“I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” 1 Corinthians 14:18 (NIV)
That is quite a strong statement! Paul said he spoke it tongues more than others. It sounds very important. But why is it so divisive today. Why does so much of the church react to this “gift” that the Apostle Paul said was so important to him?
There is a false doctrine that has slipped into the church that teaches the Holy Spirit doesn’t do what He used to do! I came from a Baptist church that taught speaking in tongues had not only ceased but were from the devil. As were all the other miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’ve repented of that since then! But sadly, there are many who still hold to this lie. There is a danger of ignoring, denying, or saying His work is demonic! The reality is, tongues terrify the demonic realm. Tongues are not understood by demons and they hate it! Tongues only happen when we allow the Holy Spirit pray through us (Romans 8:26-27). In our weakness we let Him flow through us.
Yes, the Holy Spirit is real! Tongues, prophecy and other gifts have not ceased, are real and are absolutely alive and available today! In fact, we desperately need the Holy Spirit today!
Speaking in tongues is actually a partnership, it requires us to open our mouths and speak the sounds that come to our head! It is not automatic speaking where the Holy Spirit takes control of our vocal cords and you can’t do a thing about it. And it is not based on how we feel. It’s not emotional. It is intentional surrender!
The Apostle Paul brought more clarity to this when instructed us to “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” Ephesians 6:18 (HCSB). Praying in the Spirit is allowing the Spirit to pray through us! It is speaking heavens language on earth. As we live in the Spirit we are to keep in step with Him, which would mean commune with Him (Galatians 5:25). And of course, to pray without ceasing requires our praying in tune with and in the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Many believe that tongues was the language that Adam and God shared in the Garden of Eden!
All this to say, please press into God for the manifestation of the gift of speaking/praying in tongues! If you already have it, thank Him and use it, regularly! If you don’t, ask Him to release in you. You may need to repent as I did of speaking ill of the Holy Spirit and of His gifts. Understand this, God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus Himself said to ask for the Holy Spirit and the Father will give Him (Luke 11:13). Pray that this false doctrine that credits the work of the Holy Spirit with the devil, would be exposed and removed from the church, from your church if it is there!!!