I’d estimate that 90 percent of the Christians who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit use less than 10 percent of all the spirit language is capable of doing in and through them. What are they missing? It would take volumes to list all the things speaking in tongues empowers a believer to do. Here are just a few:
Our spirit language enables us to have spirit-to-Spirit communication with God. Speaking in tongues helps us fulfill the Scriptures that instruct us to be filled with the Spirit, led of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, and worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.
Our spirit language builds up our spirit man. Praying in tongues charges our spirits like a battery charger powers a battery. Jude 1:20 declares that we build ourselves up in the faith by praying in the Spirit. The apostle Paul also declared in Romans 5:5 that the love of God is poured into our hearts by praying in our spirit language.
Our spirit language is a catalyst that produces all the manifestations of the Spirit of God. Speaking in tongues empowers us to become more Christ-like, produce the fruit of the Spirit and manifest the supernatural gifts of God (see Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:7-11). First Corinthians 14:4 says, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Edify means “to build up, enable, empower and charge.”
The gift of the Holy Spirit places a power-producing plant within us that generates the power of God like the Hoover Dam pumps electricity. The dam’s water gate is like our mouths, while the turbine inside the gate is like our tongues. The dynamo in the heart of the dam is like the Holy Spirit within our spirits.
The fast twirling of the turbine’s blades is what causes the rotation of the great dynamo in the heart of the dam. The dynamo is what generates the power, but it’s the turning of the turbine that starts and keeps the dynamo going.
This is what happens when we are filled with the Spirit, open the water gate of our mouths and allow those rivers of living water to flow. As the turbine of our tongues begins to churn out the language of the Spirit, it starts a dynamo activity in our spirits that generates the power of God within us.
From this illustration we understand more what Jesus had in mind when He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit enables you to generate the power of God by praying in tongues. The reservoir is filled with good evangelical water for cleansing, baptizing and fishing for new converts, but it does not produce any power until it flows through the water gate and turns the turbine.
The spirit language is the activator of the gifts of the Spirit. In short, speaking in tongues grows the fruit of faith, which is the procurer of all God’s promises.
A Language for Everyone
The main reason most Christians do not receive the gift of tongues is their pastors have not taught them that it’s God’s will for them to have it. I’ve found that what a minister teaches about the gift of the Holy Spirit is based on the restoration movement from which his or her denomination emerged.
There have been eight general restoration movements, all of which restored truths and spiritual experiences that were lost or changed due to religious ritual during the 1,000-year Dark Age of the church. The first restoration movement, called the Protestant Reformation, began in 1517 and challenged corruption in the Roman Catholic Church, especially the teaching that God’s forgiveness could be bought. The last, which I call the Saints Movement, began in 2007 and is seeing lay Christians perform supernatural signs to demonstrate Christ’s lordship over every area of life.
The major denominations established to propagate the truths restored during the Protestant Reformation were the Lutheran, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches. The 1600s saw the beginning of the Baptist denominations.
This was followed by the emergence of the holiness movement in the 1700s, which produced the Methodist Church. Then the divine faith healing movement in the 1880s produced such denominations as the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
All the denominations formed before the Pentecostal movement began in 1906 weren’t given the revelation and responsibility to restore the gift of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. Because it was not part of their restoration revelation and spiritual experience, the gift of tongues never became part of their church doctrine and accepted Christian practice. Therefore most historic Protestant and evangelical pastors, except for the charismatic ones among them, don’t teach that the gift of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues is for Christians today.
But what happened on the day of Pentecost was according to God’s will and purpose. God the Father directed the Holy Spirit to give the 120 charter members of the church the ability to pray in languages they did not understand.