How did the Lord train the twelve disciples? Wherein consisted their preparation for the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
First, remember that they were men who had forsaken all to follow Jesus. You know the Lord Jesus went to one and said, Forsake your net; and to another, Leave that place in the receipt of custom, and come and follow Me. And they did it, and they could afterwards say by the mouth of Peter, “Lord, we have forsaken all and followed You”—their homes, their families, their good name. Men mocked and laughed at them, men called them “disciples of Jesus,” and when He was despised and hated, they were hated too. They identified themselves with Him, and they gave themselves up entirely to do His bidding. This is the first step in the way to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We must forsake all to follow Christ.
I am not now speaking about forsaking sin; that you have to do when you are converted. But there is something that has far wider meaning. Many Christians think that they receive Jesus as someone who can save them and help them, but in practice they deny Him as Master. They think they have a right to their own will in a thousand things. They speak very much what they like, they do very much what they like, they use their property and possessions as they like; they are their own masters, and they have never dreamed of saying: “Jesus, I just forsake all to follow You.”
And yet this is the demand of Christ. Christ has such infinite riches and glory that He deserves it, and Christ is such a heavenly, spiritual, divine gift that unless we give up everything, our hearts cannot be filled with Him. And so Jesus says: “Forsake all and follow Me.”
Are you willing to say: “O Christ, let me be filled with the Holy Spirit; I will give up anything and everything; accept my surrender?”
Each of us must examine himself. Some have never thought it necessary to do it. Some have never understood what it meant when Jesus said that except a man hate father and mother, and wife, and children, and houses and lands, and forsake them for His sake and the gospel’s, he is not worthy of Him. Is not this the reason of your feeble life, the reason that the Holy Spirit does not fill your being? You have never forsaken all to follow Christ.
Adapted from Absolute Surrender, pp.14-16. Christian Literature Crusade, Ft. Washington, PA.