If you have found your way here from the Finding Jesus page on this website (if not, check it out), then there are some challenges we need to overcome. There are some questions you need to ask yourself and recommending a pathway forward is not easy.
Things You Must Consider
If you came here through the navigation page then you believe you have received the Holy Spirit, but you do not speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues is a sign that you have received the Holy Spirit, apart from any of the other value that the gift speaking in tongues provides. Jesus showed that those who have received the Holy Spirit could be identified becuse you can “hear the sound” of the Spirit. Just as you know the wind is blowing by hearing the sound of it in the trees.
Paul also wrote that he wanted all Christians to speak in tongues and that those who receive the Spirit would receive the “manifestation” of the Spirit. That is, they would receive something that would make it plain to them they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and based on Jesus’ teaching about hearing the sound of the Spirit, I believe this to be speaking in tongues. The scripture references for all of this information is:
“Now I want you all to speak in tongues”
(1 Corinthians 14:5)
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
(1 Corinthians 12:7)
“The wind* blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit*.”
*Note the same Greek word is used for both wind and Spirit.
So the question you need to ask yourself is this. If you believe you have received the Holy Spirit but do not speak in tongues, how can you be sure that you have received the Holy Spirit? Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying you have not received the Spirit and you very well may have. But Jesus and Paul both said that we would receive a sign that we had received the Spirit.
We see also that in virtually every case where people received the Holy Spirit they also received the gift of speaking in tongues. Consider the following scriptures.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
“And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God”
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
In each case the believers when they received the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues. Some of them also prophesied too, but this was not instead of speaking in tongues, it was in addition to speaking in tongues. That is, they either spoke in tongues only or they did both.
Pathway to Speaking in Tongues
It is difficult for me to recommend a pathway for you if you believe you have received the Holy Spirit but do not speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues is a very important part of the Christian walk. It is the primary enabler to give you personal victory over the passions of your flesh. It is also a form of prayer where the Holy Spirit who dwells within you speaks to God on your behalf for your personal benefit, praise, worship and upbuilding. It is the main weapon provided by God to fight the attackes of Satan in our life and allow us to walk in the Spirit.
As such I recommend the following pathway to assist you if you are unsure whether you have actually received the Holy Spirit.
- You can purchase a copy of my book Foundations of Christianity eBook and read the sections on “Laying on of Hands” and more importantly “Walking in the Spirit.” This will provide more detail and understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Or as a FREE alternative instead:
- Subscribe to the eCourse “Nine Steps to become a Christian” to ensure all the other necessary building blocks are in place.
- Or you can write to me at the contact address below to answer any specific questions you may have.
Process for Breaking Forth in Tongues
In the situations described above we saw that in most cases when people received the Holy Spirit they immediately broke forth in tongues. That does still occur today, but not always. So in order to assist a person begin speaking in tongues many of the churches who pratcie the receiving of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues have processes to aid the peron receiving the Spirit.
Is this the right thing to do? Shouldn’t the Lord just give the gift as he did in the early days of the church? There are some who may think this way but there may be reasons why the Lord has chosen for some individuals to do otherwise. Sometimes it takes time. It may be that we are rebellious, we may be fearful of this thing, we may not yet have the understanding necessary or we may not know how to give our tongue over to the Holy Spirit to allow the spirit to break forth into tongues. Whatever the reason, occasionally people need assistance and most of the churches who do this ministry have an approach to help.
The following is one method that has been employed successfully for many years, and I will explain why this is a good method. The first two points relate to actually receiving the Holy Spirit, which you might want to do to ensure you have followed the requirements for this as laid out in the Bible.
- Pray and ask God to give you the Holy Spirit. This is absolutely essential whether you follow the next step or not. God may choose just to give the gift to you directly.
- If you are part of a church, ask the elders to lay their hands on you and also pray that you receive the Holy Spirit, just as Paul, the apostles and others laid hands on people to receive the Spirit. (Read Acts 19:1-6, Acts 8:14-24, Acts 9:17)
- Pray again and ask for the gift of speaking in tongues. If it does not come immediately, don’t worry. As mentioned above, sometimes it can take some time for the gift to come through and for you to break out speaking in tongues.
- Get on your knees, close your eyes and bow your head in subjection and reverence to God.
- Begin praising God saying the word “Hallelujah” and repeating it over and over.
- When/if you start to stumble over this repetition of the word “Hallelujah” don’t try to correct your speech to say the word accurately. It may be the Holy Spirit beginning to take control of your tongue and to change this word of praise to another language, which is what speaking in tongues is
- Continue to do these last two steps for as long it is necessary to allow the Spirit to take control of your tongue and to speak in tongues.
You may not come through speaking in tongues immediately or even that day/night when this process begins. At every opportunity you can repeat the “Hallelujah” praise of God and in due course the tongues will come. How do I know this? Well… from my own personal experience when I received the Holy Spirit it took me a month or longer before the Holy Spirit began to speak fluently in tongues through my mouth. And the reasons it took so long were to do with the reasons mentioned above. But patience and prayer paid off and in due course the Lord did help me and allow the gift of tongues to break forth out of the “Hallelujah” praises.
What is the reasoning behind this approach?
As I have said already, most churches who practice the receiving of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues use some method to help people break forth in tongues. It is a strange experience when it first happens because all of your life you have been in control of the words that come from your mouth. But now there is a foreign language coming forth and you have no idea what is being said. You have the power to start and stop it, but when it is operating you have no power over what is said. It is the Holy Spirit speaking to God on your behalf and for your good.
Some churches do not use the “Hallelujah” but may use some other phrase. Some do not use words at all but have developed a series of repetitive vowel sounds. Whatever the process, the aim is the same. To speak in tongues you need to:
- First be speaking or using your voice
- Saying something that can easily be jumbled up and taken over by the Holy Spirit. Like a tongue twister if you will
- Ready, obedient and willing to allow the Holy Spirit to take control of your tongue
The word “Hallelujah” is an untranslated Hebrew word which means “Praise the Lord.” One of the purposes of speaking in tongues is to praise the Lord so the word “Hallelujah” is a form of praise, but when repeated over and over it becomes a bit of a tongue twister. It is easily “jumbled up” by the Holy Spirit to enable the spirit to convert this form of praise to speaking in tongues which is another form of praise. There is a logical sequence in moving from one form of praise to another that is provided by using this method that is not as evident when using other words or vowel sounds.
By being on your knees, eyes closed and head bowed you are in a position of obedience under the hand of God.
I urge you to read the information in the Foundations eBook first and/or take the eCourse recommended above. It is important to understand the background and reasons for all of this before diving in. It will also prepare you better so that you understand the need for the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues.
I hope you find something here to help you or add to your own knowledge. If you have any questions, then please feel free to contact me.