Posted by: matthewharri | July 17, 2008

Tongues: A Charismatic Luxury?

So, is speaking in tongues a charismatic add-on, something to spice up a normally boring Christian life? Is it just a way for people to entertain themselves and all-the-while, look spiritual? Is it a gift that only certain personality traits are attracted to? Some would say they’re not against the speaking in tongues, per se, but that it just isn’t for them. They would look at it more as a luxury to the Christian walk. But I would challenge those of this opinion.

Israel saw and experienced the problem of trying to overcome sin in their own strength. God gave the laws and the Covenants to the Jewish people in order to set them apart from the rest of the nations, to provoke them to their God. But what they found out was that they couldn’t maintain the standards of holiness that God was asking for and in the process, instead of provoking the nations, they gave in to the world and became just like the other nations. What God did through the Life, Death, Burial, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus was to make a way for the very uncreated Power of God to dwell within each individual Christian, thereby giving access to the very Source that would enable them to live a holy, pleasing life unto the LORD.

I believe that the easiest way to access the indwelling Spirit is through the ministry of praying in tongues. It is an embracing of weakness and foolishness because through it we must release the need for mental apprehension and speak mysteries we ourselves don’t understand. This is pleasing to the LORD. Paul tells us to pray with our understanding (in English) and in the Spirit (without our mental understanding). It is a perfect prayer, through which the Holy Spirit Himself prays through us (see previous post about corporate and private tongues) in perfect agreement with the will of God. Don’t we all want to know that each one of our prayers is in perfect agreement with Him? This is a fool-proof way unto that end.

Initial salvation (through trusting in the name of Jesus and the power of His blood) is much different from the present-continual salvational work of the Holy Spirit which keeps and enables the saint to walk holy and pleasing to the LORD. We do not access the resource of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us nearly enough, nor as much as we should. He is the most powerful Resource we’ve been given through the New Covenant (along with the Blood of Jesus) and in every way we should strive to cultivate and exercise our ability to follow His leading in our lives.

In a world that is getting darker, more confusing, in a time of unprecedented trouble that is yet future, as people’s love is growing cold because lawlessness is abounding, I think the wisest thing we could be giving ourselves to is learning how to live, move, flow and pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, deposited in us at the new birth. The Holy Spirit is much more than a luxury, and praying in the Spirit is vital if we are to walk in a power-filled, overcoming, victorious and brightly burning pure and spotless Bride that Jesus is coming back to the earth for.

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