Excerpted from Filled with the Spirit: Understanding God's Power in Your Life with permission of Warner Books.

Why don't all believers speak in tongues today as on the Day of Pentecost? I don't believe it is because they can't; I believe they are afraid to because they have been taught not to or they think tongues may be nothing but emotion. While it is true that some believers are baptized in the Holy Spirit and do not speak in tongues, I don't believe that is God's best for them. If God has poured out his Holy Spirit upon you, I encourage you to receive all the spiritual gifts and abilities He wants to impart to you. God has made them available to you, so you should want to receive them in their fullness. But why should all believers receive and exercise the gift of tongues? As we saw in 1 Corinthians 14:2, when we speak in tongues, we are speaking secrets and mysteries to God. We are saying things in a spiritual language that our enemy Satan cannot understand. When we speak in tongues, often we are prophesying great things over our lives, things that we might not be able to accept if we understood what we were saying. Finally, when we pray in tongues, we are assured that we are praying as we should because the Holy Spirit is praying through us... in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance (Romans 8:26).
... Some people and even some churches teach that the gift of speaking in tongues has passed away. They base this argument on Paul's first letter to the Corinthians in which he said that one day the spiritual gifts would no longer exist. However, we know that prophecy and knowledge have not passed away. Those gifts are accepted today by almost all believers and are practiced in some form in almost all churches. Why then should we believe that the spiritual gift of tongues has passed away? One reason some believers and some churches are opposed to speaking in tongues is that they have seen them abused or misused. But that is nothing new. The same thing was happening in Paul's day. That is why he wrote to the believers in Corinth, instructing them in what he considered the proper operation of the gifts of the Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV, Paul instructed the Corinthians on how the spiritual gift of tongues should be exercised in the church service-decently and in order. But nowhere did he say that this gift had passed away or that that it should not be received and exercised by all believers. ... Some people teach against things they don't understand or have not personally experienced. This is sad and robs many people of God's fullness for them.

Each of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is important and each has a role to play in the life of the believer. Open your heart to the Lord in faith and trust, allowing Him not only to fill you with his Holy Spirit, but also to impart to you the particular gifts He wants you to have-including the gift of tongues.

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