In 1960, Dennis Bennett, an Episcopal priest in Van Nuys, California was baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. On April 3, that year, he shared with his congregation about his personal Pentecost and how God had opened his eyes to this truth, something he had not seen before and what was definitely not part of the Episcopalian belief structure. Some in the congregation received what he spoke and further received their own personal fullness of Holy Spirit. But before the month had past, Father Bennett was asked to resign from the Church.
A few years later, when he wrote the account of his Pentecostal experience in the book, “Nine O’clock in the Morning”, he wrote “The outpouring which began at Pentecost has continued ever since, and in these days in an ever increasing flood… We can get so tangled in intellectual questionings that we may spend all our time having great reasonings among ourselves, and we miss the glory of God! The Holy Spirit is ready to answer our questions if we’re ready to listen. The book of Acts is open-ended; it’s still going on. Your life, and what you allow God to do in it may be yet another chapter.”
The discussion among some today, in regards to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is “Do I have to speak in tongues?” And I believe that these questions are keeping us from the Truth that Holy Spirit wants to guide us into. Our “intellectual questionings” become a tool the enemy uses to hamstring us. We get so focused on the rabbit trails, that we miss out on the journey God has for us.
You may have heard someone say this (it is not original with me) … “As Pentecostal people, we don’t have to speak in tongues; we get to!!”
Romans 8:26 captures why I get to… “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. “
I am so thankful that I do get to speak in tongues.