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« Spiritual Power and Spiritual Authority | Main | Singing Acapella »

How to Speak in Tongues 

Okay, the title is a little misleading.  I’m not going to tell you how to form the syllables and sentences of glossolalia because that would be fraudulent.  Tongues is a Spirit-driven utterance accessed in the supernatural realm.  Many get stymied here.  The miracle only happens when the human propensity for control gives way to the control of the spirit.  This is both the easiest and the most difficult thing in the world to do.  

Christianity is not exclusively an intellectual matter.  Gentile philosophy was based on intellectual inquiry.  But, Apostle Paul said,  “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”  1 Corinthians 1:21.  God created man to have faculties beyond his mental powers only, but also to have physical, emotional and spiritual aspects as well.  Jesus’ miracles underscored God’s intention to bypass human logic and understanding and force man to enter the realm of faith.  

God desires the physical realm to be impacted by the spiritual realm.  God did not intend for the physical essence of man to dominate over the spiritual; the spiritual must drive the physical.  “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  So, then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Romans 8:4-9.  This is significant language. 

The Spirit infilling is not automatic but deliberate and conditional.  The Spirit of God does not automatically takes up residence in people the moment they believe in Christ.  For example, we find this in Acts 8.  “…Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” Acts 8:14-17.  Paul asked, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” Acts 19:2.  Thus, receiving the Holy Spirit is subsequent to the act of believing.  One must deliberately seek the gift of Holy Spirit and meet certain conditions to receive it. 

Yielding is the key act to receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Yielding to the Spirit of God is how those who received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost “spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2:4.  Other translations use the phrase “as the Spirit prompted them to speak.”  In other words, the Spirit of God does not commandeer a human body and, robotic-like, force a person to speak.  Speaking in tongues happens only by the recipient’s consent, by a human vessel sensitively responding to the impression of the Spirit of God.  It is a beautiful, synergetic fusion of the Holy Spirit with the human spirit.  

This brings us to the broader truth about speaking in tongues.  While we herald glossalalia as a marvelous, and essential, component of the new birth, it was never meant to be an end in and of itself.  Yielding to supernatural speech is the precursor to yielding to the Spirit’s control in our everyday walk with God.  If we first learn to speak, pray and sing in the Spirit, we can then learn how to walk in the Spirit.  If we give Christ control over our tongues, we have a pattern for giving Him control over our lives.  Tongues represent only one aspect of true spirituality.  The overarching purpose is to permit Christ to be the command and control center of our entire being. 

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