You can speak in tongues?

Olu Jegede Devotional, Holy Spirit, Pentecost

The disciples were all gathered in the upper room. It had just been a mere few days since Christ had ascended into heaven. Huddled together for mutual support, they remembered our Saviour’s last words:

“Wait in Jerusalem until you receive power to be my witnesses.”

And so they waited. They didn’t know how long it would take, and what they were waiting for, all they knew was that they were waiting for something.

Have you waited for something with intense anticipation? Wondering at what point it would be here. How it would come? Who would feature in bringing it etc? If so, you have an insight into how they would have been feeling.

Biblical scholars estimated they waited about 10 days in that upper room, and then finally it happened. In Acts 2:1-2 we are told that the spirit came in such a powerful way. The sound of rushing wind was heard, flames of fire were seen to rest on the head of each believer in the room, and suddenly they realized the spirit was in the room.

It didn’t stop there however. A strange feature accompanied this visitation of the spirit….they spoke languages unintelligible to them. This phenomenon is called tongues, or the gift of tongues.

Subsequently we see other believers in Acts being filled with the Holy Spirit (though without as much fireworks and sound effects). In Acts 8:14-17, 10:44-47, 19:1-6 to name a few, we see they received a special touch of the spirit of God, that erupted in languages unintelligible to them.

Do you speak in tongues? I titled this article intentionally to speak personally to you. To share with you that you can speak in tongues. Just like the early apostles did. The gift of tongues can come upon you, as you receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a greater sense. What I mean is this. As a born again believer you have the Holy Spirit (John 3:6, John 1:12-13), but what we see in Acts is a subsequent work of the Spirit (post salvation) where He rests on you in a greater or more palpable sense.

Despite the heartfelt opposing rhetoric from well meaning believers that this gift is passé or sovereignly selective, again I tell you that YOU CAN speak with tongues. From my own personal experience I have prayed with dozens of people and seen this to be true.

I remember an encounter years ago as a youth pastor with a baptist young lady. She had grown up in a denomination that didn’t subscribe to the view that all can be speak in tongues. I had met her just after a service where I taught on spirit baptism (being filled with the Holy Spirit). She came up to me and said she believed that God wanted to fill her. I instinctively inquired if she had asked the Lord for the Holy Spirit baptism, she said yes. Then I replied, you have the “baptism”. Upon saying that I touched her forehead and immediately she began to speak in tongues. The language gushed forth in such a rapid stream that it was clear this was a bona fide experience.

Another example that comes to mind again was as a young adult, a couple years before becoming a pastor. I remember a friend from university had come to faith at our church. As you can expect I was overjoyed. Inspired by Acts 8, I said to him the next step is to receive the baptism of the Spirit just as those believers did after they had being saved. We prayed right there in church but nothing happen. However upon returning home with my friend, we persisted in prayer. Within a matter of minutes, the same experience as with the baptist young lady happened. He began to speak in a torrent of words, that could only be explained as biblical tongues.

A third and final example is one that occurred when I worked in the tech industry. One of my colleagues was a new believer, and had been prior to meeting me. Over the course of time, I had become a source of encouragement to her, and we shared about scriptural truths from time to time at work. One day she approached me and desired to speak with tongues as in the pattern of Acts. I told her that I could pray for her on a specific day. I still remember that day clearly. We had booked a conference room on our lunch hour. I proceeded to go through the biblical examples of individuals who received the Holy Spirit baptism, and as I did, I saw that she believed she could have the same experience. And that was exactly what happened. After we prayed, she again, like the other two began to speak in a language unintelligible to her.

YOU CAN speak in tongues. As I reflect on these three anecdotes, I see several commonalities that they share.

Firstly is a clear uncompromising belief that this experience is available for us as believers today.

Secondly, is the exposition of biblical truth pertaining to Holy Spirit baptism and subsequent gift of tongues

Thirdly, is that there was a human instrument. IN this case it was me. This seemed to always be the case even in scripture, except the inaugural spirit baptism example in Acts 2. God always sent someone to pray for others to receive this gift. Of course God can do it anyway he seems, but this was the pattern that I observed.

Do you seek to speak in tongues? Then I urge you to meditate on the scriptures verses and the words of this article. I trust God will lead you to that experience with His Holy Spirit, so that you will speak with tongues.

– Pastor Olu Jegede