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Common Barriers to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Image: Anthony Da Cruz

2. Shy or Introverted Personality

This mentality comes from the fear of humiliation or public at­tention and commonly creates barriers to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, churches regularly ask individuals in a service to come forward to receive the baptism. Of course the baptism experience could happen in such a setting, but it creates a mentality that individuals have to go somewhere to receive it. This mentality also creates difficulties for introverts who often struggle with public attention. So why do we think that they will to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit in the front of a church full of people, when they are afraid to walk down to the front without shaking in their boots?

There is no special place or special service where you must receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pray right where you are.

An effective way to help individuals overcome this barrier is to encourage them to find a private place to pray, or if they are in church, pray right where they are. They can even whisper their prayer privately. This privacy removes unnecessary social pressure and allows them to relax and receive what the Lord has for them. It also helps individuals know that they can receive the baptism at home, as was the case for my wife. Many individuals have testified that they received Spirit baptism in the shower, probably because it is the one place they don’t have distractions. I have even heard of one person receiving it while riding his bicycle! The point is to not create a show. We must orientate our hearts and attitudes in order to willing receive what the Spirit has to offer.


3. Hyper Analytical

This mentality comes from the fear of not understanding or intel­lectually processing what your experience. I personally struggled with this barrier. As an analytical person, I struggle when I cannot explain something. Many individuals also struggle with the baptism in the Holy Spirit and its accompanying gift—tongues, because it comes as a supernatural experience we cannot easily explain.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is supernatural. Put your trust in God and stop trying to completely understand it.

To overcome this barrier, I suggest we put our “analyzer” on hold first, and willingly receive what God has, and then analyze the experience afterward. I do not advocate “not thinking”, but rather willingly allow God to work and not think, “We’ll, I’ve been stand­ing here for the last 45 minutes and I feel like I am going to fall over, and now I have a cold chill on my neck, but that is because I am sweating and they just turned on the fans.” Sometimes we get in our own way and over analyze things. Therefore, in this case, I propose we do things in reverse order, where we open ourselves up to receive first, recognizing that we cannot fully explain spiritually abstract concepts, and then analyze the experience afterward. The idea is that hyper analytical people typically lead with their head and follow with their heart. I suggest making an effort to do the reverse of leading with your heart and then following with your head to overcome this barrier.


4. The Passive Approach

This mentality comes from a fear of self-inducement of a coun­terfeit experience; and therefore, we assume it is not divine. Indi­viduals who struggle with this area fear that either they just made something up in their head, or they wait for the Holy Spirit to pos­sess them and move their mouth like a puppet.

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2018

About the Author: Jeremiah J. Campbell, D.Min. (Talbot School of Theology, Biola University), M.Div., M.A. (Global University), M.Ed. (Washington State University) is a missionary to Bolivia with the Assemblies of God World Missions, and an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He is also an adjunct professor for Northwest University, and associate professor for Global University, and the national director for Global University in Bolivia. Jeremiah previously served as the national director for Chi Alpha Bolivia, an organization he developed into a national ministry. Before the missions field Jeremiah was a youth pastor at Neighborhood Church in Sunnyside, WA. He also worked as a public school teacher and educational coach for the Grandview School District in Grandview, WA. Jeremiah is the author of The Foundation of the Assemblies of God of Bolivia: A Perspective through the Eyes of the Founding Missionaries (2016), and Say What?: A Biblical and Historical Journey on the Connection between the Holy Spirit, Prophecy, and Tongues (Wipf & Stock, 2018). Jeremiah married his best friend, Marjorie in 2005, and they live with their two children in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Facebook. LinkedIn. Website.

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