THEY SPOKE WITH OTHER TONGUES
Acts 10:44-46 ¶ While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
I love this passage, “they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” At the end of the day, that is what speaking with tongues is all about, magnifying God. In our get it fast and keep it light world tongues have been put on the back burner. If the truth were known, they have probably been taken totally off of the stove. You see speaking in tongues is too messy for professionals. We are too slick and too corporate to ever allow church to get messy like that. Fortunately, the Lord is patient and relentless. He will have a people unashamed of His glory and unashamed of His chosen manifestation of His presence. Just like the days of old, He will move again through this powerful gift. John L. Sherrill spoke about this amazing gift of corporate public use of tongues in his classic book “They Speak With Other Tongues” written in the heat of the charismatic renewal. Listen to his powerful words.
“As the music continued, several people at the tables began to ‘sing in the Spirit’. Soon the whole room was singing a complicated harmony-without-score, created spontaneously. It was eerie but extraordinarily beautiful. The song leader was no longer trying to direct the music, but let the melodies create themselves: without prompting, one quarter of the room would suddenly start to sing very loudly while others subsided. Harmonies and counter-harmonies wove in and out of each other.”
For those of you who are old enough to remember those days, this description sounds strangely familiar. I can remember being in hundreds of meetings just like he described. This corporate singing in the Spirit was the distinctive characteristic of the charismatic movement. The sound of worship would be everywhere, it would be in the room, in the singing itself, and also inside of you. Words can never explain the beauty and ecstasy of that corporate spiritual blessing.
Sadly, that move of the Spirit was short lived. As usual, the churches and people who had been impacted by the renewal gradually moved into another modern day version of a more “acceptable” form of worship. Something that was not so spontaneous and unpredictable, something that man could control and manipulate for his own purposes.
The good news is this, the Lord is determined and persistent. He will restore His church to its former glory, He will restore the power of His presence. So don’t be surprised when that supernatural, corporate, singing in the Spirit begins to show up again. Just like at Cornelius’s house, He may even have to interrupt the preaching to accomplish His plans.