To experience the power these articles promise for your life, you must actually be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). When you do, you will be able to speak in tongues. Here’s how you can have this experience:
1. REALIZE THIS A GIFT FOR EVERY BELIEVER!
Peter said of the promised gift of the Holy Spirit (See Acts 1:8), “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He (Jesus) has poured forth this which you both see and hear . . .
For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself” (Acts 2:33, 39).
The promised gift of the Holy Spirit is for anyone who has come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. You can be absolutely confident God wants you to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and speak with tongues.
2. ASK GOD.FOR THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Jesus said, “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you . . . For everyone who asks receives; . . . Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:9-13).
Paul asked the Galatian believers, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” Just as you received Jesus as Lord and Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit by “hearing with faith.”
God’s word says to receive the Holy Spirit we only have to ask God, the Father for it. When you hear that, and believe it, you will ask for the Holy Spirit. Have you asked God for the Holy Spirit? If not, pray this prayer right now:
“Father, I thank you that you’ve told me that I can ask you for the Holy Spirit, and you will give Him to me. I ask you, Father God, please give me the Holy Spirit so I can have the power I need to live for you. I ask this in the name of Your Son and my Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen!”
3. BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT!
I John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
There is only one contingency in this formula: Is what you are asking for God’s will? God commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and God doesn’t command anything that isn’t His will! Therefore: it is His will for you to receive the Holy Spirit and speak with tongues! (See I Cor. 14:5 and Eph. 6: 18 – the expression ‘in the Spirit’ when it refers to speaking, praying, singing, etc. means ‘with tongues.’ See I Cor. 14:15.)
If you sincerely asked God for the Holy Spirit, He has given Him to you. God is true and cannot lie. All His Promises are reliable. It is really simple!
4. THANK GOD FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT!
What do you say to a parent or a friend that gives you a very precious gift? “Thank you,” of course! That is the word which signals that you receive and appreciate the gift. This is equally true with the Lord. Paul exhorts us to ”give thanks in everything” (I Thess. 5: 18) because in Jesus, our whole life is an experience of God’s magnificent, generous grace, especially when He gives you the Holy Spirit. The purest expression of faith and acceptance of God’s gift is to say, “Thank you, Father!”
5. BEGIN THANKING GOD WITH YOUR HEAVENLY LANGUAGE!
As you continue in praise and thanksgiving for God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, you will begin to feel a new sense of release and rejoicing deep within your innermost being. This is” what Jesus spoke about during the feast: “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ ” The context goes on to explain, ”But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John7 :37-39).
Speaking in tongues is this overflow of the fountainhead of the Spirit in your life as you give voice to this spiritual torrent from within. Here are some things you need to know about speaking in your new tongue (often called your “prayer language” or “heavenly language”).
You do the speaking while the Holy Spirit “gives you the words to say.”
Acts 2:4 says, “and they began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit was giving them utterance (‘ability to speak out’).” To speak with tongues takes cooperation between you and the Holy Spirit. You articulate the words while He supplies them. This is why Paul calls the phenomenon “speaking with (or in) the Spirit”.
You determine to speak in tongues.
You cannot speak with tongues and your own language at the same time. You choose which one you will use. Nor do tongues “overtake” you or “just happen” to you.
The common modern expressions “ecstatic language” and “speaking in ecstasy” are erroneous and misleading. As a Spirit-filled believer, you choose when you will speak in tongues. If an utterance “takes over” a believer so that he is out of control, it should be viewed with concern: Moving in the Spirit requires cooperation between you and the Spirit. Usually it is spirits that possess and control people against their will.
You will not understand what you are saying!
Paul says, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful” (I Cor. 14:14). The use of tongues defies human understanding. Normally, it is only in the public function of the gift that God will give interpretation so others present can be edified.
An important function of “praying in the Spirit” is to give us ability to pray about things we don’t understand or concerning which we are too weak to pray with our understanding (Rom. 8:26).
Also prayer in the spirit helps us to express praise and worship beyond our own mind’s ability to comprehend or express. There is nothing quite so freeing as to praise God in a way that goes beyond our own ability to speak it out.
God has designed tongues so we can’t understand it. This is His will. Therefore, express the gift in faith knowing His Spirit is helping you do spiritu.al business you could otherwise not do.
Be on the alert for Satan! He is going to try and steal your gift!
Satan is a thief (John 10:10) and he continually accuses you (Rev. 12:10). One of his major ploys is to try to take things away from believers no sooner than they have received them (Matt. 13: 19). This is no less true with tongues.
When you speak with tongues, you will likely have this thought:”This prayer language isn’t from the Spirit. I’m making it up.” Know for certain it is the expression of the same doubt and unbelief most of us wrestle with. If you question tongues and stop using them, then you will be robbed of one of the main sources of power with which you can build yourself up spiritually.
Continue to use the gift of tongues regularly.
Paul says, “pray always in the Spirit” (I Thess. 5: 18). Once you receive the gift, use it frequently. . . extensively . . . daily! The more you use it, the more you’ll be built up (I Cor. 14:4). Using tongues often strengthens the inner, spiritual man. It will be when you get into the fierce spiritual battles that await you that you will know the fullest value of having been faithful in your use of the gift. Be faithful and make full use of this very important spiritual tool!
How can you receive the Holy Spirit? Let’s summarize what we’ve been studying:
1) Know the gift is for you!
2) Ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit!
3) Believe you have received it when you ask!
4) Seal it by thanking God that He’s given it to you!
5) Let your thanksgiving overflow in your new tongues!
6) Practice speaking in tongues every day!
As you do these things, then you will be able with joy to affirm Jude’s wise counsel: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (Jude 20, 21).