Relax and listen. Consciously prepare to hear God’s Word. Clear your mind of the worries and tasks that lie before you. Open your heart and allow it to refresh.
1 Corinthians 14: 13-25 (NRSV)
Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unproductive. What should I do then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will sing praise with the spirit, but I will sing praise with the mind also. Otherwise, if you say a blessing with the spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say the “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since the outsider does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other person is not built up. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you; nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. n the law it is written,
“By people of strange tongues
and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
yet even then they will not listen to me,”
says the Lord. Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all. After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, “God is really among you.”
Most of my mother’s family are Pentecostal, however I was raised in the Baptist faith. As a teenager, I would sometimes visit my aunt’s church and they would often breakout speaking in tongues. I was not familiar with this form of worship, it was confusing, startling, and somewhat frightening. I just sat in wonder not understanding what was happening. Not being a Christian and endowed with this gift of tongues, the whole experience meant nothing to me. As Paul states in this scripture, it would have been much better if they had prophesied and spoke in a language that I could understand.
The worship service would have been more meaningful to me and would have been a witness that could have brought me to the saving knowledge of Jesus. The gift of tongues is a beautiful and wonderful gift to be able to speak in God’s language, but it is also very important that we understand one another; that too is a gift of love. To share the word of God to others so that they may also enjoy the gift of salvation and having an intimate relationship with God adds to the kingdom and builds God’s church.
Holy Father, thank you for all the gifts you have endowed me with in my life. Help me to focus on the speech which will bless and inspire others to come to you. In the Holy and powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Go with God!