The gift of tongues allows believers to express words to God in a language directed by their human spirit, rather than from the mind. While mankind awaits the return of Jesus, this gift of the Holy Spirit gives an opportunity to dialogue with God when our own language seems insufficient, not least in times of intercession, spiritual warfare and prayer ministry. The language God gives can be completely unknown to us, or, on occasions, be a known earthly language, as on the day of Pentecost.
In our daily lives it’s common for the human soul within us to take a dominant position, as we seek to comfort and protect ourselves, often neglecting the One who wants to direct us. This was something that Jesus never did (John 14:10). Our exercising the gift of tongues enables God to give followers of Jesus a voice, by the direction of the Holy Spirit through our human spirit. Interestingly a research project in 2006, at the University of Pennsylvania, was apparently unable to pinpoint any part of the brain controlling the behaviour of Christians who were speaking in tongues.
Such Spirit-led dialogue often seems to release other divine gifts such as prophecy, wisdom and faith. Speaking or singing in tongues is not a measure of spiritual maturity, but rather an aid to our fellowship with God. He knows also that it’s helpful, when tongues are used in a public setting, particularly where unbelievers are present, for there to be an understanding of the essence of what’s being spoken. For this reason He frequently gives others the gift of interpreting the tongue, so His purpose can be revealed more clearly, and the Body of Christ can be built up.
If you have been seeking the gift of tongues, may I encourage you not to give up! As with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues should be earnestly desired by every believer (1 Corinthians 14:1), and then exercised as He leads, whether for personal edification (1 Corinthians 14:4), for exalting God (Acts 10:46), or for use in the fellowship of believers (1 Corinthians 14:26), so we may increasingly walk in the fullness of God.
Of course there’ll be human excesses and abuses connected with speaking in tongues, and many have had poor teaching or bad experiences, but let’s graciously help one another not to neglect this significant and supernatural gift of God. It can be a precious, daily door-opener to exploring more of God’s will for our lives.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for all the gifts of the Holy Spirit that enable me to walk more powerfully in line with Your plans and purposes. I choose to let You regularly give me a voice to speak things that may be beyond my full understanding, but are just what You want me to say. Amen.
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