christianity · My Story

My Story: The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit: a defining aspect of early childhood Christianity:

While much of my childhood experiences of Christianity were more mainstream, the ones that concrete themselves in my mind as a young boy are those which were not.

One of these phenomenon was called “the gift of tongues”. For those who are not familiar this is a practice whereby the speaker believes that God has gifted him to be able to speak words of praise to or from God in an individual private language between the speaker and God alone.

In the church I went to during early childhood, tongues could be done two ways. Public praying in tongues was done one at a time in a church setting and required an interpreter. This was someone who believed God had gifted them with the ability to translate what they were hearing in this unknown language into English so everyone could understand.

The other type of praying in tongues was a private conversation between the speaker and God. This required no interpretation and could go on for as long as one liked. The benefits were that through this private unknown conversation, God’s Spirit (not his essence or personality as in “a man’s spirit”, but considered a separate person by many Christians) would bless the speaker.

Both my parent’s practiced this gift, and so it was something quite common in my childhood to hear various unknown foreign sounding languages being prayed to God.

Another concept taught was called “being filled with the Holy Spirit”. Unlike many sects of Christianity which teach that the God’s Spirit dwells with you at salvation, the Charismatics believed that there was a fuller or greater filling one could receive with prayer after salvation. This was strongly encouraged and was a precursor to receiving the ability to speak in tongues as well as other spiritual gifts such as prophecy (foretelling the future, usually more general concepts such as “there will be great challenges in your future” rather than “you will lose your job on March 3rd next year for showing up to work late too many times”).

Being in this culture, I was strongly encouraged to become filled with the Holy Spirit. Eventually I tried it, sincerely hoping to receive the gift of the spirit such as speaking in tongues. I prayed and was prayed for, multiple times, but never received a supernatural ability to speak unknown language or prophecy or any other gift. At first I thought perhaps I lacked in faith, but eventually realized it just wasn’t going to happen to me.

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8 thoughts on “My Story: The Holy Spirit

  1. I’d love to hear more. I heard a Bishop from a “Church of God” when questioned on the gift of tongues say that while he believed in it, perhaps just speaking of godly things and the love of Jesus in the real world is as foreign a tongue as we may need. I have friends who do it, I personally haven’t felt that “gift” either. I don’t feel any less like a child of God because of it, as I feel His presence so often!

  2. Interesting thoughts. I watched this phenomena of tongues around me as a child. I found it odd that it was even necessary, I also suspected that it was some sort of gibberish at times. Though I sincerely believed at others that it was perhaps some strange magical language, especially when I did hear people claiming to translate it. I ended up deciding that it was merely a type of fervour that was engaged by certain adherents involved with the sort of “holy frenzy” that some people would get into. While I myself believe in the existence of the godhead these days, I am more of the mind that we do not understand it enough. I think the predilection for texts written thousands of years ago is a stumbling block. Myself, I seek more dynamic and new words and thoughts. I feel as if there is a great hunger in the world for spiritual understanding that will lead to some type of eventual awakening, but I feel that there has also been too much damage done by certain groups within the greater church to come from a purely christian perspective. The Catholics in particular are a particular annoyance of mine in terms of the damage they have done to the message of christianity. Sitting on their horde of plunder and gold, in their golden city, they judge and decrees and act as if they have the word of god flowing from their tongues. The hollow misogyny and satanic grasping for worldly treasures has left their church as a shell of what it was supposed to be. Personally I see the Catholic church as a horrible beastly contortion of christianity that is closer to satanism than to the christianity it professes to be. I am of course aware of the good people in the organisation, though I believe they have been betrayed from within in their midst, for 2000 years. Going back to tongues, funnily enough many in the catholic church prefer the silly rituals of their religion to the idea of tapping right into the spirit as an individual. They also believe that people have to go to God through a priest, which is entirely laughable (how do these fallible, sinful fellows have any greater ability to converse with the godhead?). As the former German Catholic priest Martin Luther pointed out at the time of the great divide that led to protestantism and so on. I myself think that there is something in the communication with the spirit realm, I believe there are angelic and demonic tongues. I have heard both being spoken. This is heavy stuff really, a lot of people are so blinded by materialism they cannot comprehend it. The spirit moves though and people feel it. Many just do not what it is anymore.

    1. I think you judgements of some of the Christian brethren are very strong and not fully founded in what the Catholic Church actually teaches. Please pray for all Christians worldwide and that they can truly be united into ONE, HOLY and APOSTOLIC faith. We do not need to point fingers at one another’s faith traditions, but learn to dialogue with one another with the love of Christ as common Ground. There is a very strong charismatic movement within the Catholic Church as well.

  3. Each child of God is given different gifts and they are all very important. I think that you are using some of your gifts to continue on with this blog. I do not know you personally , but I am sure you possess many other gifts that you share with the world. Even just talking about these ‘rare’ gifts could be a blessing to others. Some people might have that gift and not even understand what it is. I am quite confident that as your life continues to unfold you will reveal to the world many other God-given gifts that He wants you to share. Keep up the good work.

  4. God’s Word commands us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to walk in the Holy Spirit, and to live by the Holy Spirit. His infilling will always lead us to greater faith in Jesus Christ and more humble obedience to Him. Thank you for visiting and reading the latest post on holdingforthhisword. May Christ assure us of His genuine glorious love for us. Amen!

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