After witnessing my wife and three children baptised in the Holy Spirit and receiving the gift of tongues, it was a long wait for me to be blessed in this way. God had good reason for this delay, which eventually dawned on me.
I was brought up in a Christian family where the Bible teaching was good, but very ‘reformed’, anything to do with the person, the work and the ‘gifts of the Holy Spirit’ was avoided, and I was taught ‘tongues’ were the devil’s language. “Have nothing to do with it”.
For years, there was a hunger for a ‘missing dimension’ in my Christian life, until God graciously came to me in the power of His Holy Spirit. But ‘tongues’ remained a ‘no go area’. Eventually the recognition of error in earlier teaching led to repentance for believing this without checking it out. Shortly afterwards, this gift was received. It had been a long and hard journey on that road of learning.
Some time later, whilst visiting a former Soviet Union country, people came forward for prayer after the teaching. I was directed to a man whose language I didn't understand, nor did he understand mine, and no one was available to translate. There was only one way to pray for this man, in ‘tongues’.
The man was typical of many who had suffered years of oppression - stooped, and with a dour facial expression. Placing a hand on his shoulder, and looking to the Lord to intervene, I began to pray. When praying in tongues there is no cerebral understanding of what is being prayed, but total dependence upon God. As I watched this man, first there was a trickle of tears, then he stood upright and his rounded shoulders straightened, and he had a radiant smile on his face. When I said “Amen” he turned and hugged me and went away looking transformed.
Only God knows what happened in that man, but it was such a privilege to be used in this way. This experience taught me something of what Paul meant when he wrote; ‘The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express’ (Romans 8:26).
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You are so gracious with us when we get things wrong, and You bring us into line with the truths of Your Word. Help me each day to learn Your truths and apply them to my life so that You are able to work out Your purposes for Your Kingdom, and bring blessing into many lives. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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