There is one verse that describes the working of the Holy Spirit—I would say, in a perfect way—and I have always followed that: John 3:8. Jesus is speaking about being born of the Holy Spirit. He talks about the wind, and it’s referring to the Holy Spirit. "The wind blows where it wishes." It is like that with the Holy Spirit. He moves in different ways. I cannot dictate to the wind saying, "you must blow this way or that way," no. It blows where it wishes. "You hear the sound, but you can’t see where it’s coming from or where it’s going. So is everyone who is born of the Holy Spirit."
What I learn from that verse is that the way God deals with His children who are born of the Spirit is different. It’s like a wind. He moves one way in this person’s life. He moves another way in my life, another way in that person’s life. I’m not here to dictate which way the Holy Spirit should work, so I will not make rules on that.
What do we read in the Acts of the Apostles? On the day of Pentecost, nobody laid hands on the 120. God met with them directly. Later on, we read in Acts 4:31 that when they were praying, the place where they were gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Nobody laid hands on them. These are the first two examples of people being filled with the Holy Spirit and nobody laid hands on them. It’s not described exactly how those people in Samaria received the Holy Spirit. They laid hands in Acts 8:17 and received the Holy Spirit. In Acts 9, Ananias laid hands on Saul. In Acts 10—Cornelius—nobody laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit. We read in Ephesus that Paul baptized them and then laid hands on them (Acts 19:6). So it’s different in different cases and you have to ask the Lord, because the means is not the important thing.
It’s like the way people are converted. Some people are converted in a meeting. Some people are converted by a vision, like Paul, who had a vision when he got converted. Some people are converted on their deathbed. It’s different. We can not dictate.
The important thing is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I would say definitely—from these examples that I pointed out to you in Acts 2, 4, and 10—for those people, nobody laid hands on them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. It can be like that with you too. Get alone with God and God can meet with you.