Experience #2: Receiving The Holy Ghost Without Speaking In Tongues
Note: Although I have numbered these experiences as 1, 2, and 3 these are actually isolated particular experiences that were pivotal to me. These three experiences challenged what I had been taught as truth versus what I personally experienced.
This particular experience is one where I experienced speaking in tongues as a result of obedient repetition not a spiritual move of God, but because God knew my heart he manifested his spirit in me in spite of the tarrying service and independently from speaking in tongues.
I am not trying to discount the practice of the tarrying service. This has been a practice that has been utilized by many over the years and has been successful. I can only share my personal experience.
Receiving the Holy Ghost is an individual experience and over the years I have come to realize that it is completely different for each person receiving this wonderful gift. In my personal experience it was during one of these “tarrying services” (which is often called a “prayer service”) where I experienced my first true movement of the Holy Ghost (God’s Spirit).
In my mind as a child and younger person the line between obedient repetition (instruction to repeat hallelujah, etc.) and actual God given experience became blurred. It became hard to distinguish between the learned behavior and spiritually induced tongues. Many times I experienced what my elders called stammering lips, however, that spiritual fullness (joy, peace, etc.) was not present. How many times can someone repeat the phrase Hallelujah before it becomes indistinguishable? This actually led to some doubt in my mind regarding my own personal experiences.
I genuinely wanted to know if God was real and if so, I wanted him to allow me to feel His presence for myself. Others had claimed to experience his presence but I desired my own personal experience.
It was during several of these tarrying services that God gave me awareness and I could feel this inexplicable sensation of God’s Spirit. God’s Holy presence moved through me when some of these individuals started praying or partook in this tarrying service.
During one particular service I pulled myself away from the other saints to seek God’s Spirit by myself. I went through the usual motions of repeating the hallelujah phrase like I have been instructed. But then, I made a focused effort to try and mentally block out all other sounds and distractions which were around me. I had been instructed to try this but this is often difficult to do while so many things are going on around you; this practice of “tuning out” the distractions and focusing only on what is happening between you and God takes practice. An individual has to become accustomed to disciplining their focus which takes time.
For me, I just tried to meditate and concentrate on God only. In my experience these two activities were taking place independently. My heart and mind were seeking God’s presence. My mouth and my vocal cords were doing what they had previously been trained to do. While I was blocking out the external distractions and focusing solely on God my tongue reached the relaxed point where it created the usual babbling sounds.
Because my heart (the earnest desire of man) was right I wanted to experience some kind of true spiritual evidence from God; he answered my prayers. It was at this moment I began to have this personal experience of the Holy Ghost move through me, God’s indwelling presence (an inexplicable feeling). In my experience the babbling that was happening was secondary to what God did inside my body (or touching the spirit of man). It was the inward experience of his presence that was the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (God’s Spirit/Spirit of God).
This was my First God given experience.
I am not trying to prove or convince anyone that my indwelling experience was with God, (no one can do that for another person), that is not the purpose of this section.
The point I am trying to make is that I learned how to perform the “unintelligible babbling” (stammering lips as some like to call it) as a matter of routine. It was clearly a learned behavior and not necessarily a supernatural or spiritual one. However, because God looks upon the heart (the earnest desire of man) he knew my earnest desire and that I was seeking Him. God let me know personally in a way that I could understand that he was real and alive.
This was my day of Pentecost experience. It was not this “unintelligible babbling” (stammering lips or unknown tongues) which created my experience (that was a result of me relaxing the vocal control of my speaking to the point were words became unintelligible or stammering). This was not an overwhelming move of God at this point where God took full control of my mouth and caused this state of stammering. I was consciously aware of my surroundings at all times and I could have stopped my babbling at any time. Even under this state of mind and setting I recieved the absolute presence of God in my inward man where I could feel his presence and knew in that moment he was real and alive.
I knew that the presence of God’s Holy Spirit was within me. I learned that prayer, putting my mind in a consecrated state of meditation (while I was “creating” these sounds of “stammering lips” just to satisfy the “church criteria“) and focusing on God would bring His anointing upon me with the presence of his indwelling spirit.
Although I knew, I had experienced God’s presence of the Holy Ghost I always had that little bit of doubt. This was never a spontaneous experience but something that I had to initiate. The Holy Ghost did not just fall upon me unexpectedly as it did on the day of Pentecost. In reality I had been told what to do and what it should “sound like” (unintelligible), which everyone is given this expectation, so I had a preconceived idea (I was told by the church prior to my experiencing it ) of what to expect and what should occur. Nonetheless, God was about to clear up this potentially fatal misunderstanding or misleading teaching that I had been receiving and remove all doubt about what sounds (or words) God can or cannot make come out your mouth and the difference between these two, with my third experience.