VI. Reality of Speaking in Tongues
1. Along with the Presence of the Holy Spirit, Believers Are Given the Gift of Speaking in Tongues
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mar 16:17-18).
The Lord said, “These signs will follow those who believe.” Based on this promise, we can say every believer should be able to speak in tongues. In 1 Corinthians 14:22, the Bible states that “Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers.” A life is to move around and work, the life of Jesus gets manifested and works within us through our human body, and this life of Jesus is given to us as a gift. For anyone who has welcomed the Lord into his life, the life of the Lord (the spirit of activity) is already in that person; thus, when any believer with the life of the Lord already working within puts his hands on the sick, commanding the spirit to leave from the spirit-possessed person and picking up snakes in his hands, the spirit of the Lord is back.
Likewise, as a way to help ourselves speak in tongues, if we open our mouth wide and begin to pray in a loud tone of voice with faith in the Lord, we will be able to speak in tongues. In other words, it is not we speaking in tongues, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit aiding us to pray in tongues (Act 2:4).
The inspiration of the Holy Spirit (the spiritual energy) is already within us; yet, when the work of the Spirit is weighed down, it does not get expressed outwardly. This is the extinction of the Holy Spirit in us. When the activities of the Spirit get expressed outwardly, that becomes the spiritual gift (1 Cor 2:4, 12:7). This gift gets expressed through hands, tongues, and feet. Believe that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is already present in you.
2. Fighting Off the Oppressive Spirit (1 Pet 5:9)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2).
When we the believers try to adapt themselves to the norms of their neighbors and the world, we feel constantly being pressured into something, and in the end we will not be able to transform ourselves upholding the will of God. Since human beings have physical bodies, we are wired to have ourselves fit into the desires of our own environment and self, and our social life can be summed up in our attempt to fit our thinking and behaviors into that of our neighbors.
As we get used to this behavior trying to fit ourselves into that of our environments and other human beings, even in our spiritual life we find ourselves following the patterns of mere religious environment and habits instead of fitting ourselves wholly into the will of God. Consequently, even if you are a church pastor, your spirit will get oppressed unconsciously, and in the end we will fixate ourselves onto something other than God, causing ourselves turn into someone almost impossible to be used by the Holy Spirit. This is one reason why the power and gifts of God cannot be manifested through our body in today’s settings.
Therefore, like the Lord praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, all believers should faithfully and diligently focus solely on Jesus to fight off such atmosphere and environment (Luk 22:44). We would have to fortify our faith and resist the oppressive power (1 Pet 5:9). As we speak aloud in our prayers, we will be delivered from the ideas of this world and from influence of human beings, and we will be able to fight off the oppressive spirits trying to weigh us down.
“Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering” (1 Pet 5:9)
3. Cooperating to Have the Activity of the Holy Spirit Be Manifested in Body (Tongue)
j Open the door of your heart and accept the activity of the Spirit through faith
(2 Cor 5:6). The will of men is the channel that determines the passage of the mind. Since the Lord is already present inside us, we the believers have the activity of the Lord (the life) in us. As the Lord Jesus said, within us are already present the power to cast out the demon, the spiritual gift to heal the sick, and the power to filter out any poison flowing into our body. Moreover, even the power that enables us to speak in tongues already exists within ourselves. To accept these phenomena as realities is faith.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7).
First of all, give thanks to the Lord for providing you with these powers and the ability to speak in tongues and confess with your lips. The more you keep praising the Lord,
the stronger your faith will become (Rom 10:9-10).
k Cooperating to have the activity of the Holy Spirit be manifested in Body (Act 3:6-7)
As mentioned at several occasions in previous pages, the presence and work of the Holy Spirit get manifested through our bodies. That is the rationale for Jesus being incarnated and coming into the world. It is true that God dwelled in the Lord (Joh 14:10); yet, Jesus physically obeyed in his body, and as the result of his physical obedience the work of God was completed (Joh 17:4).
Which power is, then, stronger between the power of God (the Spirit of God) dwelling within us and our human will (the spirit of men), which controls our body?
As mentioned previously, the self-awareness of humans is created to have priority. No matter how hard the Holy Spirit tries to work through us, unless we cooperate to avail our bodies for the work of the Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord will be quenched (1 The 5:19). Is this not why the Holy Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words on our behalf (Rom 8:26), wanting us to offer our bodies so that the Spirit can work through us (Jam 4:4)? Therefore, we cannot simply embrace the notion that, since God is all powerful, everything is possible with God. This is the reason why the Spirit within us will be subjected to our will (1 Cor 14:32).
Therefore, with faith in the Lord we should put our hands on the sick and command the evil spirit to leave from his body (Mar 16:18).
Since speaking in tongues is the work of the Holy Spirit, the same applies here. When we cooperate consciously in such a way to have our tongues to be controlled by the Spirit, we can pray in tongues without much problem. It is true that without concerted efforts on our side, many people were enabled to speak in tongues at revival meetings or mountain prayer meetings.
However, even in those situations, though they themselves did not have any concrete knowledge of how it all happened, when they unconsciously cooperated physically in the process with the Spirit, they were readily guided to speak in tongues. Either at revival gatherings or mountain prayer meetings, people held onto the trunks of palm trees and began to pray passionately and wholeheartedly in loud voices over and over again. Surely, there was even an incident where a person simply began to speak in tongues while walking on a street. Even for a case like this, it is likely that he prayed aloud while praying. Could it be possible that people, “who never pray, who are in silence and dejected emotionally due to sadness in their lives and who do not have faith in God,” spoke in tongues?” Had there been such cases, those certainly had to be the sounds generated by Satan.
l When Necessary, Receive Help from Others; Yet, Speaking in Tongues Can Never Be Taught (Jam 3:8)
As written in Scripture, neither the tongue could be tamed, nor speaking in tongues could be taught. One reason people cannot pray in tongues is that they are not informed on the topic. Since they are not knowledgeable about speaking in tongues, they simply do not know how to pray in tongues. Another reason is due to their oppressive spirit. As people are weighed down for various reasons, their heads are physiologically lowered. Strength will be drained out of their hands, and their lips will be tightly zipped. Their tongues will become stiff, sticking out. When people are depressed by worries and deep concerns, their lips will lose all interest in speaking. At a situation like this, speaking in tongues will not occur. That is why we would intentionally need to fight off the oppressive spirit.
So, lift your hands up high in the air and make tight fists with both of your hands. Hold your head high and open youth mouth wide and speak aloud. Lifting up hands stems from the tradition in the Old Testament era (1 Kin 8:22). Making tight fists will get us ready to fight off Satan. When oppressed by Satan, we lose all our strength. Thus, making fists will help us defend ourselves from Satan’s grip on us.
Gather strength on the upper body (mentally thinking upward) and make fists with both hands as if you are holding on to a rope in the air. This will help push upward your energy being pressed down in your body, and then open your mouth wide and speak aloud carefully so that you will not put any strength on your tongue. Then begin to speak simple words over and over again in a rapid manner. When you do this for a while, your tongues will make natural movements and create different sounds, and this will be the beginning of speaking in tongues.
This may appear to be artificial and will certainly make some people uncomfortable and cause them to be very critical of speaking in tongues. Yet, for those wanting to pray in tongues but could not for a long time, as well as, for those looking for an opportunity to pray in tongues, this will be a good and effective way to help them experience speaking in tongues.
In another words, its purpose is not to help artificially people to pray in tongues, but this is rather a practical way to guide us to physically cooperate with the Holy Spirit controlling our tongues so that we could speak in tongues. Speaking in tongues is not something that can be taught, nor to teach to others. This is truly the work of the Spirit, and all we do is to cooperate through our bodies, particularly through our tongues.
The sick man, who was by the pool Bethesda for 38 years, when told by Jesus to “stand up, take his mat and walk,” immediately got up and picked up his mat and walked (Joh 5:9). On the other hand, in Acts chapter three, the lame person sitting by the Beautiful Gate was able to get up only after the apostles reached out their hands and helped him to get up; only then, he was able to walk (Act 3:6).
But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong” (Act 3:6-7).
Likewise, there are people who have received the gift of speaking in tongues while praying alone. Then there are also others, though they have complete faith in God, who have received the same spiritual gift with the help from other people. One thing that is clear is that in both cases it was the work of the Holy Spirit and the Lord. As Peter could not teach the lame how to walk, no one can teach others to speak in tongues. In James 3:8, we are told that no one can tame the tongue.