When it comes to speaking in tongues, chances are you either
1) haven’t heard it talked about that much or
2) have heard, over the lifetime of your faith, several confusing or mixed messages about what it is and what it’s for.
I see how this can happen. First of all, different people have different ideas about speaking in tongues, so it can get a little tricky to talk about. Additionally, while the experience of speaking in tongues is powerful, it can also be a little complicated to put into words. It doesn’t surprise me that there are often misunderstandings.
And yet speaking in tongues is such an important and dynamic part of faith. I don’t think we can afford not to talk about it any longer.
I think it’s important to talk about what speaking in tongues (as a prayer language) is as well as what it isn’t; so let me get a few myths out of the way and then I’ll share five truths I’ve learned about speaking in tongues.
Myth #1: You will speak in tongues fluently from the first day- Like any language, a prayer language is something you mature in over time… you may only get a few words up front, but more will come.
Myth #2: You can’t control it- You may have seen or heard people act as if they had no control over when they speak in tongues. This is not true… the scripture says in 1 Corinthians 14:32 that the “spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet” which means you can hold it back.
Myth #3: If God wants you to have it, he will make it happen- Acts 2:4 says “they spoke in tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” So who spoke in tongues? THEY DID…as the Spirit enabled them… the gift can be available to you, but you won’t get it until you choose to receive it.
So what does it look like to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and receive the gift of tongues?
Here are five things you need to know.
1. It is a language.
Acts 2:4-6 (NKJV) gives us a picture of how the members of the early church received the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were, staying in Jerusalem, God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.”
From this example we can see how the early church received real languages that were helpful in their circumstances and that drew people to respond with wonder and awe.
1 Corinthians 13:1 says that when we speak in tongues it is with tongues of “men and angels.” We don’t understand what we are saying when we say it, but it is God praying through us the way He wants us to pray.
2. It is a language of the Spirit.
Tongues is a real language (with real meaning) but it is also a spiritual language.
1 Corinthians 14:2,14,15 (NIV) says:
“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit….For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.”
Our minds are “unfruitful” when we speak in tongues. In other words, we can’t understand what we are saying unless the Lord gives us the interpretation. That’s why 1 Corinthians 14:13 says that anyone who speaks in tongues should also pray they can interpret the tongues so they can pray with the Spirit and with their minds.
3. It builds us up when we pray in it.
1 Corinthians 14:4 (NKJV) says, “He who speaks in a tongues edifies himself.”
Jude 20 (NKJV) says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in the most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit…”
Ephesians 6:17,18 (NKJV) says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…”
When you pray in the Spirit, the result should always be more fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness and self-control.
4. It is 100% effective.
When we pray in our own language, we can’t always be certain we are asking for things that are in alignment with God’s will. But when we pray in the Spirit, we can know our prayers will be answered, unequivocally.
1 John 5:14,15 (NIV) says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Romans 8:26 also says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
When you don’t know what to pray, the Spirit knows.
When you pray in the Spirit, you can be 100% certain God will answer.
How amazing is that?
5. All you have to do is ask for it and you will receive it.
Don’t wait for the gift of a spiritual language to be given to you. If you desire the gift, as God and scripture says, it will be given to you.
Luke 11:9-13 (NIV) says,“’So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (emphasis mine).”
Don’t wait any longer to ask for this gift that will change your life.
PS: Here is a Book that speak extensively on the subject matter: Click Here to Download it
Written by Scott Wilson
All Right Reserved (2016).
The Dream Team Inc.