This is a page that is designed to illustrate how we can grow in our faith! The word of God, prayer, fellowship with the saints and more are all part of our life as a believer. Often times however many people who call themselves Christians rarely avail themselves of what God has for us. Their experience and thus spiritual development to say the least is solely restricted to church attendances once per week. What happens from Monday to Saturday however is the reality of life.
God has given us several tools whereby we can grow and mature in our faith. This page deals with but one and I have called it working out at your spiritual gym for good reason. One of the elements God has given us is our right and ability to tune in to the Holy Spirit who is our teacher, our mentor, the one who enables us and the one who not only equips us for ministry, but equips us to live well in what can sometimes be a troubled and volatile world.
The first scripture I will share with you is-
Paul was a man who prayed a lot in tongues and I know that because he said so in 1 Corinthians 14:18. You may wonder why this is so important, so this page is devoted to the many benefits gained by exercising your prayer language.
Speaking in other tongues is not just an exercise to make us feel good.
It is like doing a workout at a spiritual gymnasium. It enables us to pray better. It gives us a hotline to the Throne-room and it can be a sign to others to get their attention and turn them towards God. Speaking in other tongues is still a valid any vital experience for any believer today. There are many myths and misconceptions about this experience that range from "they are not for today" to "it is of the devil" and these... dare I call them lies... have been a great controversy in the church, much to the devil's glee. Certainly misuse and abuse by foolish people have clouded the issue, but please look at this page in a prayerful and honest approach.
I hope that you did pray like that, because God answers genuine seekers.I once prayed like that because I needed to know the truth about this thing and find out about it very quickly because I had just got saved and attended a Pentecostal church for the first time. That morning people spoke in other tongues and although I knew in my spirit that this was God, I knew nothing about it, not having ever heard of such a thing before. All I understood or believed was that in the course of their studies ministers of religion must have learned the original languages of the bible days. I do that myself now. Perhaps they speak them, I thought. My wife asked me if we had to learn them to join that church.
The point I want to make is that no one — no church — no denominational organization indoctrinated me. They never had time to do that. I will add that they had no right to do that either! My friend, you are a free moral agent. You have the power of choice. You do not need any man or religious institution to dictate terms to you on how you conduct your life, especially in the matters relating to God, so do your homework, study the word of God for yourself and ask God to reveal the truth to you! I am not suggesting for a moment that you act irresponsibly, forsake fellowship with other believers or become a rebellious lone wolf dping his or her own thing and accoiuntable ot no one. That is wrong.
The Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth, answered an urgent prayer and it was revealed in the bible, before I had ever read that part of the bible! It was in 1 Corinthians 12:1 that says Brothers and sisters, I don't want there to be any misunderstanding concerning spiritual gifts.
Like Paul, I do not want anyone to be misinformed about such matters. This is why I present my studies to you. I want to see you come into all the fullness and blessing of God that is possible.
When God began to create heaven and earth—the earth being unformed and void, with darkness over the surface of the deep and a wind from God sweeping over the water—God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:1-3.
I do not want to switch to another topic here and start talking about creation, but look in your own bibles at Genesis chapter one. Here you will se that everything God created was formed by His spoken Word. The phrase And God Said appears 23 times in this chapter alone and approximately 2300 times in my King James Bible. A simple study reveals that Jesus is The Word made manifest in the flesh (see John 1:1-5,10).
We know from Genesis that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, who caused all living beings to pass before Adam — so that the man would give them names. If Adam saw a creature and said, That is a horse, then it was then a horse. His creative power and ability was simply amazing.
We also know from scripture that there is great power in our tongues. What you and I say is very important. See Deuteronomy 8:3; 17:6; 19:3; Psalm 33:6; Proverbs 6:2; Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45; Romans 10:10; 2 Corinthians 13:1 and James 3:3-10.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us-
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Little wonder that the devil has been fighting so hard against our speech, especially speaking in other tongues, for this releases similar power and authority that the First Adam and the Second Adam possessed!
If you have study resources, conduct your own research into speech and associated topics. It will verify what I have said.
More than ye all
Paul Highly Valued Speaking in Tongues and spoke much about speaking in other tongues, expressing how much he valued this ability. He said-
I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all… Some folk say that he disproved of this, because he adds yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Corinthians 14:19.
Many folk stop at this point, thinking Paul preferred to use normal speech for preaching and teaching purposes etc. That is not correct.
Reading chapter fourteen in its entirety reveals that the church at Corinth simply did not know how to handle things properly. There was no order in that church and they went to excess. They had many errors in all sorts of areas, not only in this matter, so Paul was correcting them in many things, including dissensions, fornication; party faction; intellectualism; lawsuits; divorce and marriage and their use of this wonderful ability of speaking in tongues.
Imagine going to church to hear a great sermon and not being able to hear it because everyone in the church was talking over the top of the preacher.
That’s the sort of thing he was correcting. He was not telling them that they had the wrong thing, but instructing them to speak in tongues when it was appropriate and to remain silent when that was appropriate.
He was telling the folk that he spoke in tongues more than all of them put together, but, please, let’s have some courtesy and preach well without distractions and use the Gifts of the Spirit in their proper place and at the appropriate time. Please see the page The Holy Spirit and His Gifts for detailed explanation of them and their functions.
What he was telling them was that whatever was done, should be done in such a way that it edifies, or encourages everyone in such a way that there was no confusion or distraction. Love was to be the driving force. See the page on the Fruit of the Spirit
With regard to speaking in other tongues, there is more than one role, function or purpose for tongues. Firstly, speaking in tongues is the initial outward or physical evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit, but this is merely the beginning.
We also have the Gift of Tongues, which is something completely different again and we deal with this in The-holy-spirit-and-his-gifts. We now turn to why! Why did Paul value speaking in other tongues so much? What is it about this topic that has aroused such controversy and opposition?
Look again at our text,
He that speaketh in an (unknown) tongue edifieth himself. 1 Corinthians 14:4.
The King James Version includes the word unknown and it is in italics, indicating that this was not in the original language, but inserted by the translators. The bible clearly tells us that we speak in human languages, such as Italian, Russian, Spanish, French or whatever and they certainly are not unknown, other than to one who does not normally speak those languages (see Acts 2:6-11).
Paul also tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:1 that we can also speak in the language of the angels of God! They certainly are not unknown, save for we humans.
When we speak in an unknown (to the talker) tongue, Paul says that he or she edifies himself or herself.
This is a very powerful tool, for by using this, we are able to build ourselves up, or make ourselves stronger in the spirit and emotional dimensions than before. It is like charging the battery in a car. If the battery is not used, it will eventually go flat, but by speaking in other tongues, we can top up, so to speak and I am not speaking about emotionalism or hyping something up. The word used for Edify is Oikodomeō. It means to build, or be a house builder. It speaks about building, edifying and giving one greater boldness. It enables us to tap into the source so to speak. We are the house of God. We are the ones who are being built up as an holy habitation. We are the living stones of that building called the church and Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone.
He told the disciples to go into the big, bad, wide world and preach the Gospel in the same manner He did, but those men were weaklings who fled and one denied Him three times.
On that Day of Pentecost as they spoke in other tongues for the first time, people came running to see what happened and Peter preached so powerfully that 3000 people were converted!
Let me ask those who vehemently oppose this experience if they have similar results. It is very unlikely. Later in Acts 4:29-31, these same disciples prayed after being threatened for boldness to do what Jesus told them to do... for supernatural manifestation... and the place was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the word with Boldness. Multitudes were saved!
Praying with results
It is very important to grasp this truth, because many people do not know how to pray in such a way that God not only hears that prayer but answers it. We can have absolute assurance of this because John told us-
He who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] has the testimony [possesses this divine attestation] within himself. He who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him out to be and represented Him as a liar, because he has not believed (put his faith in, adhered to, and relied on) the evidence (the testimony) that God has borne regarding His Son.
And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.
I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, yes, eternal life.
And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him. 1 John 5:10-15.
Please notice that when we are in divine relationship, we possess eternal life. If we do not... there is no hope of ever going to Heaven, but if we do, then we have absolute assurance that we can come to God with boldness (not brashness) and make any request according to His will and that request will not only be heard... it will be granted!
We can know for sure if our prayer is in accord with the will of God by praying God's way! I am not talking about things like what religion teaches us is the Lord's Prayer (that isn't!) but by praying with the help of the Holy Spirit and this is done by praying in tongues! The Holy Spirit is Helping YOU... to pray. Paul told us that God has given us a means whereby we can pray in our spirit man apart from our understanding. If God is a Spirit (which He is) then our dealings with Him have to be spirit to Spirit, not intellect to Spirit! The mind or human reasoning faculties are actually at variance with God.
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.
Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot.
So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. Romans 8:5-9
Most prayers people pray are with the mind. They are mental prayers only, hence do not meet God's requirements,no matter how eloquent they sound, or who reads or says them! The woman at the well knew all about religion and prayer. Like many denominations today she said, Our forefathers worshipped here, but the Jews tells us we have to worship at Jerusalem. Who is right? Look at it in this translation-
Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?" "Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God's way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. "It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration." John 4:20-24.
By Jesus' answer, we see that religious activity of any kind does not work. We see that mental assent does not work. Spirit deals with Spirit. Deep calleth unto deep!
The truth of the matter is that we need BOTH kinds of prayer and most of the church has neglected the spiritual aspect of it.
Praying in the spirit does not mean praying with more enthusiasm or gusto, but praying effectively, or so efficiently that , by exercising my prayer language, I can communicate spirit to spirit with God to meet His requirements and also satisfy my intellectual abilities by "translating them" into my own native tongue. It works friends. It works!
Paul encouraged believers to maintain the practice of speaking in other tongues in their private lives for worship and prayer as a means of their spiritual edification. I have already used the illustration of a battery. If it is in a car and the car is not used, the battery could go flat or get run down and need recharging by an electric current flowing through it. Let me describe the verse of scripture like this, He that speaketh in an unknown tongue, recharges his spiritual battery.
The word Edification that Paul used does not relate to mental or intellectual enlightenment but relates to building yourself up spiritually. Jude 20 says- But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
There are a few points I’d like you to consider here. Firstly, Jude says that we Must, not can build ourselves up more strongly on a foundation, which is our faith. We achieve this by earning how to pray, not out of a prayer book, but in both the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit. Notice the choice of words… more and strongly. This implies a continual progressive state. What I mean is this. If something is strong, then it is strong, but if something is already strong, we can make it more so. Watch an athlete. The champion trains continually, not once, always seeking to improve his or her game. They may reach gold medal status, but if training ceases, I have seen many athletes get fat!
The King James Version tells it this way-
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:20-21.
The words used are action words. Keep yourselves! Build yourselves up! Keep yourselves! Looking! That is like charging up a battery and keeping it charged.
Jude told us we are to build ourselves up ON our most holy faith… not In it. There is a big difference. He told us how to do that and it is by praying in the Holy Ghost. How do you do that? Pray in tongues!
Praying in tongues does not give us more faith. Faith comes by the hearing of the word and applying it. See Romans 10:17. We already have the measure of faith according to Romans 12:3, so what we can do is to release it or exercise it, training ourselves in a similar way to how the champion athlete trains.
This is a personal thing. Praying in the spirit and exercising yourself by exercising your prayer language helps you… no one else to become stronger. The champion athlete does not train for someone else, but for himself to improve his abilities. You can become a champion spiritual athlete by training in the dimension of the spirit.
A classic example of how this works is Smith Wigglesworth. He experienced revival in every continent on earth that many people still talk about today, yet he did not have an education. He started work at the age of six, pulling up turnips, then as a child worker in a factory before child labour laws were enacted.
He did not even know how to write his own name until adulthood when someone taught him how.
He could not read or write at all, other than signing his name, but he got saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues. Speaking in other tongues was a priceless gift to him and he lived the verses of Jude and 1 Corinthians 14:4.
This is biblical truth that works!
For this reason
When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God—some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth—that out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself. Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 3:14-21.
We need the spiritual edification and illumination that stems from praying in the Holy Ghost. That is, by praying in tongues.
Another aspect I’d like to share with you is that we can receive might in the inner man to help us not to be stronger or encouraged more, but to be able to grasp some understanding of the glorious love and mighty plan of God for us… the church of Jesus Christ.
Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesis deserves more in-depth analysis than I can give here. I strongly urge you to conduct your own research into this wonderful plan that is revealed right throughout the whole book. For now however, let us focus on a Holy Spirit prayer that Paul revealed to us. Please remember that he wrote to a spirit filled church that spoke in tongues and prophesied.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Acts 19:6.
They spoke in other tongues! This is the Church that received such amazing revelation of the mind and will of God for the Church, the plan of salvation and more by Paul. What this does is to illustrate that when you are born again, you have not “arrived”. There is much more! All that has happened is that you have embarked on an endless journey of exploration and opened the door to a vast treasury of God’s blessings and experiences. Go through my friend. Go through!
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 is that we could receive mighty strengthening in our inner man to combine with scriptures, our faith confessions and other stands to live as God intends us to live—victorious in life. You see, although the devil has been defeated, he is still permitted to roam around on this planet until Adam’s lease has expired. He is looking for people who do not know their Kingdom rights and exercise them in every respect, including exercising your Heavenly language. See 1 John 4:4.
Paul’s prayer is that we would be strengthened With His Might and this is achieved By His spirit in our Inner Man!
I will conclude with this-
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and width, height and depth, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21.