When babies are baptized, they are often startled by the cool water and cry out. Much like us, we feel uncomfortable when God’s mercy falls in strange ways. On Pentecost the Spirit fell and all were stunned. When Christ promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them, they could only speculate what that might look like. John the Baptist had warned them that he (John) baptized with water but that one would come (Jesus) who would baptize with fire. Fire! Fire in the bones, in the heart, in the soul.
However, I doubt that many were expecting winds, literal tongues of fire on their heads, and foreign tongues to be part of the scenario. I’m fairly certain they were astonished—not that Christ fulfilled the promise but that it happened in that particular way. They knew it was happening—all the way to their bones aflame with reality. They felt it. Spirit roared through them, empowering, enabling, and granting new courage. Any cowardice Peter might have showed when he denied Christ was GONE, burned up in the furnace of God’s grace, power, and love!
So, there it was—new power to walk fearlessly obedient to God. This was no ordinary, limp, or legalistic faith anymore; it was a surge of holy glory, and these disciples—all 120 of them—were empowered for their new walk of life and love in Christ. I often forget this as I try to live a supernatural life naturally. Jesus would say, “Please stop it. It is impossible to be like me apart from ME!”
So, walking with Christ is filled with surprises from birth to immortality.
Water baptism surprises little ones. Walking aware of God’s Spirit in us, and that we are in Christ and children of God is astonishing–surprising, if you will. All of God’s grace is amazement—all the way to life everlasting. It is fire in our bones.