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Monday, August 13, 2007

Tongues of Fire Part II

Tongues of Fire Part II (see Part I in an earlier post - August 5)


Mark 16: 15-17 And (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;"

Our pastor finished his sermon on Speaking in Tongues yesterday. He reminded us that speaking in tongues is literally speaking in a language, the language of the Holy Spirit or our heavenly language. It is an unlearned language, i.e. we didn't learn it by taking classes, being taught by someone, etc. The Holy Spirit supernaturally imparts this language, enables us and teaches us. The more we practise it, the more of this language we learn. The more we pray, praise and commune with God, the more of this language we will use. The purpose of the heavenly language:
  1. It is the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. God, other believers, the Apostles, even the unsaved, recognized it as a supernatural baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Bible (Acts).
  2. If tongues is spoken publicly in church, it should be interpreted and this experience edifies the church as a whole.
  3. It is a sign to unbelievers that they might believe.
  4. When used privately, it is for our personal use for effective prayer, praise and worship.
Pastor Barry Shepps asked a question that a lot of people ask...Why does the Holy Spirit communicate this way through us instead of using our natural language?

God could show us His Will but, as humans, we may be afraid of it or we won't desire it and therefore we would not ask for God's Will. We may not understand, be too distracted, or too afraid. Our tongue is a "birthing agent". God wants us to use our tongue to proclaim His Will. This, combined with our faith, is our participation in the supernatural acts of God. Without the heavenly language we are stuck. If God wants it for us and we must participate by declaring it with our mouths, then we need Him to supernaturally impart that utterance in us so that He bypasses our fears, pride, our limited knowledge and understanding. We are still participants and yet our mouths are uttering His Will through our heavenly language. Remember Jonah and the Whale? Do you remember why Jonah was swallowed by the whale? He was afraid to obey God and go and speak God's Will to Nineveh. So he tried to run away from God.

Romans 8: 26
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Next, Pastor Barry asked why do Christians reject speaking in other tongues?

Even though the Scriptures talk about it, we may not understand it because we haven't read the Scriptures ourselves or we didn't understand what we read. We've even been taught that it isn't scriptural or not meant for today. Many are cautious about things they don't understand it's unfamiliar because our mind is finite. But we must remember everything about God is beyond us, unfamiliar, because it is supernatural. He is always on the next level which is unfamiliar territory to us. As soon as we become accustomed to that level, He calls us to the next level.

Isaiah 55: 8-9 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Personally, I think, we are afraid, prideful; we are too aware of what others would think of us. Being so self absorbed, we're too afraid of losing control and looking ridiculous. If we could take a look at the bigger picture...why would we be afraid of what mere man would think of us? We should ask ourselves what God thinks of us! Are we going to live our lives according to fickle, here-today-gone-tomorrow mankind or according to our ever loving, everlasting God?

We don't have to be in an emotional frenzy or some kind of trance to practise speaking in tongues. It is not uncontrollable. It is supernaturally imparted but He gave guidelines through Apostle Paul in I Corinthians. If it was uncontrollable then we wouldn't be able to abide by the guidelines. We can silently, quietly, privately practise speaking in tongues at any time. If God moves us, we can speak them out publicly (although, according to the guidelines, there should be an interpretation for public tongues so that all can be edified by it).

Why would we need to speak in tongues in our private communion with God? It builds us up! We are edified. The more we practise speaking His Will with our heavenly language, the more our spirit develops. Our spirit grows bigger and stronger every time we speak His Will through our supernatural language.

I Corinthians 14: 4a He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself,

Ephesians 6: 18a praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit

Jude 1: 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

God wants us to have a revelation of what He wants for us. Praying in our heavenly language fuses our hearts to God's heart. It is a bonding time. Even though our mind may be unfruitful, our spirit is being built up because we are communing with God in His language. It begins to supernaturally inspire, guide, energize, sustain, strengthen, anoint us to reach God's full abundance for us and those around us.

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