Being blessed with the inexpressible joy, privilege and pleasure of being able to pray and sing in the spirit is one of the great benefits of being filled with the Spirit as disciples of Jesus.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit is very much a new Testament blessing afforded to believers by God. It is current, accessible to all who believe, recommended by New Testament writers, and, most importantly, promised by God.
Millions of believers in the earth today can testify that God has given a wonderful gift by which whey can express their love and thanksgiving to God for His mercy, grace and love.
Speaking to God in the spirit
According to the Apostle Paul, when we speak in tongues, we are not speaking to men but to God. No man understands us, for we are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. God is rejuvenating our spirit daily, and we are able to pray and sing in the spirit with joy unlimited.
1 Corinthians 14:1-4 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
So, both prophecy and speaking in tongues are desirable, but prophecy is better uttered in the assembly. That is simply what Paul is teaching. Tongues is speaking to God in the spirit. Who would not want to speak to God in the spirit? Who would deny others that privilege? That, by all measures, is a wonderful gift, and one to be prized and much sought after, as should prophecy.
One edifies the individual, which is a benefit, whilst the other edifies the church, which is also profitable, the latter being preferable in the congregational setting, unless there is an interpretation.
Surely, Paul, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, is drawing us on to desire these spiritual gifts, not to reject them.
Of course, as with all things to do with Pentecost, there are critics. There are people who not only downplay the blessing of the gifts of the Spirit, but actually do all they can to persuade their adherents that there is no such thing in the earth today, that the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit have ended (when they cannot say), and that we no longer need the benefit of the baptism with the Holy Spirit because we only need the Word and that is all.
Not only do these critics disregard the need for the baptism with the Spirit and subsequent gifts, but they teach against it. They train their followers to reject these gifts and manifestations as if they are no longer a required part of our armoury as believers sent into the world to make disciples of all nations.
Further, these critics reject those who enter into the gifts and manifestations, and who speak with other tongues according to scripture, as false believers, even as not saved, or as members of cults, or as being led by the devil himself.
Taking it even further, these critics mock those who pray and sing in the spirit, saying that, rather than speaking in mysteries led by the Holy Spirit, as scripture tells us, those who speak with other tongues are speaking gibberish, merely babbling on with devil-led baby-talk.
Thus they denounce those who are, in fact, being true to New Testament teaching, and demonstrating that the Word is alive and present, and that the teachings of the New Testament writers are accurate and with us still today, that the Holy Spirit and His gifts have not ended, nor are those gifts no longer useful, important or necessary.
We need to continually call out these hypercritics, who teach a wrong gospel. They do not teach according to Paul’s doctrine. They denounce Paul’s doctrine. They attempt to skirt around the wonderful truths contained in New Testament teaching to introduce their limited gospel that is devoid of the presence and wonder of the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit.
And they scoff. They are the modern day mockers and scoffers of Psalms 1. They are ungodly and unchristian in their words against God’s people. I am not saying they are not Christians, but their attitude and opinions are unchristian. Attempting to justify their reputation as hard-hitting polemists they author heavy-handed opinion pieces aimed at those who are joyfully filled with the Spirit and getting on with God’s directive to win souls and make disciples.
They scratch at the surface of every good enterprise in an attempt at pulling down ministries that are, in fact, continuing to grow under the leadership of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. All they have to show for their scratchings are broken nails and a long list of blog articles that sow discord amongst the brethren as they pump up their own error as a substitute for truth.
Meanwhile, those who are genuinely filled with the Spirit and keeping their focus on God are seeing amazing growth in their churches and movements. As Gamaliel made clear, if it is of God it can’t be stopped.
The great shame is that operatives like chookwatcher are promoting and aligning themselves with critics like Pulpit & Pen, Pirate Christian Radio, Strange Fire and the like and showing themselves to be peddlers of the gospel of the cessationists.
The good news is that those of us who are filled with the Spirit are nevertheless able to continue singing and praying in the Spirit, and enjoying the inexpressible joy of being one of God’s children overwhelmed with all the goodness that comes from a relationship with the Lord of all.
Denying the power of the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit is one thing, but missing out on the wonderful gift God has promised us whilst we have time to partake of the divine nature in the earth as part of our God-given call and ministry is a sheer waste of God’s freely offered gifts. It is burying the talent in the ground, and comes with its own reward.
Almighty God, deliver the hypercritics of the gifts of the Spirit from their dumb-headedness so they can recover their souls from their error before it is too late for them.