I was recently the witness of a remarkable supernatural event, of which I have only heard of a few other examples – one from one of the leaders of our fellowship and the others from Don Basham’s seminal book Spiritual Power.
Acts 2:1-11 gives us the account of Jesus’ promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the gathered apostles, and how that Jews and proselytes gathered from diverse nations heard God being praised in their own languages. We know that the gift of tongues that accompanies the infilling of the Holy Spirit as shown in Acts 19:1-6 and other portions of scripture is a supernatural gift from God, and a prayer language that no one understands save God (1 Cor 14:2); but when the first infilling took place there was a need that people understood this was from God and not the product of madness, and so God caused them to hear their own languages supernaturally – it is certain that 120 people flowing forth with various languages at the top of their lungs are unlikely to be understood by anybody!
Not to digress, but to also point out usefully, the the gift of tongues as listed in 1 Corinthiansd 12 is referring to divers tongues – that is the sign given in scripture of the infilling of the Spirit is speaking in tongues, but just as not all will receive the gift of the working of miracles, divers tongues is the ability to speak more that one supernatural type of tongue (as demonstrated in the deliverance of Doreen Irvine in the book From Witchcraft to Christ), and is a gift that whether as dispensation of God or something contended for in prayer can be given later in addition to the ability to speak in tongues received by those baptised in the Spirit.
Now to the experience: Just last Sunday we dedicated our new baby daughter, and back home after the service and fellowship my mother in-law got on her knees in thanksgiving to God for her granddaughter, her daughter and myself and the great time we had had that morning. She began to pray like I had never heard her pray before, and began to speak in tongues in an unusual way. I had bowed my head in reverence for her prayers, but as her tongues flowed I began to hear Swahili words. What made this powerful is that although I am a Swahili speaker, my mother in-law is Nigerian and does not speak a word of Swahili. Yet here I was, hearing Swahili words that made perfect sense in context; between more usual glossalalial syllables I heard the Swahili words for ‘come’, ‘child’, ‘fullness’, ‘knees’ – in short too many intelligible words to be coincidence.
Here was mummy, come to God on her knees thanking him for the fullness of His blessing in giving her a granddaughter and saying the same in bursts of Swahili that she was completely unaware about. Yet, as on the day of Pentecost, I was sitting their with tears rolling down my face as I heard her speaking of ‘the wonderful works of God’ in my second language! Had I been more aware of what was going on perhaps I would have heard even more.
I called my wife and told her, and then as mummy finished praying I told her too, rejoicing that I had been privileged to witness this and that God had encouraged me in this way. It has certainly stirred me up to contend for the supernatural in our church and to speak in tongues boldly. The enemy would seek to discourage us and marginalise the baptism of the Spirit, knowing the power thereof, but if we are to build the Kingdom and reach the nations we certainly cannot do without it.