Why Do People Speak In Tongues
People who have been speaking in tongues for a while usually do so when they are moved by the love of Jesus Christ. But why would anyone want to experience such an extraordinary phenomenon? Is it possible that there could be more than one reason? Could speaking in tongues be related to something else besides being a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
To understand the purpose of speaking in tongues, we must first consider what this gift means. Speaking in tongues is not language but sound coming from our mouths. It can be similar to any natural speech sounds except it is not intelligible. The word “tongue” refers to the part of the body where the vocal chords are located. We make words out of these sounds using the tongue, lips, teeth, palate, etc. When we speak in tongues, the Lord opens up our mouth to say things we normally cannot say.
There are many reasons people might feel compelled to speak in tongues. I was once praying in tongues over my own family. My wife had just gone into labor six hours early. After about two hours, she felt her contractions getting closer together. She was on bed rest at home during those two hours. During that time, I was praying in tongues over her, her husband, and their unborn child.
When the doctor called after midnight to check on her progress, he said, “Well, Mrs. Smith, you’re going to need to go to the hospital tonight.” He explained that if she went into active labor before 7 a.m., she may not survive. And even if she did, it wouldn’t be long until she delivered prematurely. By 6:30 a.m., the nurse came in to wake me up because Mrs. Smith’s water broke. I rushed down to the car and drove like hell to the hospital. The baby didn’t arrive until 10 minutes later. If I hadn’t prayed in tongues over her, her little girl might not be here today.
Other testimonies include the following. A young man named Timothy started talking in tongues three years after his conversion (Acts 19:6). Paul spoke in tongues four times (1 Corinthians 12:10) while he ministered among the Gentiles. Another person claimed to have seen angels speaking in tongues (Revelation 11:11). Some Christians claim to have received visions in tongues (1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Peter 4:14-16).
Some suggest that speaking in tongues is an expression of emotion. For example, some believe that when we cry out in tongues, our emotions are being expressed. However, others suggest that when we talk in tongues, we are actually having a conversation with someone standing beside us. This is supported by the statement found in Romans 8:16, which says, “… according as [we] shall be justified by faith, are ye also being made full [through the same instrumentality].” Also, see Galatians 3:2 and Ephesians 4:15.
Another interesting theory proposes that we use our hands, arms, legs, feet, and eyes to talk in tongues. How does this relate to the idea that we are having conversations with someone nearby? The answer lies in the Greek verb form used in both cases. In Romans 8:16 and Galatians 3:2, we read, “Are ye also being made… ” In Ephesians 4:15, we read, “… being built together into a spiritual house,… ” Notice how, in each case, the verb forms indicate movement toward or growing into something. So, we are saying that in order to build ourselves into a Christian, we must grow into spiritual maturity and become more and more like Him. This growth includes developing a relationship with our heavenly Father through prayer. Prayer is essential to becoming mature spiritually.
In conclusion, there are several different theories regarding the origin of speaking in tongues. Some suggest that we are simply expressing our feelings. Others propose that we are conversing with someone standing near us. Still others suggest that we are having a conversation with someone across the room. There is no way to know for sure whether we are doing any of these things. What we do know is that speaking in tongues is a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let us ask the Lord to help us find His true meaning.
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