Being filled with God’s Spirit is a goal for my whole life, but this year I am committing to extra prayer for being more filled with God’s Spirit.
What does that mean? And what does it NOT mean?
When on Earth, Jesus promised His Spirit so that we can experience His personal presence in our lives to the same extent as when He was on earth. This intimacy leads to fruits in the life, such as love, joy, peace, etc. And an empowered life.
I’ve already experienced a closeness with God brought about by God’s Spirit, and want more.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a good Christian friend, saying I was seeking for more of God’s Spirit. He replied: “So you’re speaking in tongues?”
I don’t have the privilege of the gift of tongues. But I don’t feel deficient because of that.
I’ve done a bit of study to see what the Bible says about speaking in tongues. I had two questions:
- Is speaking in tongues an essential sign of being filled with God’s Spirit?
- Are ‘tongues’ foreign or unintelligible languages?
This is what I found:
I believe in the gift of tongues in our day. I have a good friend, a pastor currently in Sydney, who was on a mission trip in Papua New Guinea and was given the gift of tongues to be able to communicate with the locals there, crossing the language barrier. That is, after all, the purpose of the gift of tongues, as seen in Acts 2. Ultimately, the gifts of the Spirit are for the purpose of empowering our message about God and His true character of love.
But tongues (as in, crossing the foreign language barrier) is just one relatively minor footnote in the story of God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit is about bringing truth, knowledge, power and a better life, not about bringing the confusion of unintelligible utterances (which would hardly be a convincing ‘sign for unbelievers’). Nor about quick-fix emotional highs like a drug (which perhaps could have been a ‘sign for believers’, albeit a fickle one). He brings lasting love, joy and peace that transcends circumstances.
I believe in and desire the outpouring of God’s Spirit. I’m seeking it daily.
I believe God’s Spirit is more about truth, goodness, wisdom, peace and love than about the fleeting ecstasy that many have unwittingly come to expect.