What Did You Say?

Have you ever heard the gift of tongues spoken? Did you find yourself asking “What in the world are you saying?”, like they did when tongues was first given to Jesus’ followers (Acts 2:1-12).

Well, sometimes the gift is in a known language. I’ve heard about people given the gift when ministering in other countries – very powerful warfare! Other times, the language is unknown; whether it’s a dead language or a heavenly one makes little difference. It’s all a mystery to those who hear the words.Gift box

There seems to be quite a bit of controversy surrounding these gifts, and I won’t even try to address the arguments pro and con. I’ll share my own experiences instead. (These gifts are not a requirement for salvation, so I don’t quite understand all the fuss.)

My experiences bear out the free distribution of these two gifts. I do believe they’re important. You see, I first spoke in tongues when I was sixteen, and it was through a vision (also my first). I literally read the words phonetically from an image of a typewriter. Why would God have gone to all that trouble if He didn’t feel it was important?

I’ve never received the gift to speak a message in tongues. Don’t know why—but I don’t question God’s wisdom in distributing the gifts.

footprints in sandIs it all right to ask for the gifts? Absolutely! Asking isn’t the same as dictating to God or demanding something. We can certainly make a request, as long as our motives are correct. We don’t want to ask for the gift of prophecy so we can scold someone, for example. We ask for the gifts in order to express faith and submission to our Lord, to obey His commands and follow His leading.

What happens when we receive the gift of tongues for the edification of the Body? Since I’ve never been there, I can only assume it’s like the other spoken gifts. You perceive an internal stirring and an impetus to speak. If what you are being told to speak is not in English, you know it’s a message in tongues. You ask God if this is for you or for the body, and if it’s for this moment or if you’re supposed to wait a bit. When you get the “go-ahead”, speak.

A message in tongues will generally not disrupt the service but will flow with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Ask God for someone to interpret, according to I Corinthians 14:13-15, whether that’s you or another. An uninterpreted message cannot be received by the Body. It cannot bring heaven to earth.

An uninterpreted message in tongues could occur when someone who was to interpret disobeyed for any of a number of reasons – fear (not me, God!), rejection of the content (I can’t say that to these people!), and flat-out rebellion (no, leave me alone!) are biggies. It could be that the message was meant only for the speaker and should not have been spoken to the body. The timing could have been misunderstood.open bible

Will you make mistakes? You bet!

Will you be condemned for it? Not by God.

Is the gift of tongues restricted? Only by your trust and faith, and by the will of God.

Next time we’ll talk more about interpretation of tongues.

this is part 13 of a series on warfare

part 1| This Means War!

part 2|The Big “D” of Warfare

part 3|Charge!

part 4|Swing that Sword!

part 5|Worship IS Warfare

part 6|Warring Through Worship

part 7|Fight With Powerful Gifts

part 8|Prophetic Swords

part 9|Comfort, Encourage, Strengthen

part 10|“Extra Special Perception”

part 11|Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

part 12|How’s Your Perception?

all illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net