Childlike abandonment releases tongues and creates a passion for the Bible - Barbara Becker
Being raised in a United Presbyterian parsonage, I was raised to believe that all that supernatural stuff was for the past. Now that we had Jesus and the church, it had passed away. I was a bit of a loner and liked to spend many idle hours as a child pretending to teach Sunday school, singing hymns, and praying by just making up words. As I grew older, I no longer continued what I viewed as childish play.
In the 1950s, I was much aware of the healing ministry, but told that healing had passed away and those people had been paid to claim they were healed in Oral Robert’s tent meetings. I was disappointed, but continued to watch, when I could. Then came the 60s and I was excited to see that supernatural things seem to be happening again…the Jesus Movement had struck. I was an adult by this time and went in search of the experience they talked about, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. Only I could not seem to “get” it. I went from meeting to meeting, searched my Bible, listened to hours and hours of tapes, prayed for it and asked others at meetings to pray for me. Nothing!
I heard from someone, probably the Copelands, that one just had to open one’s mouth and God would fill it. Hmm, I thought, sounds like what I did as a kid, so I tried it. I keep thinking, “Well, I don’t feel a bit different, so this must be just me,” and stopped. In 1973, I was co-chairman of organizing a Lay Witness meeting at our Presbyterian Church in NC. During the Sunday service, after a weekend of hearing others speak of their experiences, I actually gave myself completely to the Lord. I had prayed many times and I do believe I was a Christian, but something finally clicked that I had to make that decision on my own and had to give my whole self. I decided to speak those “made up” words and if God wanted it to be tongues, He would take over and do just that. Nothing earthshaking happened, but I believe those words come from God.
I always thought it would have been so nice to have a soul-shaking experience. It would have saved me years of doubt and anguish, “Why not me?” I continue to pray as I did as a child, but now asking the Holy Spirit to give me the words. Emotionally I don’t feel any different, so I just have to believe they are from God. However, I would say, the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit put within me a passion to read the Bible and study.
Reflections from Mark Virkler: Speaking in tongues is so simple, Barbara was doing this as a child, and then grew out of it and was talked out of believing in tongues. Years of reading, searching and desiring did not bring tongues. Finally, the stepping out in faith and speaking syllables not controlled by her mind is how she began speaking in tongues. She had no big emotional experience and the testimonies of others big emotional experiences made her think for years that she did not have the gift. Note that one may or may not have an emotional response.
I asked many times – then it came while I was at home - Abigail Taylor
My story of how I received the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit" to empower me for service. I was "Catholic", then I accepted the Lord as my Savior, then continued in the faith of Jesus Christ for some years while still remaining in the Catholic organization. At one point of my life, I became confused about "the body and blood of Jesus" served at communion during the Mass. This bothered and confused me, as I now (about five years later) felt so restless in my spirit. One day, while lying on my bed and pondering my confusion, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said “The true church is when you are "born again". I suddenly got a great relief and was not confused anymore. I decided to visit "Assembly of God" Organization on Sunday nights; during this time, I still kept on going to the Catholic church on Sunday morning. At the Assemblies of God church, I heard about the "Gift of the Holy spirit". I believed and decided to leave the Catholic congregation to join in membership, so I attended the "Convert's class" so I can be baptized, as I was already a born-again Christian.
On prayer meeting nights, I would go to the altar to pray to receive the "baptism of the Holy Spirit". I asked and believed, hungered and thirsted, but kept listening for "tongues", even though my mind was on the Lord. I continued going to the altar on prayer meeting night with the same wrong mentality.
It happened one night while at home, and while I was worshiping the Lord audibly, out came the “Heavenly language" which lasted for a while on the said night. My life was changed again, for now I became bold and fearless in my witnessing to others.
It has been very many years now that I am enjoying the Christian life, preaching God's Word, and enjoying close fellowship with the Lord as I serve Him from day to day.
Related Resources:How to Be Empowered by the Holy Spirit!