(Stuart Miles; FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
I remember boldly walking to the altar that afternoon.
The man of God had just finished preaching a powerful sermon on gifts of the Holy Spirit. He was specifically emphasizing on the gift of tongues.
Definition by Matthew J Slick: “Speaking in tongues is the New Testament phenomena where a person speaks in a language that is unknown to him. This language is either the language of angels or other earthly languages (1 Cor. 13:1) ” – carm.org
Moved by his words, I responded to the call when he invited people to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
So there I was, waiting for the man of God to lay his hands on me and pray. As he laid his hands on my head, he came close to my ear and told me to start speaking in the heavenly language. Unsure of what I was doing, I began to pray regularly using my words.
He noticed what I was doing, then urged me with greater emphasis and encouragement.
This is when I began to utter every sound and syllable known to man, so that I can convince myself and the man of God that I was indeed speaking in tongues. When he had finished laying hands on me, I walked back to my seat along with many other students who responded to the call.
Friends began asking me,
How did it feel? Was it scary? Were you in control of what you were saying?
Knowing very well that I faked my way throughout this entire process, I still felt the need to prove myself.
So I lied.
I lied myself into speaking in tongues until I was convinced that it was real.
Anytime the church would urge the congregation to speak in tongues, I would join in with my own syllables and unique sounds. I went on doing this, until I read the word of God, specifically 1 Corinthians 12 & 14. After hearing this biblical truth, my perception on this gift changed drastically and I immediately stopped myself from faking it.
I am still in the process of fully understanding this gift and all other spiritual gifts discussed in the bible – hopefully one day I’ll post about it.
However, my purpose in writing this is not to bash people who genuinely speak in tongues or desire to attain this gift. The only message I am emphasizing is this.
Don’t believe everything that you hear from a pulpit.
We can get so caught up going to church and hearing a message that we often fail to take the initiative to seek God for wisdom pertaining to any given topic.
So what should be our attitude when we are at a lost or confused with any aspect of our faith?
1. Recognize that God is Alive & wants a Relationship
If you are a Christian, you believe that God is real. You also believe that God is alive.
Begin treating him as a living being rather than a hobby, an imaginary friend or a genie in a bottle. We have been fully redeemed to him through Jesus Christ. Show God just how much you want to know him and the truth, by making great sacrifices in this relationship (1 Chronicles 21:24).
For example, you can purposely choose to spend quality time with God when your favourite TV show is on. By doing so, you show God how deeply you cherish your relationship with him and that he is above all your desires.
Easier said than done, but God will reward you for your sacrifice.
2. Read the Bible
“16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
2 Timothy 3:16
Really think about this.
There are 65 books, 1189 chapters and 31 102 verses in the Bible.
Needless to say, this book is HUGE.
And Paul is telling us that ALL of it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness?!!?
Stop reading this post and just pick up the Bible. It’ll answer all your questions. In all seriousness though, become a biblical nerd and study this book whole heartedly. This is our life manual, treat is as such.
3. Be Real with Him in Prayer
When I pretended to speak in tongues that day, I failed to do one simple thing.
I had so many questions about the gift of tongues, but I never asked God himself.
As Christians we believe that through Jesus Christ we have been fully reconciled to God the Father (Ephesians 2:16-18). In view of this, we must boldly come before God in prayer. Make yourself vulnerable to him and genuinely vocalize all your inabilities and lack of knowledge.
Don’t understand something in scripture?
Pray. Read it again.
Still don’t get it? Pray again.
Show God that he is truly Lord of your life by putting your complete trust in him through prayer. The bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray always. What’s a relationship without communication?
4. Talk to Other Believers
“24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near”
I cannot overemphasize the importance of fellowship.
Come together with other believers and discuss any questions, issues or concerns about your faith. More often than not, there will be other believers who have these exact questions. In Romans 14, Paul encourages mature believers to be considerate of those who are new in the faith. Never place yourself so high that you are of no help to others. Talk to your Pastor after church, talk to other believers from other churches and connect groups, talk to me!!!
Soli Deo Gloria