I will be quoting the Word of God (I may paraphrase) in this exposition as I perceive that theologians are amongst us. My hope is that the believers who read this will have ascertained good judgement in the things that are pure, noble, just and of truth which is all I came to offer in my testimony; I am always open to rebuke in wise counsel under the authority of Christ for as iron sharpens iron so can the right authority sharpen my countenance.
I had seen this movement of the speaking in tongues for quite sometime, both as a non believer and then as a born again Christian (God hath much mercy unto me). Under both circumstances skepticism was my close friend concerning this perplexing act. When I received Yeshua the Christ into my life and made the confession to be His servant and to make Him my Lord, I by no means felt anything nor did I see signs of anything occurred immediately as some have bolstered. Not to say that it is not possible in this era, however it was not my case – perhaps I had not yet believed in my heart.
Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin and of His righteousness and judgement [John 16:8]. And Paul at another time stated to “not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind to prove the good acceptable and perfect will of God” [Rom 12:2]. It was evident that I continue to sin right after my confession of “the sinner’s prayer” – I realized that this alone does not save. The word of God states that we will be known by our fruits [Gal 5:22-23] and John says that we will be known by our love [1 John 4:7-16]. I did not demonstrate any of these statements with my life for quite some time.
To me the Spirit of God became real when I began to feel conviction over my sinning. Real changes began to occur in my spirit when circumstances in my life were chaotic. It was then that I understood that the Spirit of God was nudging me so that He would commence to work in me His good and perfect will. For James stated that every good and perfect gift comes forth from the Father of lights [James 1:17]; and the Prophet Isaiah wrote of God refining us not as silver but in the furnace of affliction [Isaiah 48:10]. Speaking in tongues is not the only way, sign or evidence of one receiving the Spirit of God in Christ as many have proclaimed; God’s holy judgement can also lead us to repentance resulting in us seeking His Son to restore us.
A day came later in my walk with the Lord [my mind renewed at this point] in which I was worshiping He who lives forever with songs and praise with all my heart. suddenly I felt a fire burst and echo throughout my being; This tempest flame brought me to my knees and lead me to utter a language which I had no recognition of. Now this has only happened a few times (less than 7) in a span of three years. Three times this occurred in a small group gathering and but has not occurred on a Sunday service. The other times took place in my own private time, some of those occasions included the “groanings that cannot be uttered” [Rom 8:26] but I was in a moment of sorrow.
In all of this I attest that I did not convulse as in charismatic circles have, nor did I begin to behave as an animal, or howl and dance uncontrollably, nor swing as a rag doll, or laugh uncontrollably (though that sounds fun). But for the most part, I was on my knees and in tears and shaking, trembling in the presence of God. After the experience i would sometimes feel quite elated, overjoyed, at other times I was in deep peace [John 14:27].
I conclude by saying that the manifestations of the Spirit of God are all too wonderful for me to understand and a mystery that is handled better by those who are mature in the Spirit. Unfortunately for many of us it leads to idle chatting with one another causing a tear of division amongst the members.
The word of God tells us that:
“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” – 1 Cor. 13:8
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” – 2 Peter 3:9
All of these things that we see occur by the manifestation of the Spirit will soon fade away. Remember that Salvation is a free gift from God that comes at a price of true love in the sacrificial lamb of God which is Jesus. And for that price we die to ourselves [in the futility of our thinking] daily and carry our cross, trusting The Lord and the Grace He has placed in us. Therefore look “unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2.