Drinking, gambling, smoking, cursing, pornography and anger defined his life until he met the Savior. Then the Holy Spirit convicted him of his sins and gave him the power to overcome them. The positional change from sinner to saint took place overnight; the practical change took longer. But he liked what the Spirit was doing in his life, and so did his family. They followed their “new man” (Col. 3:10) as he began to grow spiritually. Then one night his wife came home from a women’s meeting with a surprise – the so-called gift of tongues! And she said he needed it too, in order to know that he had truly received the Holy Spirit in his life. He got confused. I told him his changed life was proof enough that he was indwelt by the Spirit, but to his wife tongues was the only real proof. I told him the Bible does not say that every believer has to speak in tongues, that only some in the early Church ever had that gift (1 Cor. 12:10).
We looked at the evidence of the Spirit in his life. His turning from sin proved he was a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) and Christ lived in him (Gal. 2:20). Sin no longer ruled (Rom. 6:14) because the blood of Jesus had cleansed him from sin (1 Jn. 1:7). The Spirit enabled him to understand God’s Word (Jn. 14:26) and obey it (Rom. 6:17-19). He enjoyed sharing his faith (Jn. 4:39-42) and loved his church family (1 Jn. 3:14). There was solid evidence of God’s fruit in his life (Gal. 5:16-23).
But his wife kept saying he needed more proof. She was overlooking the evidence of the Spirit already at work because her favorite piece of it wasn’t there. Let’s never do this! Instead let’s ask the Spirit to open our eyes to what He’s already doing in the lives of others. And then let’s encourage them in a “tongue” that all understand – the language of God’s love.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org