Friday, October 13, 2006

A testimony

Sunday night, after church was over and everyone had gone I sat quietly in the dark of the church just telling God over and over that I wanted to be able to speak in tongues. Finally I went home, and I spent Monday fasting. I don’t know that I’ve ever fasted because I wanted something so specific from God but I did that day. I spent all day long, again, just telling God over and over what I wanted.

When Tuesday arrived I wasn’t much better off. But late that night as I made the hour and a half drive home from a training class I'm taking I started thinking more about something that had occurred to me Monday. I have a very deep respect for spiritual things and I cannot imagine opening my mouth and spouting gobbledegook and hoping that it’s the Holy Ghost. I just knew I couldn’t. God might understand why I was doing what I was doing, but there was no way I’d allow myself to do that, no matter how much I wanted to be able to speak in tongues.

I didn’t know what to do about that, or how to fix that kind of an issue. Almost anyone can tell you the Holy Spirit won’t make you speak in tongues. The miracle of it all is that you’re speaking in tongues, not that you’re speaking. So you actually have to, well, speak.

Amidst the confusion of my thoughts God spoke and I obeyed. I turned down the radio and sang. Driving down the road I was singing in a language that was absolutely foreign to me. It was as simple as singing as I normally would, but drastically different in its effect on me.

It isn’t what I wanted. I wanted to be able to pray for others, and I got a song of worship. My gift seems useless to anyone that isn’t ME, and I was hoping for a gift that primarily helped others besides me. God knows what I “need” though, and provided His gift based on that. I've been seeking the gift of tongues for two years and it could be that if I had ever tried to sing I might have had this gift long long ago. I’ll never know.

I don’t know what all stops us from being able to speak in tongues (or sing in them), but it is well worth trying. For me that didn’t mean going to the altar every time someone said to come be prayed over for the Holy Spirit. But a constant desire to have the Holy Spirit and the ability to pray in a gift far superior to my own words.

I write this today to document a change in my life, but also simply to share it with you. I have no authority or words of wisdom to provide for you if you're seeking something yourself. Stepping into something deeper with God is such a personal struggle that everything I could tell you might not apply at all to your situation and your struggle. So I'll only tell you the one thing that applies no matter who you are, and what you're dealing with:

God is so good.


J. W. Poteet II said...

Well, I told you about 1 Corinthians 14:15 so you know this is really of God whatever others may say. I'm so extremely happy for you. REALLY! I know that for me the biggest problem was that I was afraid that it was just me and not God until finally I sort of accidentally started speaking in tongues while praising God and so I knew it couldn't be just me. As for singing in the Spirit, I am the only person I know who does that. It's really no different, but it seems different. God bless you!!!

One Sided said...

Do you consider the words in a song less significant than the ones spoken?

The gift of tongues was initially not just proof of the visit of the Holy Spirit but it was a gift that allowed others to hear in their own language the story of Jesus.

Now it seems that this gift is provided not for the education of another, but for the unabashed praise of God.

David sang his praise, not because he was a gifted musician, but because he understood that it was pleasing to both man and God.

I don’t feel the gift of speaking is needed for others. If you are not given the gift to understand the words it is now as it was at Pentecost to those who did not understand just so much noise.
If you are not given the gift of speaking are you considered less precious to your Heavenly Father?

So if your gift is not for me, it is for you. And it is for you to share with God, the words of praise form your heart, spoken in love by the power to the Spirit, in Praise of and to your Heavenly Father. And made even more enjoyable because your heart sang with joy.