Speaking in tongues is one supernatural ability every believer ought to function in to attain certain levels of spirituality and enter certain dimensions in Christ.
As a student of the Christian experience and biblical self-leadership, I find the tongue gift to be quite fascinating. Outside of the doctrinal debates and divergences, I for one, think the tongue gift is a powerful tool to aid the believer in personal devotion and service to both God and Mankind.
In this blogpost, you would learn about the meaning of tongues, and how to start speaking in tongues amidst other things.
Lets get to it.
What is the gift of Tongues?
One seminal passage of scripture for the doctrine of tongues is 1 Corinthians 12:10-11. An abridged version reads;
…Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts….
The greek word that translates as “speak in unknown languages” is coined from Glossa (γλῶσσα) which means Tongue and by implication, a language usually unknown and inspired by the Holyghost.
Every human language is originally given by God(Genesis 11:9). He is to be praised in every language. The difference is that every other language known to man is intelligible; as a person speaks, he or she and the audience, having learned the language, know what is being communicated.
On the otherhand, a person who speaks in tongues, communicates ‘mysteries’ to God(1 Corinthians 14:2).
This is how Apostle Emmanuel Iren defines Tongues;
Tongues is a divine language that God gives to the believer as a medium of communication from the Believer’s spirit to Him.– Apostle Emmanuel Iren
Unless by interpretation of tongues (another supernatural ability), no one can understand a person speaking in tongues, not even the speaker can understand himself.
Speaking in Tongues can either take the form of personal prayer (in the absence of an interpreter), or public prophecy (when there is someone to interpret).
Activating Tongues: How to start Speaking in Tongues.
Someone could be asking, “I know I have the Spirit of God how come I still don’t speak in tongues.”
Well, it could be that you haven’t yet “coveted” the gift of tongues; that is you haven’t activated the gift within you. It is still lying dormant. A legal reality waiting to become vital. Potential energy waiting to be put to work.
So we would be looking at some actions to take on your part that could cause you to flow in this supernatural gift.
As we progress, please note: The Holy Spirit manifests His gift in people uniquely, so the guidesteps below are in no way a rockhard set of rules or procedures to follow. Again this is purely for your information.
1. Check your belief system about the tongue gift.
For most people, the only thing keeping them from speaking in tongues are their thoughts and beliefs about it. These beliefs could be as a result of misinterpretated bible verses about speaking in tongues, wrong or poor teaching of the tongue gift, or even a previously failed attempt at it.
Whatever the cause, you would have to revisit the paradigms more carefully and be willing to make the necessary shifts in your thinking. In a different blog post, I addressed some limiting beliefs holding believers from speaking in tongue.
Personally, I think Checking your Belief system is a crucial step to pay rapt attention to especially if you know you have recieved the Holy Spirit and still do not speak in tongues.
In the past, I believed I could only be given one gift and since it wasn’t tongues, I couldn’t flow in this gift(so I thought). And honestly speaking, I didn’t rate it much at that time. It was until I welcomed additional perspectives and changed the lens through which I looked at the tongue gift that I began to value and earnestly desire it.
2. Desire the tongue gift.
The moment you start seeing the tongue gift as good and desirable , it is only a matter of time before it gets activated.
For some, they do not speak in tongues because they don’t have the holyspirit, Others are held back by their limiting beliefs about speaking in tongues. However, there are those who don’t speak in tongues because they do not want it.
They don’t see the need because they haven’t yet understood the benefits of speaking in tongues or the role it plays in personal devotion. But with the right teaching and association, a non-tongue-speaking believer can command his or her affections unto taking the bold steps and right actions that activate it.
God will not force the tongue gift down your throat. Right from the Genesis, he has always respected man’s free will. Because it is a relationship, it would require the active participation from both parties; He has made provision for it, Your part is to see the need and take it.
Even after activating your tongues, the speaking won’t occur uncontrollably. The spirit will be subject to the prophet. You would still have control over your tongue regarding when to start and stop, but not the content.
Desire it to have it activated. Fan the flames of this desire, to keep expressing this gift.
3. Ask for it in prayers.
With a better understanding of the gift of tongues and a genuine desire for it, ask God for it in prayers.
I have heard stories of people who started speaking in tongues after asking for it in prayers. Make a confession of faith. Ask God for it in prayer and supplication. You can as well join faith with another believer by holding hands and/or praying together. Furthermore, you could also have a ministry gift(a charismatic church leader) lay hands on you to impart this gift. (Acts 19:6, Deuteronomy 34:9).
For sure you can expect that God, our Holy father, will give you this good gift because you asked(Luke 11:13).
4. Start Speaking.
It’s easier said than done. I know. But a tip is to not think too much about it. Speaking in tongues is a spiritual exercise so you need to lead with your spirit and not your mind. Let your mind take the back seat because it will be fruitless at the onset.
Forget how you usually communicate; capturing an idea of what you want say before saying it. In this case, just speak from your spirit.
Do not worry about the content of your speech or how you sound.
Granted, it would be feel strange at the onset and rightfully so. You are speaking a language you never learned and it is influencing the state of your spirit. But work through it nonetheless.
5. Do not stop for any reason.
Speak every opportunity you get. Speak it so much as though if you stopped, you would lose it. Deliberately flame the fire as your following days unfold.
Seize every opportunity you can get and pray in tongue; during both personal and corporate times of prayer and meditation.
If at some point in the past, you could speak in tongues and stopped due to one reason or other, I want to encourage you.
You have not completely lost the ability. You can still speak in tongues. Yes, there was a setback but God can greatly compensate. Yes, it would be laborious kickstarting again but thankfully, prayer has a cummulative effect; you are not starting afresh.
If you would check those limiting mindsets and recommit to a gradual and consistent prayer practice, you would be back to fiery ways in no time.
The ability to speak in tongues is for all believers and while it is sustained by the Holy Spirit, you have a role to play: Believe, desire, ask and take it.
My hope is that this message for you would not just be head knowledge but would become an active reality and experience in Christian walk.
Take every cue and opportunity you get to speak in tongues. If you’re in an unconducive environment where speaking or praying aloud would disturb the tranquility of the room, you can mutter it under your breath.
Talking about a cue, here is a powerful one just for you. Speak in tongues right now!