Have I ever come to a place in my experience where I can say, “I indeed . . . but he”? Until that moment comes, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Spirit means. It means that “I indeed” am at an end; I can do nothing more. “But he” begins right there—he does what no one else can do.

“But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry” (Matthew 3:11). Am I prepared for his coming? Jesus cannot come to me as long as there’s something inside me blocking his way. It doesn’t matter whether the thing is bad or good, sin or something I consider a personal quality. When he comes, I must be prepared for him to drag everything into the light. Wherever I know I am unclean, he will put his feet. Wherever I think I am clean, he will withdraw them. Repentance doesn’t bring a sense of sin but a sense of total unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am completely helpless; I know that no part of me is worthy even to carry his sandals. Have I repented like that? Or do I have a lingering urge to defend myself? The reason God cannot come into my life is because I haven’t entered completely into repentance.

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). John doesn’t speak of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience. He speaks of it as a work performed by Jesus Christ. The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Spirit ever have is a sense of being absolutely unworthy.

“I indeed” was unworthy, “but he” came, and a marvelous thing happened. Get to the place in the margin where he does everything.

Wisdom from Oswald

Am I learning how to use my Bible? The way to become complete for the Master’s service is to be well soaked in the Bible; some of us only exploit certain passages. Our Lord wants to give us continuous instruction out of His word; continuous instruction turns hearers into disciples.  Approved Unto God, 11 L