply to our Creator. Our relationship with God is not one of give and take, but one of complete submission, trust and faith. God reveals Himself to us when we are ready to listen, without any secret agendas. When we give up ‘control’ over the life that He gave us, when we make room for the Holy Spirit to work through us, when our hearts seek the Lord, and our intentions are pure, that is when we allow the Holy Spirit to work within us, that is when we are truly “Born from Above”.
Dear God, You know our heart and our desires. We pray that we come to You with peace in our mind, with no expectations, but wholeheartedly trusting You to guide us through this life, May the Holy Spirit work within us and transform our lives. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“The Christian who neglects the Holy Spirit is like a lamp that’s not plugged in.” – Marvin Williams (The Daily Bread)