PT1: The Gift of Tongues
Updated: Jan 1
I once thought the gift of tongues was from the devil. Even preached it.
I had heard so much mumbo-jumbo about it that I wanted nothing to do with it. And everyone I asked about it all had different things to say about them, too. It was all very confusing.
Today I speak in tongues. A lot. Need to. For a whole lot of different reasons. For this reason, I'm going to spend some time writing on the subject.
Every Christian needs to have an encounter with this gift. It may be a negative encounter, or a positive encounter. We usually have positive encounters with the stuff in the Bible. We all agree, for example, that gifts of administration, teaching, mercy, hospitality, etc., are valid. No problem there. But when we encounter the more "spiritual" gifts such as prophecy, words of knowledge, healing, and tongues, the encounter sometimes swing both ways.
For those of you who are divided on the subject of tongues, I want to tell you that I was once as well. I spent about three years sorting it all our. The source of my denial or disbelief or fear in the gift of tongues had to do with a couple of things. First, I had been taught that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit had died out the day the Bible was published. Second, I had been told that the manifestation of tongues was from the devil. Third, I thought that when a person spoke in tongues they went into a zombie-trance where they were checked out and out of control for the duration of the manifestation.
None of that is true.
Once I was speaking with an older, wiser, man in the Faith and detailing my feelings against speaking in tongues. After a moment he spoke. He told me that I either take all of the Bible or none of it. I wasn't free to pick and choose the parts I liked and disliked.
That got me thinking.
I fully believed in the "non-supernatural"gifts. But why was I so hung up on the power gifts, the revelatory gifts of the spirit? I have come to believe there is so much hub-bub around these gifts because they pose the biggest threat to our enemy the devil. Their usage demands a high level of faith in Jesus, and the devil hates that. Greater the weapon, greater the threat. So he throws up smokescreens to get us confused about it. Why would he be so annoyed if he had nothing to loose?
So here are some bullet points addressing the excuses I stated above:
The supernatural gifts did not die out when the Bible was published.
Over 2,000 years of experience has proven that. Besides that, the Bible has been written and published many times. Which publication are they referring to?
There are tongues from the devil, but they are not the tongues of a holy God.
Many cults and occults regularly partake in their take on tongues and they are far from being Christian. This in no way threatens the argument to speak in tongues. In a strange way, it actually gives it credence. The devil is liar. Jesus even named him the "Father of Lies." He is a deceiver, a copy-cat, and seeks to pervert all God has given. If he is promoting tongues, than it is a sure sign that there is a true tongue out there somewhere, else why would he be wanting to pervert it?
Speaking in tongues is just that. It's speaking in another language.
When I speak Spanish or Hebrew I don't roll my eyes into my skull, throw my hands out before me, and stagger around like a zombie. If anything my thinking becomes clearer, more precise, and I am intentional and in control, tuned in to what I'm saying and how I'm saying it.
In the BLOGS to follow I'll share straight from the hip about this gift. I believe it is an essential gift for the follower of Jesus and welcome your thoughts and or questions about the gift I can address.
Father, we want all you have for us and we know our enemy would rather us know nothing of you. Some of us he has blinded from ever coming to the knowledge of Christ. Some of us he has ambushed with addictions and abuse. Some of us he has sought to deceive through well meaning things like doctrine of theology. We ask holy Father to blow away the deception around us and in us, that we might see you as you are and receive you as you fully intend, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.