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  • Writer's pictureMegan Greenwald


Becoming a Christian changed my eternal destiny, but that is not what changed my life. 

I grew up in church, and I gave my life to Jesus at five, six, seven, I don’t remember. It was in that moment that my citizenship in hell was replaced with a home in Glory once I die. 

My life didn’t change then, though. My life was changed a year and a half ago, near the end of 2018, when I was filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, something that had been completely foreign to me for my entire life beforehand. 

This is why I write to you today, Christians, as we have just celebrated Pentecost Sunday. I write to share my experience and journey of what my life with Holy Spirit has looked like so far, and to assure you that there isindeed more! 

Growing up in church meant that Sunday school, youth, church camps, and VBS’s quickly became very important to me. I was highly involved in church, enjoyed learning about God, and I tried my best to be a “good christian” and do the right thing. I helped out with VBS and music camps once I outgrew the age to participate myself, and I even had a heart for missions and attended two mission trips to Miami with my church and association. 

As far as I could tell up until this point, this was the Gospel. Jesus promises eternal life when I die by nailing my sins to the cross and then I graciously repay by going to church and being good. 


It wasn’t until God asked me to give my life for this thing, that I realized there had to be something more, something that was missing from my own walk. Surely, if the Lord asked me to give up all of my future plans, hand them over to Him, and surrender to a call of ministry that He placed on my life, then there had to be something more to this whole Christian walk than going to church on Sundays while I waited for Him to come get me for heaven. 

I became hungry. I sought the Lord like never before. 

And then I made a friend who asked me a question that at first offended me, then blew my mind, but ended up being the conversation that was the entry way for my life to be radically changed by the Holy Spirit.

It went exactly like this:

“Megan, do you have the Holy Spirit?”

Me: “What? You know that I’m a Christian!”

“No, that’s not what I’m asking. Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?”

– Pause. This ended up being the “something more” that I had been searching for. Okay continue, but stick with me, I’ll give you Bible in a second. –

Me: “Um, I don’t know what that is.”

“Well, do you speak in tongues?”

What!!! Now this I had heard of!!! As something that was demonic. Or as something that was fake. Or as something that only happened in “Bible times”.

But what in the world did speaking in tongues have to do with the Holy Spirit, and what was this “baptism”?

I left the conversation so curious, skeptical and honestly kind of freaked out that my friend who I knew was a Christian and on fire for God, is apparently involved with this thing that I somehow always believed was demonic. So I called my best friend, who has always been a few steps ahead of me spiritually. I knew I could trust her. I knew that she heard clearly from the Lord, something that I had never experienced. I shared with her the questions that I had been asked, and she cut me off to tell me that she knew exactly where I was headed with the conversation, and that she had it, too. The baptism. The tongues. 

The two people in my life that were the most unapologetically on fire for God that I knew, just so happened to be the same two people who claimed that they had been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Coincidence? I was determined to find out. 

I came home, sat down and Google searched “Holy Spirit bible verses”. Read with me some of the hundred or so in which I read:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

-Matthew 28:19-20 NIV 

“They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

-Acts 2:3-4 NIV

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

-Acts 1:8 NIV

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” 

-Acts 4:31 NIV

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

-Acts 2:38 NIV

“On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

-Acts 19:5-6

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” 

-Matthew 3:11

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams, even on my male servants and my female servants in those days I will pour out My Spirit and they will prophesy.”

-Acts 2:17-18

My first reaction? Anger. I was angry because I could honestly say that I had never heard a sermon on any of these topics ever in all of my then 17 years of living, besides that of the Great Commission. I was angry that it seemed like there was a whole lot more to the Gospel that I had never even heard. I was frustrated because apparently this three-in-one God, was three-in-one for a reason, not just so we’d have a choice of what name to call God. Apparently, each part of the Godhead was meant to play a specific role in my life. Please don’t read this as me being angry at anyone in any authoritative position in any church I had ever attended, that wasn’t it. What I was feeling was righteous anger, an anger that drove me to discover the Gospel for myself, for the first time ever. If this Baptism wasn’t real, why was it highlighted all throughout scripture, but especially in the New Testament, where this promise of the Holy Spirit was included in the New Covenant that we are under, and furthermore, why was it written in RED?! And if it is true, where has this been my whole life? Why have I never heard of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but beyond the question “why hadn’t I heard?” came the question “why hadn’t I read?”. You see, if my ignorance was anyone’s fault, it was my own. As Christians, we have the responsibility (and our Bibles!) to discover Truth for ourselves. It was my own fault that the only way I was ever fed spiritually was by listening to a sermon on Sunday mornings, and by skipping around reading the Bible only topically. 

Regardless, though, now that I had heard from my friends, and read about the Baptism of Holy Spirit through my Google search of Bible verses, I was determined to understand. I knew that the whole Bible was true, that wasn’t up for debate. But if there truly was more to life with God, than simply life with God after this life, I knew that I wanted it. 

I spent just about every bit of my waking hours during the month to follow reading the Bible, praying and reading commentary, which brought me to my next reactions towards my newfound discovery: Anxiety and confusion. Anxiety like I had never known before. Crippling anxiety. Confusion that eventually led me to seeking after God with all that was in me. Confusion that drove me to find out the role He desired to play in my life now, not just when I die. 

It’s no coincidence that the minute that we get hungry for God, the enemy begins to attack like we have never been attacked before. This was the beginning of the understanding that I dealt with anxiety, and I’m telling you I dealt with it daily. I would be completely overcome with fear as I read contradicting opinions on the topic from my googling of commentaries trying to understand, when I probably should’ve just stuck to the Bible and asked the Lord His thoughts right off the bat. It was after many phone calls to my best friend as I’m sitting in parking lots, anxious and crying in my car because I don’t know which way to believe, that we decided it were best that I stay away from letting the internet be my source of truth, and instead go to the Lord. 

My prayers were desperate for answers regarding this Baptism and what it meant for me, but they were even more desperate for God, as He truly was. I prayed for Him to reveal Himself to me like never before. I told God that I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care if my denomination agreed with it. I told Him that I didn’t care if who He was didn’t fit neatly inside of all of my preconceived ideas of who He is and what He can and can’t do. I didn’t care anymore if He didn’t fit all of my theology. If it was Him, I wanted it in my life. I told God that I kinda believed all of this tongue stuff, which was a byproduct of both of my friends’ Holy Spirit fillings, was demonic, but that if I were wrong, to please change my mind. Let me tell you, He isn’t afraid of our honesty. I reminded God of His Words that I had read concerning the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I told Him that His word said that that the Baptism was a GIFT from God, and similarly to salvation, it’s ours for the taking. I told Him that His Word says that He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, and that we would prophesy and see visions and dream dreams, and I told Him that I was included in that “all”. I tried to leave it at that and trust that in His own perfect timing I would receive what His Word had promised me, but there were many times that anxiety would creep in on my journey of rediscovering who the Bible says that God is, and I would have to again surrender it all to the Lord. 

And then, after probably another three weeks or so had gone by, it happened! The baptism that I had never heard of! The tongues that I was scared of! It was all there, as I experienced the Lord in the most pure, yet powerful and vulnerable way ever. I stood there worshipping God, singing songs that I had always sung, but something was different this time. While worshipping, I fell under the presence of the Lord and remained in His presence for pretty much the rest of the night. While this was something completely new to me, I knew exactly what was going on, because I had prayed for this!!!!! This was the answer to my prayers!!!!! I was completely aware of everything that was happening around me, I remember even the smallest of details of that night, yet I was completely with the Lord at the same time. Weeping came from my eyes, and uncontrollable and unknown tongues of praise came from my lips as I sat with Him. Oh, to sit with Him..

That night is the night that I say my personal relationship with God began. My relationship with the three-in-one God. My relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I fully believe that I was saved years and years before, but there was nothing personal about this “personal relationship” that I thought I had, until now! My life changed that night. 

I don’t want it to seem like I am caught in the emotions of this encounter, though an encounter it was!! It was an experience that I will never forget as long as I live. This being said, I fully understand that a relationship with God is not solely an experience, but I thank God that He does let us experience Him!

What I want to put my focus on is how my life has looked different ever since this encounter with the Lord that has marked my life. While this Baptism of the Holy Spirit has given me the ability to preach the Gospel with a newfound boldness (the kind of boldness that the disciples received after their baptism) that is undeniably the Lord working through me (not anything that I could muster up in my own strength), a prayer language of my own for when I don’t have the words to say, countess moments spent in His tangible presence, and an increase of many of the fruits of the Spirit (namely, JOY!!!!!), I don’t believe that the Baptism was for me. My pastor made a statement once regarding the role of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives and it was this: “The Holy Spirit was around you as you were being drawn to salvation. The Holy Spirit is in you at the moment of salvation, and the Holy Spirit comes on you (the Baptism) for others”. This Baptism is to equip us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we can become more effective witnesses of the Gospel to the world around us. You see, the same Holy Spirit that resides in me now lived in that five, six, seven year old girl, however my life didn’t change until I realized and began to walk out in the authority that I have through Holy Spirit which came through my Baptism – when I first sat with Him.  

Through Him, in the past year in a half, I have seen bodies healed, and minds freed from demonic forces. I have been given visions, and I have realized the spiritual authority that the Holy Spirit has given me to bind the enemy and cancel His assignment, both in my own life and in the lives of others around me. I have heard clearly from the Lord, like my best friend had when I used to wonder: “How?”!

I am learning more about this sweet life with the Holy Spirit every day as I grow in intimacy with Him, and I will be the first to admit that I have so much left to learn. I do not believe that this Baptism in the Holy Spirit looks the same for every believer, nor am I suggesting that you can unlock a miraculous, supernatural lifestyle by following three simple steps, however, I do believe that God does desire to activate in us specific giftings and callings much like those mentioned in the New Testament, according to His will and for the advancement of His Kingdom, in His own unique way for each believer that asks to receive it. We are living in a time where our world needs a powerful, Spirit-filled Church that carries the authority that was given to us now more than ever, so I want to leave you all with the same question that began my own beautiful journey of discovering life with Holy Spirit, in hopes that you may find yourself on a trek alike:

“_________, have you experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?” 

All my love,


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