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Rob Rennie | How do you know if you’ve received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Do you immediately start speaking in tongues?
The word says in John 7:38, “He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Although many take this as solely something metaphorical, I believe it to be literal and metaphorical. Once we’ve accepted the Holy Spirit, or the Ruach Hakodesh, in Hebrew, he will then reside with us. I’ve heard it said by Ken Peters in his “I Saw the Tribulation” testimony that the Holy Spirit specifically resides in your stomach. I tend to agree and discern his presence there as well. A good confirmation of this is a letter I received from a reader, Michelle, who experienced a “mini explosion” in her stomach after praying for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I was wondering if I can ask you a question, I think I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it was something I was hoping for, praying for…….. I went to sleep one night…. after midnight (happened to be my birthday) – woke up to this like mini explosion in my belly………it felt like a fire, but good!!!! its hard to describe, its never left me since and I can feel it moving around me almost as if I were pregnant ( I am not actually pregnant)but thats how it feels. Sometimes it goes up and flows up almost like a welling up inside me. Words can’t describe it…… I don’t have tongues yet……… from what I am describing, what do you think??? Do the praying in tongues come soon afterward?
My view is that Michelle definitely received the Holy Spirit. The misconception about being baptized in the Holy Spirit is that the experience is exactly the same for everyone. It’s not and can manifest in different ways because it’s God’s very Spirit and there’s no telling what he will do! And there are manifold ways that a believer is ‘changed’ when he receives the Holy Spirit. There’s a verse in John 14:23 that states, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” This is literally what is happening when you receive the Holy Spirit. God is making his home with you. He will then start to instruct you in righteousness and correct you when you stray from the path. There’s also a verse in Psalm 34:7 that says, “The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them.” I definitely noticed that when I asked the Holy Spirit to come into me, I could discern more angels around me protecting me.
As I’ve stated in previous posts, for me, it was like a warm blanket descending on me. My sinuses opened up and I felt this profound sensation of peace. When I asked the Holy Spirit to come into me, which to me is receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t immediately start praying in tongues. That wasn’t until later. I believe the Holy Spirit living inside me is what allowed me to exercise the gift of tongues soon thereafter.
When it comes to actually speaking in tongues, I would recommend listening to this interview I did with Pastor David Fields. He really breaks it down well, what it means, why it’s important, how to do it etc. At the end of the day, though, it’s an exercise of faith. In faith, you open your mouth with the understanding that the Holy Spirit is going to come through for you and allow you to speak in tongues. You have to start moving your lips. It’s not going to happen on its own, although sometimes it does, so there’s no hard rule about it. Keep following the prompting of the Holy Spirit and you’ll be speaking in tongues in no time. Everything is in God’s hands and in his time.