How I received the gift of tongues
Speaking in Tongues!
How I Received the Gift of Tongues!
Are tongues 'of God?'. Is the gift of tongues for everyone? Depends of who you ask!
I was raised Baptist drawn into the Pentecostal faith at 28 after my sister converted many years earlier. Knowing her all my life, I had to admit there was a drastic change in her personality. She was never wild or evil. As a matter of fact, she was the good one! But now she had a certain, peace. She always seemed content with whatever life handed her. Although I was attracted to this new aura, the thought of speaking in tongues terrified me.
She described her experience. While in college she became fearful and detached, mostly over finances. She rationed her meals and stayed in as she couldn't afford to socialize. She felt herself sinking into a depression. One night a friend invited her to a Pentecostal church service. and there, in the prayer line, she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
While it all sounded exciting and the change in her was real and very attractive, it was just all too spooky to me. So I continued my Baptist lifestyle, making it to church when I could and sitting through services as the pastor droned on about the same old, same old. Subconsciously I put another notch in my spiritual belt for having sat through it.
I continued my lifestyle of promising God I'd change only to find myself repeating the same old behavior over and over again. Repent, sin, repent, sin, just an endless cycle.
By late 1981, I was so restless and hadn't been to any church in quite awhile. To be honest I had gotten caught up in horoscopes and astrology.. I wouldn't leave the house without reading my horoscope. Sounds silly now but I lived my life by them. Then one day I fell into a slump. I didn't want to get out of bed. Then the crying started and I had no idea why. I cried on and off for 2 or 3 days straight! For some reason I felt compelled to throw out all of my horoscope books and papers, maybe I'd lost faith in them and realized I now had faith in nothing. The thought of going back to church made me feel so guilty I'd cry even more. What would God want with me now?
So there I laid, in the bed, listening to the radio when a gospel talk show came on air. They talked about the usual and took calls about the bible then opened the lines up for prayer. Before I knew it I was speed dialing the number and wouldn't you know it, I got through the first time. A woman prayed for me then we talked. She was so friendly. She invited me to church and offered to pick me up the next day. Lordy I have no idea why I said yes and gave her directions. Even less of an idea as to why I got up early and anxiously awaited her arrival.
Once there, I noticed right away that these folks were different. "What kind of Church is this?" I finally asked. " Apostolic Pentecostal.:"
"Sister!" I accidentally exclaimed out loud,.
The women wore long dresses, not to the ankles but long. Their hair was pulled back and none of them wore make-up, but they didn't seem to need it, their skin was beautiful. There was an alter call afterwards and I wasn't shy about going down. No, this had to be what I needed. The pastor took time to pray for each person separately, something I'd never seen before. AND people were falling backwards onto the floor when he touched them. "I hope he doesn't expect that of me," I thought.
Now it was my turn. He stood before me and asked "How long has God been dealing with you sister"? With that the tears flowed and I could barely speak. He took both hands waiting for my response or prayer request but I just couldn't form words. He waited patiently then touched my shoulder and I collapsed. I can't tell you why. I don't remember falling. I do remember the feeling that came over me, it was euphoric, and no offense, but it was the best high I'd ever had.
On the way home Pam asked me if I was alright. She said I was really quiet and smiling a lot.. I just felt a certain peace. We talked regularly on the phone and one day she asked me if I wanted to tarry for the Holy Ghost. Huh?
Their church did it the old fashioned way; they tarried like the disciples did in the upper room for the first infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
So that Sunday I went down to receive the Holy Spirit. I nervously walked down front and followed the instructions of the pastor. I lifted my hands and closed my eyes. Several people touched my shoulders and suddenly I heard I heard strange languages all around me. "pray" the pastor instructed. So I began to pray. "Now let the spirit speak through you"
I was getting more nervous and pretty tired. Finally I went back to my seat with Pam and church dismissed.
"Why didn't I speak in tongues?" I asked on the ride home. "Do you want to?" she asked. "Yes" I told her. "Are you sure? If you fear the Holy Spirit He won't force you. You have to want it".
At home I thought about it. The whole experience was sort of scary. I guess I was apprehensive. Still I read my bible constantly, mostly The Book of Acts where the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is mentioned. One night I couldn't sleep. My husband was sleeping soundly so I went into the bathroom (yes the bathroom) with my bible and began to read about the Holy Spirit. How Jesus sent Him to be our comforter. How He was to lead us into all truth and was the third part of the Godhead.
I decided to turn off the light, lift my hands and begin praying like the pastor instructed, pausing now and then to see if the Spirit wanted to speak through me. And guess what? He did!
I can't tell you how strange it felt at first for my tongue seemed to be moving on it's on and this language, which sounded like Chinese stuttering out of me. It was as if I was lifted out of my body and was floating. I continued to speak on and on. I didn't want to stop. I guess I thought I wouldn't be able to start again. I knew in my spirit that I was communing with God and that He heard me. I don't know how I knew that then or know it now, just revelation. When I finally stopped I was covered in sweat. I took some deep breaths and stumbled into bed for the best sleep of my life. Innocence.
Regardless of what you hear or think about speaking in tongues one thing is true. Only those who have never done it fear it and doubt it. Which is likely why they'll never experience it.
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