19:8 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
There's that word again - boldly. Paul was a man baptized with the Holy Spirit. It was evident by his life. It was evident by the influence he had and the reactions to him. His relentless presentation of Jesus as the One from heaven sent to rescue us either drew people to him or created an opposite effect. What it never did was leave people indifferent.
Before we leave this vital revelation of Spirit baptism it is important to make clear what it is not. In the wake of my own journey in 2005 I had people coming to me wanting "the Spirit". As I talked to some of them it became evident why the Spirit was lacking in us. We want the supernatural and/or we want some feeling of ecstasy and/or worst of all we want power.
When Jesus left His disciples with the promise of His Spirit, He explicitly described what the Spirit would do in us and for us. He said "He will convict you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment." (John 16:8)
These are heart issues. Today there is much disagreement over what is and isn't sin and what is and isn't righteousness. Every religion has a different list. There is also much disagreement and confusion about if or what kind of judgment is coming. Jesus also said the Spirit would be our teacher and lead us into all truth revealing everything concerning Jesus. You can read all about it in John’s gospel, chapters 15 and especially 16.
The Holy Spirit is not a miracle road show. He is not a power to manipulated and used at our discretion. He does not manifest Himself in superficial ways like "holy laughter" or babbling in some incomprehensible way. The "tongues" referred to in Acts are simply languages. They served the very practical purpose of spreading the gospel across a very multilingual world. Every gift given was for the singular purpose of making Christ known to a dying world lost in confusion.
Do you remember after Jesus was baptized He was lead by the Spirit into the wilderness? Did you notice that Paul travelled from place to place as lead by the Spirit? The Spirit is not a "new toy" for believers to "play with". Just as the presence of God lead the Israelites through the wilderness, so His Spirit inhabits our lives and we become submissive to His leading.
The first time I came to visit my sister in Grande Prairie I remember very distinctly thinking "I would never want to live here..."
Then a few years later through a bizarre set of events during which God made His will evident we found ourselves moving to Grande Prairie. It has been the hardest, most challenging, yet most God lead experience of my ministry so far. He had things to teach me. He had things for me to do. Presently He is moving in wonderful yet uncomfortable ways. If you want comfort and want to remain in control His Spirit can't fill you. He won't steal the steering wheel from your hands. What He will do is lead you through circumstances that will make you realize you are not a very good driver.
Some people think it's a secular song. I believe it was God speaking through secular means to a lost world:
Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands, ‘cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel