Thoughts on Speaking In Tongues

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

My first recollection of tongue speaking is a rather amusing one. My parents, the epitome of Christian/Presbyterian/ conservatives, decided to visit a friend’s charismatic church. I was 8 or 9 at the time and carry only fuzzy images of a church building much like a small warehouse, (something rather foreign to one raised to equate church with cathedral-like ceilings and stained glass) What I do recall from that visit though was the service (already in session when we walked in) There was a women standing in front of the congregation speaking in a loud voice but, I could not understand her words. Never having heard of tongue speaking, I innocently asked my parents “What language is that?” My father, looking rather perplexed, mumbled something about “tongues” and hustled my sister and I off into the children’s church area. Through the doors of the children’s wing I could still hear the service and before long there were other voices added to the women’s, all speaking in what sounded like gibberish to my child like hearing. Not more than 5 minutes later my parents swept back into the children’s church, and hauled us all back to the car. We left in a hurry and I do not recall ever speaking of it again.. Later, in my teen years, I recall a conversation with my father over the “gifts of the spirit” (including tongues) While I know he tried to remain objective for my sake, the message I took away from that conversation was quite clear; “modern tongue speaking is a sham and the real thing ended way back in Bible times.”..Consequently, I carried this same opinion for almost  30 years of my life.

It’s amazing what God can do in an instant to a person’s heart but, sometimes it’s even more amazing  what He can do to a person’s mindset and beliefs..Though I staunchly held onto my “anti tongues” worldview even after 10 years in a Pentecostal church, after marriage (to a pentecostal man) and having 2 children, God was not finished with me yet.(nor is He now). I had to travel a painful road and come face to face with the counterfeit supernatural (magic and Wicca) before I could grasp that my God, in all his infinite power, had the “real deal” on His side. But that is a story for another blog entry. The amazing truth was that the real “magic” was God’s wonder and power and giftings (and that included tongue speaking).

I was not seeking the gift of tongues when it came to me (although I had for a couple of years prior to my experience) A beautiful women of God simply approached me after church one day and prophesied “you will be on your bed when the gift comes to you. You will speak in tongues. Just wait and see.” I remember thinking “ok. that would be nice.” and then forgetting all about it. I was actually folding laundry -on my bed..when it came upon me. I was thinking “I need to pray about a certain situation.” but, when I opened my mouth, this foreign outpouring of sound and speech just flowed out of me like a river. It was rolling off my tongue in a way I can’t explain. I heard the sounds and words like they were not my own but, coming out of me none the less. When I realized what was happening I began to cry and lift up my voice in praise. Tongues came forth again and I must have spoken aloud like that for a good hour. Sometimes I knew what I was saying (or rather I had images in my head of what I was saying). Other times the tongue just spoke for me and I could only sense emotion attached to the words without clear meaning. The real joy came when I suddenly realized that the enemy had no idea what I was saying! I could stand there all day and talk to God, pour out my heart, and I was not giving the devil one foot of knowing or power over me! I marveled too when I went to bed that night that I could hear the language in my head as well. (I hear it even now- when I listen). It is like the language is being spoken from within me even while I am unaware. But there is also the knowing that the gift is there for me to pull forth or allow to flow when it’s needed.

I know there is power in this gift I have yet to understand. I have already experienced moments where I suddenly burst forth into tongues with no idea why only to have a text or email from a friend or my husband moments later asking for prayer or giving encouragement to me. It truly seems to be as the Bible says in Romans 8:26

“the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

and likewise in Acts 2:4

” And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

It is amazing to ponder that the Holy Spirit, now made clearly known inside of me, intercedes on my behalf and the behalf of others in this foreign tongue. My tongue itself literally feels as though it is dancing behind my lips when I speak this way, like it somehow knows the joy of being used by the Spirit. I praise my God for His gift  and I wholly accept it as power and truth. May it be both a weapon against the enemy and a healing balm for the benefit of myself and others til I transcend this world for the next…

  1. Kimberley says:

    I too was taught that tongues was not for today and yet Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 14:5 “Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues…….” Paul understood the importance of tongues as a gift and as the baptism (our spiritual language). The verse that has made the most impact in my life is Jude 20 which encourages us….”But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit……” Praying in the Holy Spirit is our spiritual prayer language and it builds us up physically, emotionally and spiritually. By praying in the spirit it cause us to put our spirit-man first and our soul-man and physical-man must then follow accordingly. Praying in the spirit now becomes a personal decision we each can make on when, where and how often we want to “be built up.” It is also something that can go from a condition of the heart to a matter of works. All in all, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues was the best thing second to actual salvation that has ever happened to me. It changed me forever for the good!

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