She raised her hand at the close of the service and asked Jesus to come into her heart.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11
Every Sunday our Pastor closes the service by offering the free gift of salvation to anyone who will ask Jesus to come into their heart. It’s a prayer of confessing that we are lost and in need of salvation and of inviting Jesus to come and be Lord of our life.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
We all believe in salvation. We have no doubt that Jesus does exactly what The Word says He will; every time someone asks. No one has to ask and ask and plead with Jesus for salvation. No one has to even fully understand how it works or what it will look like before they believe that salvation happens.
All this happens by faith.
It is by faith that we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. How much more will your Father in heaven give you good gifts? When we ask and believe, we can simply receive.
For the past few weeks we have been writing on the gifts of the Spirit and this week we are writing on the gift of tongues. Tongues is a gift of the Spirit that we receive when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is how we receive power to walk out our new life in Christ.
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:1-5
In these verses there are three baptisms mentioned: Baptism unto salvation…when you ask Jesus into your life. Water baptism…by immersion. And baptism in Jesus…when you receive power of the Holy Spirit. All three by faith.
But we see it as something that is weird. God is not weird. He offers us the baptism of the Holy Spirit and we can have it by simply asking and believing. That’s faith. That’s what faith is; believing that He will do what He says He will do.
Just last week my pastor said, ‘What we don’t understand, we either make fun of it or we reject it.’ I think that is why the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is considered weird or why we don’t believe it’s real; we don’t understand it. And the part that seems the weirdest is the whole tongues thing. (One of the gifts of The Spirit) We simply don’t understand it. But it’s not meant to be understood. That’s part of it. Just like mentioned earlier this week in Lauren’s post, it’s a language that only God understands. (Your Secret Language with Jesus)
The Scriptures exhort us to be filled with the Sprit, live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, be led of the Spirit, have the fruit of the Spirit, manifest the gifts of the Spirit, and go from glory to glory until we are transformed into His same image by the Sprit of the Lord.
The Bible writers used different phrases to refer to this gift of the Spirit. The King James Version of the Bible calls it “speaking in other tongues: and “Unknown tongues”. Apostle Paul also called it “praying in the spirit” or “praying with the spirit”.
The practical question then becomes: When you pray in tongues is it your sprit praying or the Holy Spirit praying? Corinthians 14:14-15 “My spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I [me, my redeemed sprit] will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding…. The Holy Spirit does not replace our spirit and do the speaking, but He gifts our spirit to direct our speaking in the language of the spirit.
If you haven’t received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you only need to ask your Heavenly Father for it and believe...it happens just like salvation. You may or may not receive the gift of tongues when you ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is no timeline on when that happens. But likewise don’t be closed to it either. We all want and need power to walk out our life for Jesus… simply ask and believe.
READ ALONG WITH US EVERY MORNING AT BREATH ON PAPER. SUBSCRIBE TO HAVE IT SENT TO YOUR EMAIL.
Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.