Fear is powerful. It can be used to manipulate and control us. But if we listen to Jesus, we need never be afraid. After all, if God is with us, what have we to fear?
There are those who would be content to simply allow God’s light to shine on them, to warm them, to comfort them. And that is good. God offers the power and protection of His Spirit to anyone who will come near to Him and follow. We call this salvation, and it is marked by a baptism of water.
But even better are those who will allow themselves to be spirit-immolated, who will not only bask in God’s love, but become ablaze in His love by surrendering completely to the purpose His mission. We do not teach that Jesus is Savior only, but that He desires to be both Savior and Lord. He not only wants to be our pillar of fire, but he wants us to become His pillars of fire in a world seized by the darkness of sin. We call this type of surrender sanctification, and it is the baptism of fire, the baptism in the Holy Spirit.