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Seeking the Gift of Tongues Part Two
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Part Two of Speaking in Tongues
Hungering and Thirsting For More
I began this topic about the gift of tongues, emphasizing that I do not want any emotional experience, fanaticism, or deception. As I searched the scriptures, I found ample evidence in the New Testament that tongues is a valid, though somewhat mysterious gift from the Holy Spirit.
The more I read, the more I felt the Spirit of Truth prompting me to ask the Father for this prayer language. However I wanted all my questions answered before I committed myself to this prompting. I checked out library books on church doctrine. This took me about a year of serious study. I also began to attend a small country church with a co-worker at the school where I taught. She was not the typical, long-skirted, hair-piled high, thick hose and clunky-shoes lady. She dressed attractively and wore a stylish hair cut. She was well educated. I had never met anyone who had such deep faith. I enjoyed her sense of humor. And she also prayed in tongues (privately).
I felt a little apprehensive, not knowing what to expect at her church. Nobody rolled in the aisle. Nobody blabbered or behaved in a fanatical manner. They conducted their service with respectful order. They also did something I had never seen before in any service. They had a time for testimonies of how God had answered their prayers that week. One elderly farm wife stood up and told how she desperately needed her one and only milk cow, which was sick. Her husband planned to put it out of its misery, however she ask the Lord to heal it. The next morning it was up and eating grass.
A young mother stood up and said her little 2-year-old daughter had been ill with a high fever. She prayed and said the child ran to her, the fever gone. With tears running down her cheeks, this mother said, "And she was well!"
Another young man had been sent home to die with cancer. Over the weeks, he had begun to pray and to say, "Mom, I believe I'm healed." Doctors soon confirmed that the terminal disease had disappeared completely.
I was impressed. Clearly these people had a genuine relationship with God that I didn't have. But I wanted it. What was the difference? One thing I quickly determined. If I were dying, (which of course we all are) I would not be going to a church where nobody ever got healed.
Then the pastor invited anyone who wanted to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to come forward. I watched with intense curiosity. A young couple went to the altar, got down on their knees and began to pray. The pastor laid hands on them. They stayed at the altar a long time. I did not see them behaving with any fanaticism. Instead they rose and walked back to their pew with tears of joy on their shining faces.
I decided to go back to this church again.
There is a principle of confirmation in the Bible: In the mouth of two or three witnesses, let all things be confirmed ( 2 Cor. 13: 1). I have learned to look for examples from the Old Testament which always foreshadow what happens in the life of (and in) Christ. Of course, nobody spoke in tongues in the Old Testament, however I did find scriptures which clearly show that when the Spirit of God came upon a man he spoke supernaturally. In Numbers 11:  And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him (Moses), and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
And in I Sam 10:9-13, As [Saul] turned around to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart; and all those signs were fulfilled that same day. And when they came there, to the Hill, he saw a band of prophets coming toward him. Thereupon the spirit of God gripped him, and prophesied among them.
So there you have it. More than two witnesses.
"O that all the people might prophesy, and that the Lord would give them his spirit!" Those are the words of Moses. I saw that when the Lord gives His Spirit, it is accompanied by speaking words divinely inspired, Numbers 11:29, in both Old and New Testaments. Doesn't that make perfect sense when we recognize that Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Eventually convinced I was on rock-solid scriptural foundation, I dared to go forward and ask to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The pastor knew I had a seeking heart. He knew I was hungering and thirsting for more of God. Sincere church people gathered around me and laid hands on my head to pray. Were they going to shove me down? I knelt there not knowing what exactly to expect. One woman instructed me, "Hold on sister!" Another one said, "Let go!"
How do I hold on and let go at the same time? I did not speak in a prayer language that night. Instead I went home somewhat disappointed. Was I unworthy of this wonderful gift?
I began attending a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship which at that time was a fabulous gathering of people, men and women, who met periodically in a hotel banquet room to share their miraculous testimonies. I loved hearing their supernatural encounters with the Lord. It was like watching the book of Acts come alive in the present. Wow! Nobody ever told me Jesus is so involved in the lives of His people. I became even more hungry and thirsty for the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Then God gave me a very special, supernatural confirmation, which only He could bring to pass.
I HAD TO KNOW THIS WAS GOD
Again, I want to emphasize that although this is an admittedly mysterious gift, it is completely supported in scripture, both Old and New Testament (regardless of some church doctrines).
I will say once again, nobody wants to be deceived or get into a fanatical emotional experience that has no place in true worship.
Now on to my own seeking experience. Having satisfied my intellectual need to see true biblical support for the gift of speaking in tongues, my spirit began to earnestly desire this prayer language--not unto men for no man understands it, but unto God.
I asked the Lord to show me which church I should be attending. He first showed me what He said to Nicodemus. You don't become a child of God until your spirit is born again. Then He led me to the story of the woman at the well. Jesus pointed out that the true worshippers are not at the mountain or the temple or 99th Baptist, Bapticostal, Evan-ethodist, Roman Cathli-shionnary, etc. It's not the place or what is written on the door of the church. The true worshipers are those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Oh, I see, Lord. It's not where I worship. It's about worshiping from my whole heart in spirit and in truth. And because of that depth of spiritual commitment, I found that I wanted to be obedient, to be immersed in water, to walk worthy of the high calling of life in Christ Jesus.
Okay, Lord. I've been seeking You with my whole heart. I've been immersed in water for repentance of my sins. I've been praying to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I want to worship You in this spirit-inspired language and in truth, just as the apostles did throughout the New Testament. Why am I not receiving it?
By this time, I was so spiritually hungry for more of God. Yet I did not know how to receive. I had the following dialogue with the Holy Spirit over the next several days:
Lord, I want the real thing. I don't want a counterfeit. The Holy Spirit answered (He doesn't speak of Himself but brings to my remembrance the Words of Jesus):
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he (the child) asks for a fish, will he (the Father) for a fish give him a serpent?
So I don't have to fear a counterfeit? You won't let me be deceived?
If ye then, being evil,(natural) 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?
Heavenly Father, I'm asking for the Holy Spirit to come into my heart in a greater measure. I believe this is a good gift. But nothing is happening. I no longer doubt this gift is for me. What I doubt is my worthiness to receive.
2 Cor. 5:21
For He made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (And in Rom. 3:21-22) Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:21–22).
This is too wonderful! Lord, you mean I can receive in Your righteousness and not my own? I don't have to do a lot of good works first? Confess some more sins? Repent again? What do I need to do?
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Does that mean I am supposed to keep on asking? Seeking? Knocking? I don't know if I am insulting You by my persistence, but I'm not giving up.
And so it went.
I kept going forward at every meeting asking for prayer to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I held on. I let go. I did everything those tongue-talkers recommended. I felt I must have shrunk a few inches from hands laid on my head.
I pestered the Lord for weeks and months.
Finally one Sunday night, disappointed and discouraged, I stopped at a red light on my way home from a service and said, "Lord, I've been seeking and praying. I don't know what else to do. I'm giving up. I'm just going to open my mouth and start praising You."
Before the light turned green, I heard my own voice speaking a beautiful language that I had never learned. I knew it was language, having taught French and English, I recognized syllables and cadence. I did not know what the words meant, but I was so gratefully joyous that I drove around for an hour or so praising God in this wonderful new language, rejoicing and laughing with Him.
Out of my inmost being flowed rivers of living water. Praises and worship. I knew I was experiencing the real deal described in the book of Acts.
For days after this experience, I could literally hear my spirit singing praises from my inmost being (my heart) while I was busy at school or working in my home. What is this? I asked the Holy Spirit. He led me to Ephesians 5:19, and that verse took on a whole new meaning. My spirit was making melody in my heart apart from my natural mind. I was singing in the spirit throughout the day. I began to understand that we are created as a triune being in the image of our Triune God, body, soul, and spirit (I Thes. 5:23), and my spirit is the eternal part of me where the Holy Spirit dwells. I can be in fellowship with Him there at all times, not just in church.
Here's the wonderful confirmation which the Lord in His wisdom gave to me. In 1 Cor. 12: 3 I read: "Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit."
Two of the words I received in this private prayer language sounded phonetically like: Yay-shoo-uh Ha-Mu-shee-uhk.
I had no ideas what those words meant until later when I happened upon a Jewish-Christian broadcast. They are Hebrew words: Yeshua Hamashiach. They mean: Jesus the Messiah!
What more do I need? I could NOT be speaking those words "except by the Holy Spirit."
From that moment on I never doubted the experience. That was only the beginning of a new prayer life in Christ.
I could describe many wondrous, supernatural events related to the giftings described in I Cor. 12, all of which verify the ministry of Jesus working through His spirit in the body of Christ. All of them astonishing and yet completely scriptural and have scriptural precedent. My standard for Truth is the Word of God. All words inspired by the Holy Spirit are in perfect agreement with His Word, because the Spirit and the Word agree. That's how you test the spirit of the prophets--or any person with any claims about "hearing" from God.
Don't you just love to "hear" from Him?
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14 Nov 2018
I'm chuckling. My story would be just as funny and complex. A friend describes tongues as being like manna. Hard to describe but a nourishing gift from heaven when we need it.
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