“…when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:6 NKJV).
I was recently visiting friends whom we have known since the early 70s. My coffee was served in a cup that read, “Charismatic gourmet coffee. It tastes good on all my tongues.” We laugh now, but there was a time when speaking in tongues was taboo. There were churches where you were not welcome if you prayed in tongues, and teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit was not allowed. Sadly, those subjects are still controversial in some churches.
My family and I used to rent cottages near McAllen, TX, which were available to missionaries coming out of Mexico to rest or renew papers. The cabins were comfortable and the rent affordable. We had stayed there occasionally, but once the organization that owned the cottages found out that we were part of a group who believed in speaking in tongues, we were no longer allowed to stay in their cabins.
Satan knows how powerfully effective the Holy Spirit works within those who receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and that is why he fights it. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit opens the door to the power of God and to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me…” (Acts 1:8). This was spoken in the context of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5 quotes Jesus’ teaching: for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The gift of tongues is one of the most neglected and misunderstood gifts of the Spirit. I have spoken with many people who testify that in the past they received the baptism with the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues but do not do so now. But that was not the case with the apostle Paul who said, “I wish you all spoke with tongues,…” and, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Cor 14:5, 18). I have had the opportunity to teach on the baptism of the Holy Spirit in many different countries and cultures. On every occasion and in every place that this truth is believed and acted upon, the results are the same; people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, and with very few exceptions, begin to speak with other tongues.
The Holy Spirit has been admonishing me to pray more in tongues. The Bible exhorts us to edify ourselves (I Cor 14:4) and build ourselves up in the faith by “praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jud 20). Recently I was praying with tongues, and received the interpretation of my prayer (I Cor 14:13). I was praying, “I want more. I want more of God. I want more of His love and power. I want more of the fruit of the Spirit. I want more of Jesus.”
Those prayers were motivated by the Holy Spirit, and I believe I am receiving the “more” that I was asking for.