The day I received Jesus as my Savior I was simultaneously baptized with the Holy Spirit. I remember I was reading a book that my mother had given me to read called, The Holy Spirit and You: A Guide to the Spirit-Filled Life by Dennis and Rita Bennett. Each night I read more of it and eventually one night while reading I felt the presents of the Lord very tangibly near to me. I did not formally pray any sinner’s prayer or anything like that, but the words I read convinced me of who Jesus was and what he had done for me. Baring in mind I was not bogged down with any religious dogma. I didn't have any question marks as to the why’s and wherefore’s of speaking in tongues. It happened and I needed no convincing of the reality and veracity of my supernatural encounter with Jesus and the Holy Spirit baptism.
Because I had met Jesus and was born again I felt the need to go to a church. I started attending a Baptist church, needing fellowship with fellow believers. I remember giving my testimony one day and telling my fellow Baptists how I had received Jesus and was baptized with the Holy Spirit, thinking, erroneously that all believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues. I had no inkling that there was such a schism in the body of Christ. I thought everybody who was born again spoke in tongues. I was innocent and naive. To me it went without saying. It was the bread the butter and the jam. How could it be any different? I didn't need to be convinced and debate the matter. It was a given as far as I was concerned after all it was my experience. It had happened to me without any doctrinal bias. The truth is, it is a given. To be more emphatic, it is a gift that the Father ‘wants’ to ‘give’ us all.
And yes, many years have passed since that wonderful encounter but only in the last couple of years has the Holy Spirit impressed on me just how important it is that as a Spirit baptized believer I should be praying wherever, whenever and for whoever, in tongues. I am convinced more than ever as to its supernatural benefits. It is a powerful gift that has been given to us for a reason. It can be likened for example to purchasing a basic Land Rover Discovery 4x4 that has no extras on it. It will cost you say R700,000.00 and it will definitely get you through rough terrain, bad roads and through water hazards etc. But if you purchased the extras such a winch, spotlights, long range fuel tank, snorkel, off road GPS. map, duel battery system, front tow bar, raised air tank, sunshades, deploy-able side steps, air helper springs, sump and steering guard, nudge bar and roof rack or roof tent, it will enhance your off road capability, capacity and performance. Your journey will be enriched. Now this may be a simplistic analogy, but the message is the same with regards receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When we get saved Jesus enters our heart (spirit) by the Holy Spirit. We have the fullness of the Godhead bodily residing in our spirit, no question. The disciples of Jesus also had received the Holy Spirit. “And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:” (Jhn. 20:22) But after they had received the Holy Spirit which saved them he told them later on to tarry in Jerusalem. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luk 24:49)
It is a definite promise of a ‘second blessing’. Why? That we may be endued with power from on high.
When I pray in my mother tongue as well as in tongues I am praying perfect and powerful prayers. When I pray in English about a situation I eventually run out of words but if I continue in tongues the Spirit helps my infirmity. (Rom.8:26,27) The Holy Spirit knows more than I know about any situation. He takes over and imparts revelation, knowledge and wisdom with regards the person place or circumstance that I may be praying about. The Holy Spirit then can pray for that which my mind, in its limited capacity is incapable of expressing or sorting out. “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:16) This is such Good News. This is a dynamic gift of the Holy Spirit.
I read in Acts 2:1-4
1. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Act 2:4)
Paul wrote the following about praying in tongues.
1) When we pray in tongues, our spirit is praying but our understanding is unfruitful.
• “For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” (1Co 14:14)
2) When we pray in tongues we edify ourselves.
• “He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself;” (1Co 14:4a)
3) When we pray in tongues we are praying in the Spirit.”
• “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,” (Eph. 6:18a)
4) When we pray in tongues we build ourselves up.”
• But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (Jude1:20)
5) Paul said he prayed in tongues more than others.
• “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: (1Co 14:18)
6) We can sing in the Spirit.
• “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” (1Co 14:15)
So how can we receive this gift? The answer is, simply by asking the Father in faith.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luk 11:13)
You might ask the question, is there any specific state or condition I should be in to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The only condition is that you are a believer in Jesus Christ and desire to receive this gift by faith. Not how you look, how confessed out you are, how spiritual you are, how good you are, how much you've fasted and prayed. No, no, and no again. It is a faith matter, to be received by faith as a free gift, as an added benefit and blessing so that you may be a blessing to others.
There is no set manner or position to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
• You can receive it by the laying on of hands by a fellow believer.
• You can receive it while praising the Lord.
• You can receive it by getting revelation to a truth in scripture.
• You can receive it by just thinking on the goodness of the Lord and His wonderful Grace.
• You can get it by pondering on the crucifixion and the enormous price Jesus paid on the cross to purchase your salvation.
• You can receive it while listening to or singing a Christian song.
• You can receive it while praying.
• You can receive it while reading a Christian book.
I didn't receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with a great manifestation. I simply felt the presents of the Lord very near to me and an overwhelming compunction or prompting to speak. I loosed my lips by faith and tongues flowed.
Now that I am baptized with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues is important for many reasons, certainly ‘more than’ just to prove I've received the Holy Spirit. It should be a part of my daily life. It is a way to communicate directly to the Father spirit to Spirit without my brain getting in the way. My brain which has so many fears and doubts and which is quickly side tracked. It will build me up in the Holy Spirit and enhance and empower my walk with Jesus. (Jude 1:20)
It is my desire that all who read this and who have not yet been baptized with the Holy Spirit, that they will ask the Father. For it is the Fathers sincere desire to give good gifts to His children. (Lu.11:13)
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (Isa. 28:11)
“And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:” (Joe 2:28) Amen.