Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
The plan was to invade the enemy territory and establish his own kingdom far and wide. The expectation was that he would work to build a strong army with formidable soldiers to carry out this work, but he took another tack. He began to build what looked like teeny tiny robots which had no obvious strength or ability. One after another he built them day and night. They sat for quite a while waiting to be used, then it happened. When the time was just right, he flipped the switch and powered them up. Just like that these beastly little machines became what they were designed to be, an unassuming army with the combined power to bring the enemy to a crippling halt and take that land.
The baptism by Spirit and fire which occurred on the Day of Pentecost was the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit over those who believed. They were given the miraculous gift of being able to speak in tongues which were unknown to them previously, and it served as a powerful sign of the movement of God’s Spirit in that place. This also was the moment when the Spirit became available to us for indwelling. He lives inside us and works through us, and that is a mighty power for us to have. Men have raised the dead by using this power from on high. The tongues of fire which sat over the heads of the believers symbolized the might of the Spirit, an all-consuming power not to be controlled or held back by mankind, one to be feared and respected.
The Spirit of God working through us is a powerful fire which can light the way for a lost soul in one moment and bring to dust the enemy’s strongholds in the next. It can be frightening, but it is not wild or untrustworthy. This power is completely within the control of God for the purpose of accomplishing what He has ordained. When we yield to the Spirit with respect and responsibility, that power is available to work through us as a testimony of God’s great might. We should desire that the power of God would work through us to bring the enemy to his knees and show the ones without belief that our faith is mighty. Father, let your fire live in us that your power would manifest in these lowly souls of ours.