I remember boldly walking to the front of the church that afternoon.
It occurred during a youth church conference.
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 be afraid to ask questions about your faith
Furthermore, test every word you hear from the 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. 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 Apostle Paul is telling us that ALL of it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness?!!?
Stop reading this post, pick up the Bible and study it like your life depends on it…because it does.
In all seriousness though, become a biblical nerd and study this book whole heartedly.
This is our life manual, let’s treat it is as such.
Having questions pertaining to reading scripture? Check this out!
2. Be Real with God 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 have the privilege to boldly come before God in prayer.
Ask God for wisdom and He will give it to you (James 1:5-6)
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. Repeat the cycle
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?
3. 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, you will find that many other believers have the exact same questions as you do!
Furthermore, your wisdom in one area of faith may encourage/ answer the questions of other believers in your midst. Be encouraged to use your spiritual gift for the common good!
Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give
Never place yourself so high that you are of no help to others.
Never think of yourself as so low that you refuse to ask any questions.
Talk to your Pastor after church
Talk to other believers from other churches and connect groups.
Talk to me!!!
We are one body in Christ, all in need of grace and we must build each other up in the faith for the sake of God’s kingdom (Romans 12:3-5; 1 Corinthians 14:26).
Soli Deo Gloria
Hi Philip – So good to meet you – thanks for making contact – now I can read your posts! Yes Gordon and I also identify with the pressurising to speak in tongues – we were young and also folded and faked. We can just say “yes!” to the rest of your post. To interact with fellow Christians by the love God poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit He has given us – the Holy Spirit who has also inspired the Bible – so much revelation from God Himself about Him and us and very good news of Jesus.
Thanks Estelle glad you enjoyed the read and agreed on this point. Its refreshing to have a cloud of believers who share similar passions as myself. To God be the glory.