Last week in Free From Anxiety And Walking In The Spirit, we talked about letting God’s peace govern our mind in every circumstance. This brought up the topic of speaking in tongues.
James said that the tongue is like a bit in the horse’s mouth, which guides the whole body. It’s like a rudder, which turns a whole ship. (James 3:2-5) When we speak in tongues, we are directing our minds to focus on the Holy Spirit and on what God is doing. We’re directing our souls to bless the Lord. (Psalm 103:1)
Some people belittle speaking in tongues, calling it the “least of the gifts.” It may be the “least of the gifts,” but those who belittle it usually aren’t in the habit of exercising any of the “greater gifts” either! Being built up and strengthened in our own spirits as we focus on the Lord is the first step towards strengthening and edifying the church. Speaking in tongues should help us to focus on the Holy Spirit so that we begin to exercise the other spiritual gifts for the strengthening of the church and as a witness to unbelievers.
The apostle Paul was certainly proficient in many different spiritual gifts. He also said that he spoke in tongues more than anyone else!
1 Corinthians 14:18 (NRSV) I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you
Try Speaking In Tongues For Eight Hours A Day!
Shortly before one of my ministry trips, I heard a guest speaker share at my friends’ bilingual church in Reading, Pennsylvania. He taught on speaking in tongues. This man’s mentor taught him to speak in tongues for eight hours a day!
I had never heard somebody who gave such accurate words of knowledge for healing! He could stand in front of someone, and if they had 30 different conditions in their body, he would name and describe each one in detail. I loved the manifestation of the Holy Spirit that I saw through him, and I wanted the same!
I knew that during many of my most glorious times with the Lord, when I became so aware of God’s love and goodness that I could feel the atmosphere around me vibrating with his glory, I had been constantly speaking in tongues and praising God. Yet I needed to be encouraged to do so again. I decided to speak in tongues as much as possible.
Soon after that, I drove from PA to Toronto, Canada. It’s about an eight-hour drive, and I spoke in tongues the whole way. The more I speak in tongues, the more I enjoy it, and I start to do it without even thinking about it.
I saw marvellous manifestations of the Holy Spirit on that trip, and I continued to increase the time I spent speaking in tongues. I began to grow in the gift of detailed and accurate words of knowledge concerning healing. I prayed for a lady who didn’t think she had any need of physical healing. However, as I prayed, I got about a dozen words of knowledge concerning issues in her body. All of them were accurate. It wasn’t that she was lying when she said she didn’t need to be healed of anything. She had just become so accustomed to these little pains and physical issues that she didn’t think of them. It wasn’t like she had cancer or something major! But when I described exactly what she was feeling, it was right on!
Since then, I’ve often asked a stranger if they had an issue in a certain part of their body, and they were feeling exactly what I sensed.
Stir Yourself Up In Christ!
I know how helpful speaking in tongues is, yet it’s always good to be reminded and encouraged to speak in tongues all the more. I thought I’d write about it this week as a reminder to you guys (an to myself) to stir ourrselves up in Christ! Try challenging yourself to an extended period of time speaking in tongues, and see what the results are!
I love to combine speaking in tongues with reading the Bible out loud. Speaking in tongues seems to make my spirit more sensitive. I read several chapters of the Bible, and make note of the verses that “jump out” at me. I come across a certain passage, and I can feel it strengthening my spirit. It’s like that particular verse “tastes so good” to my inner man. Sometimes this happens before I even understand the verse with my mind, and I don’t yet understand why it is so uplifting to me. But I write it down and keep thinking about it. As I pray in tongues and read scriptures, they come together in my understanding until my soul is filled with glory. Then I have something to share with the church—in intelligible language—that will build people up and strengthen them in the Lord.
I’d love to hear your comments about what you’ve experienced when you’ve disciplined yourself to speak in tongues for an extended period of time.
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