Acts 2:8-14 (NASB) “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”
And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.
The Holy Spirit’s role in a believer’s life is illustrated here at Pentecost. It is very clear that He is committed to enabling the follower of Christ to speak to others in a way that can be understood (“our own tongues”). He is also concerned about the substance of our communication. He wants us to talk about Him and what He has done (“the mighty deeds of God.”) There you have it! God’s intent is always to empower followers of Jesus Christ to communicate more clearly and effectively to others and to insure that the focus would be on God and His activity (“speaking of the mighty deeds of God”).
On the other hand, we want to make it all about the sensational – the ability to instantaneously speak another language. We want to focus on God’s methods of communication rather than the substance and goal of the conversation.
God’s miraculous intervention should enhance, not cloud God’s purposes. Something is wrong when people are more concerned about their, and your, ability to “speak in tongues” than in connecting another person to Jesus Christ. These “tongues” were given to draw attention to the message that Peter would give at that moment. This gift was not given as a way to rate one’s spirituality. God’s purpose is to draw all men to Himself…and He will do what is necessary in and through His people to make that happen.