How have you been doing with unwrapping the gifts God has given you?
If you’re not sure, read my last blog on Unwrapping your Spiritual Gifts and see what gifts you think you have and what gifts you feel a desire to have and to use.
I am going to look in a bit more detail at the more common spiritual gifts and this week we are going to start with the Gift of Tongues.
You may have heard this phrase before if you have grown up in church and for others of you it may be a completely new and mind-boggling concept. I am going to explain it as clearly as I can so that you have a clearer understanding if you’re not sure, and what to do if you would like to speak in tongues yourself.
The bible first mentions the gift of tongues when the disciples, who are gathered together after Jesus’ death, have the Holy Spirit poured out on them, in what is known as Pentecost.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:1-4
Tongues just means ‘languages’ and the gift of tongues is to speak in a language that a person doesn’t know already because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is used to minister to another person, to pray when you aren’t sure what to pray, to build yourself up and to communicate directly with God through your spirit.
Sometimes someone might pray out in tongues during a church service and what usually happens then is that God will give someone else there the interpretation of what that person is saying, so that all present will understand what was said.
Many people believe that speaking in tongues is a sure sign that you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit. However, 1 Corinthians 12:30 says;
“All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?”
So, this leads us to think that maybe not all spirit filled Christians speak in tongues. But, I do believe that the gift is available to all Christians. All you have to do is ask God for the gift or get someone else to pray for you. I have been in church meetings and seen people receive this gift and start to use it there and then.
However, I have also seen people struggle with this gift (including myself) and feel like they can’t speak in tongues despite praying for it or being prayed for. I find this scripture really reassuring;
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” – Luke 11:11
Like most spiritual gifts there is going to be a time when the gift is still in the early stages and needs developing, and tongues is no different. When you are a baby and you first start to make utterances you do not talk clearly. Through practice you develop a spoken language and it’s the same with the gift of tongues.
Often you may feel like you have some odd words in your head and may even think you have made them up because they sound a bit silly or not like anything you have heard before. This is a great start, honestly!
Now, the enemy would love nothing more than for you to think that you have made them up and his prime motive is to stop you speaking in tongues because they’re so powerful! (Just in case this is what happens to you!) If he’s making you think this you are on to a winner for sure!
Next, you have to be courageous and speak the words out loud and then keep speaking them, even if you are just saying one word you have got over and over again. Take yourself off on your own for a walk where no one else can hear you and give it a go. The more you use what God gives you the more will come, just like learning to speak your own language.
Don’t give in to fear and start putting this beautiful new language to good use and use it when you are praying, when you are going to school, college, before you speak to a friend, boss etc. This amazing new language can literally build you up and give you courage, it’s like fighting talk (in a good way).
From my own personal experience fear of man and doubt that it is from God are the biggest hurdles to get over, but get over them you will.
If you haven’t spoken in tongues yet but would love to, ask God for this gift or get a friend or someone at church to pray with you and then open your mouth and let it out.
Enjoy the gift and use it to bless others!