Baptists/Holy spirit & speaking in tongues
Hello, I have two parts here. I was saved a few years ago and lost a lot of faith after going through tough times. Within the past year I got caught up in meditating, the silva mind and new age spirituality, but something always felt wrong. I would pray every day asking God if this is wrong. Soon, I experienced great feelings, visions and even voices. But then I was afraid, I remember hearing once the Bible warns about phenomenons and wonders, is this an example? I had a vision of a man staring at me and pointing his finger, scared me. I went to a non-denomination christian church he next morning with anxiety (I suffer a lot from that) and I spoke to two women who asked if I have been filled with the holy spirit and speak in tongues. I said no, and they said that I can, we all can and they prayed with me and coached me telling me to give thanks and praise, then they laid hands on me and started speaking in tongues. I felt chills throughout my body, even feeling heavy but no tongues. They even told me that I can babble words and it can come. Oh the pressure, so I muttered a few words but it was "fake", I didn't know what to do. Very awkward for me. I did leave feeling great! Now, if I meditated could I have demons in me, why do I still have anxiety, and why the pressure of speaking in tongues. I read 1 Corinthians 14, what I understood is that it is a gift if asked for, but if speaking in tongues in a room full of people and it is not interpreted then its not a good thing. Unless an interpreter is present. How will I know if I am filled with the Holy spirit? Baptized by the Holy spirit?
Thank you for your question. You have clearly been through a difficult time and I hope that comments I make will be of some help to you. It is certainly true that getting into New Age spirituality was not a good thing but whenever we repent of that which was wrong God forgives and provides the opportunity to go on with him. Some of the advice the ladies gave to you was good. The advice to praise God and to seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit is perfectly right. However, it is never right to put anyone in a position where they feel pressurised. It is clear that the church you went to believes that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence that someone has been baptised in the Spirit. I do not believe that to be right though I do believe in speaking in tongues and know that it is often associated with times of being filled with the Spirit.
You are right that when tongues are addressed to a congregation there should be interpretation. However, Paul also speaks highly of the value of tongues in private devotions where interpretation is not needed.
Now to the main issue. How can you know you have been baptised or filled with the Holy Spirit. Please read very carefully Luke 11:5-13 and spend some times praying about it. There are clear principles here. God gives His Holy Spirit to those who go on asking, seeking and knocking. God always keeps His word so we need to trust that when we do this He has answered. Please note also that when we ask our Father for anything good it is impossible to receive anything that is harmful. God can be trusted.
My advice is to go on seeking the Lord with all your heart and the experiential side will take care of itself. God wants that we should love Him and it is in the relationship of love that gifts are given. I believe 1 Cor 12 is clear that not all will speak in tongues but if you want that gift you are entitled to ask him.
I pray that God will bring into your life wise and spirit filled Christians who will encourage you in your adventure of walking closely with the Father who loves you.
I hope all this is of some help.
May God bless you.