On the day of Pentecost, the fire of the Holy Spirit replaced the natural tongue’s fire of hell. Consider Acts 2:1-4:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. [Note that there was a tongue of fire for each one.] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (NIV)
The Spirit operated first in their tongues. The fire of God from heaven gave them a new way to use their tongues. Then the Scripture makes it plain that everything they said after that, through the Holy Spirit, glorified God. They were using their tongues for the purpose God had given them tongues.
The key to this problem is yielding our tongues to the Holy Spirit. This is clearly stated by Paul in Ephesians 5:17-18:
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. [The next verse tells us the Lord’s will:] Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (NIV)
We need to put those two things together. It is sinful to get drunk on wine, but it is also sinful not to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In a sense, it is two different kinds of drunkenness, because on the day of Pentecost, when they were first filled with the Holy Spirit, the mockers said, "They’re drunk." In a certain sense, they were inebriated, but with a totally different kind of inebriation. They were not drunk with wine but they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Then Paul goes on:
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV)
There are fifteen places in the New Testament where it speaks about people being either filled with or full of the Holy Spirit. And in every place, the initial manifestation came through the mouth ("Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34)): "Speak to one another…"
When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the first manifestation will come through your tongue. Instead of murmuring, complaining, criticising, and giving vent to unbelief, Paul says, you will speak, sing, make music, and give thanks. The whole use of your tongue will be positive, not negative.
The solution to every problem of sin in our lives must be a positive one. It is not enough to give up sinning; we must have righteousness. It is not enough to deny your tongue to the devil; you must yield your tongue to the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak: that is the remedy.
Dear Lord, I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit and I yield my tongue to You, to give thanks, to intercede and to worship and glorify You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.