What If I told you that your Heavenly Father has a promise for you that would transform your life beyond anything you could imagine? A promise that would plunge you into the very presence of the Creator of the universe. A promise where the love and glory of God become more than just words on a page, but where you literally experience His arms being wrapped around you and your eyes are opened to see His splendor. A promise where His love and compassion for you and the world is not just read about but actually tasted of. A promise that would empower you and reveal to you your true identity and purpose. A promise that would cause you to hear God’s voice and know His dream for your life. A promise that is not just for you, but also offered to your children and even grandchildren! Would you want to receive such a promise?
Such a promise seems almost to good to be true! But thankfully, it is not. However, there are a few things the Lord desires we do before we can receive it.
First, we must repent and believe the good news about what Jesus Christ of Nazareth did for us on the cross. To repent means we change the way we think about sin. When we genuinely repent, we make a decision to turn away from our sins and turn towards Jesus. We understand that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but when we turn to Jesus, the Son of the living God, He releases us from the penalty of sin and gives us the gift of eternal life. Eternal life is only available in Jesus Christ and no one else. Those that reject His sacrifice and offer of life will perish. The Father doesn’t wish this for anyone, but earnestly desires that everyone on the earth come to repentance and receive this good news of Jesus and what He did for us. He deeply grieves when someone rejects His Son because He knows the short term and long term outcomes of their decision and the life they could have had.
The message of the good news is remarkably simple: We have sinned, but Jesus took that sin away by shedding His own blood on the cross. He demonstrated His love and grace toward us in that while we rejected and even despised Him, He died for us. When we draw near to Him and believe in our hearts He died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life we are immediately saved and brought into the kingdom of God as a new child in His family. If you haven’t received Him, here’s a simple prayer you can pray to help you to do so:
Jesus, Son of God, I come to you and thank you that you loved me so much that you willingly suffered and shed your blood on the cross to take away my sins. I believe that you were raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven where you are exalted as Lord of all. I make a decision right now to turn away from my sin, and turn to You to receive the complete forgiveness of all my sins and the eternal life you offer to me. Thank you Jesus, my Savior and Lord!
After we repent and believe the Good news about Jesus and receive the forgiveness of our sins, God becomes our Father, we become His child, and we now have direct access to Him and His promises. Although there are many promises for the children of God, one of these promises in particular is very special to the Lord because of the immediate implications it has on the one receiving it. The Promise of the Father, as Jesus called it, is the outpouring of the person of the Holy Spirit upon and in your life. Jesus told His disciples to wait for the promise of the Father. Peter, who had been saved previously (see John 20:22) and was a disciple of Jesus, talked about when he received it for himself on the day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:33 (NIV)
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”
When the people who saw and heard the disciples receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they asked what they were supposed to do.
Acts 2:38 (NIV)
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.
When we get saved, the Holy Spirit comes inside us to dwell. He then convinces us that we are in right standing before God (righteous) and are His child. Although, our own mind or the world may try to convince us otherwise.
After we are saved, we are offered an opportunity by the Lord to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which is the promise of the Father. When we receive this gift, the Holy Spirit comes upon us and flows out of us, and we become fully immersed in Him and in His presence. Like a wet sponge is completely plunged into water, the Holy Spirit envelopes and enters into every part of who we are. The apostle John wrote once “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day…”. There is a major difference between the Spirit being in you, and you being in the Spirit. The first is automatic when we receive the person of Jesus, the second comes when we receive the person of the Holy Spirit and abide in Him.
When we express our thirst for this living water, He promises us that He will give it. Not every christian has received this promise, but they can. I received it fourteen years after I had received and believed upon the Lord Jesus. Six months prior to receiving, I had become very hungry and thirsty in my spirit for the Lord, but I did not know what it meant or how this thirst could be quenched. I read volumes and volumes of christian literature, and attended church service after church service, but nothing seemed to help. After reading the Bible intensely for several months, it became clear to me that the Lord had a gift for me that I had yet experienced or received. This gift was the promise of the Father; the water of life. In my spirit I knew this was what I was longing for. The night before I received the gift, I walked outside to a field which was lit with moonlight and knelt before the Lord. I repented of my sin, thanked Him for His righteousness in Me, and surrendered my life to whatever He desired to do in it. I had a deep sense of expectancy for what was coming and about to take place. The next day I received. As I opened up my arms and lifted my face toward Heaven, The Holy Spirit came upon me gently, quickly, and powerfully. He saturated every part of who I was. My physical body, mind,soul, and even my bones and ligaments were consumed with His presence. I experienced His very breath coming in and out of my lungs. At times during my experience it became difficult to breath, although I knew it was His breath sustaining me. I wept inconsolably, but I did not know why. Those around me seemed to have fade away, and I was left face to face with the Creator of the Universe. His overwhelming love for me as His child and His glory became so overwhelming I could no longer stand. I don’t recall falling necessarily, but rather His hand guiding me to the ground gently as He continued to move through me. It went beyond my ability to understand it or describe it. I had heard and read about His love and goodness, but in His manifested presence I was actually tasting it and touching it, like it was a full course meal spread out before me to enjoy. I physically felt what seemed to be like energy and then the Holy Spirit spreading the love of God throughout my mind and my body. I remained on the floor for quite some time, fully yielding to everything He was doing in me. Waves of His love and power flowed through me like waves in the ocean. After I eventually stood up, I felt His power reverberating inside me as I continued to walk back to my room. My body felt lighter. For the rest of the night, I was unable to speak and couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. From that day to this day, I regularly sense and experience that same presence and that same voice. Meeting the Holy Spirit and receiving the promise of the Father is just the beginning of the most precious and intimate relationship that anyone can have in this world.
How to receive the promise for yourself
In order to receive the promise of the Father after salvation we must ask and thirst for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are to ask Jesus for it. Jesus pours Him out to those which are truly thirsty. He on several occasions called the Holy Spirit ‘living water’. When Jesus pours out His Spirit upon us, that living water also begins to flow out of us from our innermost being and we experience life in its full measure. One of the last things Jesus said in the Bible was “Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires the water of life come and drink freely” (Rev. 22:17). With open arms, He extends the same offer to us today. As you lift your hands toward heaven, here is a simple prayer to help you receive:
Lord Jesus, I believe in your promise to pour out your Spirit on me. I repent of my sins. I confess my thirst and desire to receive this gift you offer to me, which is as You said “the promise of the Father”. I receive it now. I fully surrender my life to you, and allow you right now to do in me and upon me as You please.
Give Him a few minutes to work. Take your time and continue looking to Jesus as you express your desire for the living water of the Spirit, and He will give it to you.