Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Be filled with the Holy Spirit

About a month after giving myself to the Holy Spirit to be used and controlled by Him, I came across a friend's facebook page, where one of her friends had randomly made some comment about Jackie Pullinger. I was intrigued. I had read a short biography of Jackie Pullinger in one of Leslie Ludy's books (Can't remember if it was Set Apart Femininity or Authentic Beauty), and just out of curiosity, I googled her name. One of the things that came up was a link to some of her messages. I listened to a 3-part message called "Be filled with the Holy Spirit" (which you can find and listen to here), and through her testimony and praying with her at the end, I received the gift of tongues.


Right there, some of you are going, "Whoa, Rebekah just got herself far out into left field here." Yeah. Or maybe not.

This is the first time I am putting this information in public. It's not something I do in public, and it's not something I talk about with people unless they ask me about it. I considered not sharing this part of the story, but I think it's a vital part of what came later, and it seems sort of like hiding an elephant to pass over it and skip this part as if it didn't have anything to do with my spiritual development.

I was as curious as anything about it. I started praying in my new language every day, and I couldn't help trying to analyze what I was saying, what language this sounded like, what the words meant. I didn't get anywhere with that, but one thing I observed was that I didn't know the whole language all at once. At first, I only had the consonants 'c,' 'p,' 'n,' and 'g' mixed in with the vowels. I even thought to myself, "This is getting boring... let me introduce a new sound in here," but it didn't work. I had the feeling that the Holy Spirit chuckled at me and said, "That's not a word, silly." But when I wasn't trying to "get creative" with it, gradually different sounds added themselves in there, until I was speaking a full range of interesting-sounding language. Upon reflection, I was amazed that I had been able to pray initially in that limited vocabulary. Could you make up many sentences in English using only the consonants c, p, n, & g? I couldn't. But yet I had been speaking strings and strings of different sentences, causing me to marvel at the Holy Spirit's ability to filter out all the rest of the consonants and still say something (even if I didn't know what, I trusted that He did).

If you're going, "She's making this up," it's the same thing I was wondering. But this wasn't the first time I had tried to speak in tongues. Always before, I had just invented "baby-talk" words that I knew I was making up. This time, it was different. I had the divine witness that I was saying something. Also, the sounds I was making didn't all come from English. There were glottal stops and weird vowels and consonants that made my tongue do things it had never done before and a very melody of tonality that was different from English.

According to Scripture,
"For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries."

"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself."

"Forbid not to speak with tongues."
(1 Cor 14:2, 4, 39)
So what were the results of this new adventure?
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart." Jer. 17:9-10
The first thing God revealed to me was deception. He showed me how much deception existed in my own heart, and He caused me to begin to abhor it. He dealt with these areas of deception one by one. I had never seen how deceitful my own heart was. He caused me to seek and desire truth.
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13)
God also began to show me the desperate wickedness of my own heart. It took a lot longer to do this, and I am still in that process. I had always admitted that I was a sinner, but I still considered myself to be a pretty good Christian. God stripped all this away and showed me the extent to which my heart was at enmity with Him, how I fled from His ways, how I only sought to please myself, and how I rebelled against Him--all the time. He brought me to grief and repentance over this, and began to change me.

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