The gift of tongue is the one gift that can be easily counterfeited. We cannot communicate biblical truth through meaningless sound. A language without a meaning is pointless. It is the meaning that makes a language to be a language. People don’t go to church so that they can hear someone showing off and making some unintelligible sound. People go to church so that they may hear the Word of God spoken in a way it clearly communicates to them the message of the gospel. No one can say Amen to what I’m saying or praying If I don’t know what in the world I’m saying and nobody else certainly knows what in the world I’m saying, how can they agree and express Amen?
For God is not the God of confusion but the God of peace, and for this reason, we should seek and desire the gift of prophesying more than the gift of tongue. The great apostle Paul said the reason prophesying is superior to the gift of tongue is because prophesying convicts of sin, brings us under judgement, reveals the secret of our hearts, and brings us to our knees which is our rightful place before God. This is what prophesying is all about:
- Every time you speak biblical truth to a colleague or a friend you are prophesying,
- Every time you bring the word of God to bear upon a problem or a difficult matter, you are prophesying,
- Every time you instruct your children in the word and the ways of God, you are prophesying,
- Every time you are sharing the scripture with someone in need, you are prophesying
When was the last time you shared the word of God with a colleague or friend or testify to the power of God in your life? Don’t get carried away by emotion because ultimately, soul winning is what counts the most.
To be sure, when the apostles spoke in tongues in the day of Pentecost (found in Acts 2), they spoke languages and not gibberish. To be sure, the apostles did not all understand what they were saying, but the millions of foreigners who were gathered together on that day from all over the world and did not understand Hebrew or Aramaic understood exactly what the apostles were saying. The apostles were preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaiming the resurrection in these foreign languages, so that these foreigners would take the gospel back to their homeland and preach it and proclaim it. That gift of language was given by the Holy Spirit of God so that the gospel may spread through these millions of visitors by them taking the gospel they’ve heard back to their countries.
God always has a purpose, worshipping God always has a purpose, serving God must always have a purpose, ministering to others must always have a purpose, exercising of the spiritual gift must always have a purpose, and Paul (in the book of 1 Corinthians 14) is telling us that the purpose is to edify the body of Christ, to seek and save the lost, and to make the name of Jesus great so that the people can respond intelligently to the preaching of the gospel.
It is a dangerous thing to say, thus says the Lord, if it doesn’t come directly from the bible. When God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones, He did and the dry bones came alive (Ezekiel 37).
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” – Proverbs 18:21