We need to be seriously concerned about the devaluing of the baptism (immersion) in the Holy Spirit in our time. We have two extremes in Christendom today: Those who deny the baptism in the Spirit altogether, and those who glory in a cheap, emotional counterfeit (that has brought them neither power for service nor holiness of life). We must steer clear of both these extremes and seek God for a genuine enduement with power so that we can live and serve as we should.
We cannot lead a church higher than we have risen ourselves. If we have had only a counterfeit experience ourselves, then we shall lead others also only into counterfeit experiences. We need to be genuinely immersed in the Holy Spirit. But that's not enough. We need to live continually in the fulness of the Spirit too, if we are to be effective for the Lord. We need to “be being filled with the Spirit” all the time (Eph.5:18 - Literal).
If we are to have an effective ministry in our church, then we must have a genuine concern for the spiritual growth of the brothers and sisters in our church. This will drive us to seek God for the gift of prophecy, so that we can serve our fellow-believers effectively. It is impossible to serve God effectively in the ministry of the Word without this gift of the Spirit. So we must seek for it with all our hearts. The parable Jesus spoke about the man who went to his neighbour's house at midnight to get food for his friend, teaches us to have a concern for those in our church who are in need. That in turn will make us knock at God's door and seek Him until He “gives us as much as we need of the power of the Holy Spirit” (Compare Luke 11v.8 with v.13).
In the new covenant, prophesying means to speak God's Word under the anointing of the Holy Spirit in such a way as to “exhort, encourage and build up the church” (1 Cor.14:4, 24, 25). In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul emphasises the importance of prophesying in the meetings of the local church. If the church could have been built up without such anointed prophesying, then we would have to say that God gave this gift to the church unnecessarily. Then the exhortation to “earnestly desire to prophesy” would be an unnecessary exhortation (1Cor.14:1, 39). But the fact is that this gift is essential for the building up of the church. A church that does not have even one brother in it who prophesies in the Spirit will soon end up in spiritual death.
To ignore the anointing of the Spirit amounts to the same as saying that the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost was unnecessary and that we are well able to do the Lord's work without His enabling! That is as serious an error as saying that the coming of the Lord Jesus to earth was unnecessary, and that we are well able to get into God's kingdom, without Him! Ignoring the coming of the Third Person of the Trinity amounts to despising the Holy Spirit and is just as serious a sin as ignoring the coming of the Second Person of the Trinity.
We must not devalue the Spirit's anointing, just because it has been abused by some believers. If¬ you don't have the Spirit's power, you will lean on your own human talents and experience to do the work of the Lord. And that will never accomplish God's purposes.
We need to free people from Phariseeism and legalism on the one hand, and from compromise and worldliness on the other hand. Who is sufficient for such a ministry? Only one who is enabled by the Holy Spirit. That is why we need to seek God for the Holy Spirit's wisdom and His power constantly. When Paul prays for the Christians at Ephesus, he prays that they will know both the Holy Spirit's wisdom as well as His power (Eph.1:17; 3:16). These are what we need to pray for too.