As a born-again Christian, you may have heard of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit but you don’t know how to receive it. There are so many schools of thought surrounding this and it can get very messy. Some teachings may have left you feeling as though you’re not worthy enough to receive the Holy Spirit.

Maybe the teaching you are familiar with say you have to be sinless and live a perfect holy life before He comes to live inside you. You may have been taught that you have to ‘tarry’ or wait for the Holy Spirit. God forbid if you’re not in church at the altar, you definitely cannot receive. None of this is true. Wrong teaching is keeping you from this awesome news, that you already have His Spirit.

Wait, what? Yes, you already have the Holy Spirit. Let’s get into this and explore how you can receive the Holy Spirit.

Now I understand. I was saved for around 10 years before I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know it was so simple, and neither did I know it was already given. However, once I knew the truth, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit alone in my car, down a dark alleyway at 10pm on a Sunday night. I’m sure that breaks all of your rules. With the right understanding, you too can receive right where you are, today!

(If you’re eager to just get going and want to know how, jump down to How do I receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?)

Why do I need to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus, and later His disciples, modelled how we are to walk this earth.

When Jesus was baptised, The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Jesus needed the Holy Spirit for at least these two reasons.

1. To walk out God’s purpose for your life.

21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22

Prior to Jesus water and Spirit baptism, He had not entered into ministry. It was only after this key moment that Jesus was equipped. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was what allowed Him to see and do what His Father did (John 5:19), and it is also what equips you and I to fulfil the purpose God has for us. Just as Jesus could do nothing by Himself, we too can do nothing by ourselves.

Jesus had major work for the disciples to do. As we know, the gospel we’ve heard and Bible we now have, came about from Jesus’ disciples. But Jesus charged them not to leave Jerusalem or begin ministry until they had been baptised by the Holy Spirit.

4 and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence… 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 1:4‭-‬5, 8 KJV

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance… 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 2:4, 41 KJV

As soon as the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they preached the word and 3000 people received Jesus, and their souls were added to the Kingdom. That would not have happened without the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

You too have a God-given purpose which is why you are temporarily on this earth. However, you need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to truly walk in your purpose and benefit the Kingdom of God. So, if you’re wondering why you need the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it’s because Jesus and the disciples couldn’t fulfil their purpose without it and you too need the same power to walk in your purpose.

2. To stand against the enemy

The second reason you need the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to stand against the enemy.

Note that right after Jesus received water and Spirit baptism, He entered into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil. This is significant. Jesus needed the power of the Holy Spirit to withstand the pressures and attacks of the enemy.

When you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you have the ability to release the power of Jesus that is inside you. The Holy Spirit causes you to stand firm against the devil when he tries to oppose you.

the baptism of the holy spirit gives you the ability to release the power of Jesus that is inside you.

When should this receiving happen?

The inward work of the Holy Spirit

Well, you already have the Holy Spirit. Yes, I imagine part of you is wondering where it is and what you are still waiting for. You see, when you were born again through believing in your heart and confessing Jesus is Lord with your mouth (Romans 10:9), you received the Holy Spirit at that moment.

And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father!
Galatians 4:6 AMPC

When you become a son of God, you receive the Spirit of His son. The Holy Spirit. (Ladies, don’t get stuck on the verse using the term ‘sons’. If men can be the bride of Christ, we can be sons of God.)

And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.
Ephesians 1:13‭-‬14 NLT

The moment you believe in Christ, God gives you His Holy Spirit. So, you can see that as soon as a person is born again, they have the Holy Spirit. However, it doesn’t stop there. I’d call this the inward work of the Holy Spirit. The moment you receive, you literally become holy. The Spirit makes you a brand new creation, totally righteous, full of the fruit of the Spirit, gifts of the Spirit and more. But it’s no good having all of that goodness inside and it never flows out or impacts anyone else. (Read more about who you have become in the Spirit)

The outward flow of the Holy Spirit

Now you need the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or I refer to this as the outward flow of the Spirit. This is where the power that you received inwardly is able to flow out. This outward flow is also why speaking in tongues is an external sign that a person has God’s Spirit.

Instead of the fruit of the spirit stuck inside you, now people you encounter will experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness etc. You can now walk in boldness and total trust in the Lord to fulfil your purpose. You won’t fear the worst, but you’ll be able to withstand any attacks of the enemy.

Therefore, as a believer, you will receive the inward work of the Holy Spirit immediately when you receive Christ. From that moment onwards, you can receive the baptism or the outward flow of the Holy Spirit. You don’t have to wait any length of time for this, the moment you receive salvation you can receive the Holy Spirit baptism.

Someone may be wondering why Jesus said in Acts 1:4 to wait for the promise [Spirit]. At that point, Jesus first had to return to heaven and fulfil His work and sit down. Only then could Holy Spirit descend. We’re no longer waiting on Jesus to ascend into heaven. His Spirit was already poured out over 2000 years ago. Now we just receive.

How do I receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

how to receive the holy spirit on a background of trees at the back of a field as the dusk sun bursts through the trees


Your heavenly Father wants to give His Holy Spirit to you. He simply says to ask.

10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:10‭-‬13 NKJV

Believe you receive

Verse 13 draws a comparison of a good earthly father who gives good gifts to his child when they ask for something. Yet in comparison to how good God is, that father is evil – yet they still give good things to their children when they ask. So how much more would God who is the ultimate “good”, give us a good thing when we ask for it. Therefore, believe that you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit the very moment you ask for it.


You’ve asked. You believe you now have it. What next? Well, when you ask for a gift and then you receive it, what do you do with it? You start to use it.

I recently shared with my husband that I needed a memory card for my phone for more storage space. A few days later it arrived in the post for me. Now just because I didn’t put it in my phone immediately, didn’t mean I didn’t have it. If I’d asked my husband again for a memory card, he’d have been a bit confused wondering ‘well have you used the one I bought you?

My point is, when we get a gift, we receive it and then we use it. We don’t ask for it again before unpacking it.

So, once you ask, then believe you receive the Spirit, now you begin to speak. You can begin to speak words of blessing and worship to God, but ultimately as you speak, the Holy Spirit is enabling you or giving you expression and utterance (Acts 2:4).

Allow syllables and sounds to flow out of your mouth. Don’t try to make sense of it. It’s spiritual, not common-sensical. It may help to raise your hands high in the air as a sign of surrender and dependence on God.

Bonus tip

This may or may not resonate with you, so feel free to take it or leave it. When you’re first beginning to speak in tongues, your mind will not understand (1 Cor 14:14) and it may tell you “you’re just making it up”. To combat this, it can help to play scriptural worship music loudly through earphones so that you cannot hear your own voice and begin to doubt. Scripture lets us know that the baptism is flowing out from the belly (John 7:38), therefore, how it sounds isn’t important. Leave a comment below if this tip helps you as it helped me.

Take action to receive

Through this blog post, you will now have understood why you need the Holy Spirit, when you receive Him, and also how. So, it’s time to put the word into action. Then, you will notice how you begin to walk in so much more power and authority.

The other option is to put this off until later or do nothing at all about what you’ve read today. But you won’t walk in your full God-given potential and when the devil tries to come knocking, you might cave like Adam and Eve instead of resisting like Jesus. So if you’re ready, let’s begin by saying this prayer:

“Father, thank you for desiring to baptise me with your Holy Spirit. I want to receive power to live the life you desire me to live. I ask you to please fill me with Your Spirit now, and by faith I receive it in Jesus’ name. Thank you for filling me.”

Now believe you’ve received and begin to speak. (For a reminder, refer back to the third section of how to receive – speak).

If you spoke out in tongues, awesome! Continue practicing to pray in tongues and you’ll notice your language developing over time. If you didn’t speak in tongues, that’s OK. Once you prayed and asked for the Holy Spirit in faith, as the scripture says, everyone who asks, receives (Luke 11:10). You too should keep opening your mouth in praise and worship to the Lord and expecting the Holy Spirit to give you the utterance.

Other Resources to Help

You may be concerned about losing this gift or not knowing how to ‘practice’ praying in tongues. Closer to Him is a 30-day devotional that offers three chapters specifically devoted to praying in the Spirit. As you read through those chapters and take action, you will notice your confidence in your heavenly language growing. Purchase Closer to Him, right here!

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