The Value & Importance of Tongues
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4 NIV
“I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” 1 Cor 14:18-19 NIV
From these scriptures we can see that ability to speak in tongues was treated with importance and highly valued in the early Church….but why?
• “What’s the good of saying things to God that I don’t understand?”
That’s a fair question.
Sure – as long as you can talk to God about things you understand, go ahead and pray within the limit of your understanding.
BUT life is going to throw some things at you that you are not going to understand - situations where you just can’t trust your understanding to know how to even pray and guide you through.
BUT THE HOLY SPIRIT KNOWS...
So here’s the cool thing about praying to God with your spiritual language…. it’s impossible for you to pray out of the will of God when praying in tongues.
• But someone else objects and says “But when I pray I want to use my mind and communicate with God out of my own intellect.”
God says – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” Isaiah 55:8
We can’t counsel God – He’s beyond our understanding.
He knows exactly what needs to be done and sometimes you have got to let the Spirit do the praying!!
“We have received the Spirit of God so that we may understand what God has freely given to us”. 1 Corinthians 2:12
God is trying to get a lot of things to you but you are not able to receive what your mind can’t conceive so God has to speak Spirit-to-Spirit.
“In the same way, 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. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.” Rom 8:26-27 NIV
There are times the spirit is saying something inside of you that you don’t have the language for.
• To enable what’s inside of you to come out you need the Spirit's help.
So why does our God of infinite wisdom and love hold out to us the ability to speak in tongues as a means of launching us into a supernatural lifestyle?
Because speaking in tongues reinforces a habitual lifestyle of cooperating with the Holy Spirit.
It is a ‘lifestyle of cooperating with the Holy Spirit’ that God is seeking to establish through engaging us in speaking spiritual language.
That brings us to the issue that is both the threshold and the stumbling block to stepping over into this spiritual experience and that is the issue of ‘yielding’ or ‘surrender.’
Speaking in tongues is a voluntary yielding to God and that is the key issue which unlocks all of the works of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
All the works of the Holy Spirit flow through our free choice, control is never taken from us, we surrender it.
Spiritual language marks a point of yieldedness to the Holy Spirit and having stepped through the doorway of yieldedness we are led on to explore deeper things.
When you speak in tongues, you need to yield two areas of your Being to God:
1. The first is to give up trying to understand the words that come to you.
When we are willing to let the words flow out even though we do not understand those words, there is a surrender of our hearts.
2. The other area is to yield our mouth. God will not force you to speak in tongues.
The origin of the language is from the Holy Spirit but you are the one who chooses to speak them.
You speak words you hear the Holy Spirit giving you – and this is precisely the pattern of co-operation God is wanting to establish in your life.
How can you speak in a language you have never learned?
The same way you learnt to speak as a 3 year old! Our parents spoke and we imitated them, because we speak what we hear.
If we can understand this, we can understand how a child of God can speak in a heavenly language they hear the Spirit of God speaking inside of them.
Perhaps you may be thinking “Does God really want to fill me with his Spirit, and empower my life like early believers?” Well of course!!
“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39 – This promise is for you!
The difficulty some people have is that they are scared of yielding to the Holy Spirit for fear of losing control of their life – “taken over by the spirit”.
That’s not what God intends at all.
• ‘Cooperation’ is when you really allow Holy Spirit to work on your mind and personality; you become more thoroughly YOU than you’ve ever been before!
What a marvellous provision God has given us in Spiritual Language!