A Heavenly Language

Speaking in tongues was something that once terrified me, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I experienced people speaking in tongues in a disordered way, and I know this happens a lot in the church. People will speak out loud in different tongues when it should be a precious moment between you and God speaking to him in a heavenly language. Only and only if there is someone to interpret should you speak louder. This is clearly stated in the Bible and we need to obey and not scare people away. I know I am not the only one who was turned away from the ways of the Spirit because of people making a scene. It’s not about you. It’s about God. Don’t put yourself on this platform because you can make strange sounds with your mouth. These gifts should not be used to edify yourself, but used to glorify God. Too many people abuse the gifts and do not use them properly to build up the church. Here is what Paul says about speaking in tongues:

For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God…He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophecies edifies the church…Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me…For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.” 1 Cor 14:2,4

I experienced an orderly way of someone speaking in tongues. I was sitting on a bed in between two of my friends. The friend on my left was praying in tongues and the friend on my right was praying in English. In that moment I felt as though one was interpreting what the other was praying. And I felt the presence of Holy Spirit in that moment. I was not afraid of the unfamiliar language I was hearing because one, it was coming from a trusted source, and two I was also hearing someone in a similar breathe praying in my native language.

A friend of mine and her mom both speak in tongues and at one point they were telling me to just start saying random words, and make up sounds and it would happen. Deep in my spirit I knew it wouldn’t. I felt God telling me it would happen but not in that moment. We can ask God for things and he will give it to us, but our hearts need to be in the right place and ready to receive and in that moment I was not ready. 

6 months later I was lying on the floor in Thailand in the presence of the Holy Spirit, God had used me to pour out his spirit and baptize others in the Holy Spirit and then he flattened me on my back. As I was laying there I was praying and it happened. Unfamiliar words were coming out of my mouth and I started laughing and crying! It was happening. This occurred after I had obeyed him by praying over his children and showing them a God they had never met, introducing them to Holy Spirit and then God gave me a gift, the gift of tongues. And I wasn’t speaking loudly, no one else could hear me. I was having a conversation with God in a different tongue. It was a precious moment between me and my heavenly Father.

(This is an excerpt from my book “A God You’ve Never Met” which is still in the process of being written.)

(In Thailand worshiping with the Thai and Burmese Refugees.)

Face TO Face

It’s been 6 months since my friend Amy passed on to her reward. Not a day goes by that I don’t want to call her up and laugh, cry, pray or whatever with her. I have photos galore, journal entries, memory upon memory to keep her alive in my mind and my heart. But, I miss that face to face, voice to voice time.

This summer I have a part in helping to care for Amy’s little girl who has just recently turned 9. She was just 8 when her Mommy died. Do you remember how long days seemed to be when you were a kid? Time seems to drag. You want to grow up. You want tomorrow to come because you have great plans. You feel like it takes forever to wait, wait, wait, wait.

Just the other day she said something to me that really dug into me. I’ve been pondering it since. It made me think about our relationship with God, our Father.

She said, “I am starting to forget what it was like to be with Mommy.”

OH….goodness. I thought, “how could this be?” But, upon further reflection, for a 9 year old girl, 6 months is an eternity! Of course she has pictures of her Mom that she sees every day. But, since she was just 6 years old her Mommy had been sick a lot. Especially the last 6 months before she died, Amy couldn’t do what most Mommies were doing with their little girls.

I realized that it is partially up to me to keep memories of Amy alive. It is up to me as Katy gets older to tell stories about her Mom so that she knows just what an amazing person and friend she was. I knew her Mom very well for 20 years, so I must pass that knowledge on.

You see, Katy remembers generally how her Mommy was. She knows what she looks like. She remembers that she was hilarious and kind and that she loved her dearly. But, she is starting to forget the details, the specifics. She also didn’t have enough years with her to build a huge bank of personal memories and knowledge of her Mom.

This is kind of what it’s like with our relationship to God. When we step back and don’t spend time in the Word or in prayer talking to Him on a daily basis, we start to forget what it was like “being with Daddy.” We remember the gist – that He is good and kind – but we start to get dim on the details. The promises He gives us that we can claim. Reminders of His loving and generous nature and the way He wants us to be with others.

Memories of special times with God are great. Gaining knowledge by listening to others who are very close to God is great.

BUT, nothing compares to the daily FACE TO FACE personal time that He desires to have with us. That is where our relationship gets deep. That is where we gain the most intimate knowledge of our Savior and Creator.

Comfort Zone, it was nice knowing you.

In this season of my life, God has been challenging me to be obedient and walk in boldness; two things that do not come naturally to me. It’s about stepping out of my comfort zone and saying yes to anything God has for me. And some of those things are not easy.

Comfort Zone

“How do I do that?” you may ask. First it’s about having INTIMACY with the Lord so you are able to hear his voice and do what he says. He wants us to take time out of our “busy” lives to sit and be still with him. I feel like I write about this often, but that’s because it is SO IMPORTANT! Having intimacy enables us to hear his voice, and when we hear his voice we know what direction he wants us to go in.

 

Obedience means compliance with someone’s wishes or orders or acknowledgment of their authority. If we love God we will want to be obedient to him. I want to please him. I want to show him love in return. However, no matter what I do or what I say, God loves me anyway! I am a sinner and God still loves me. I mess up every day and God still loves me. The least I could do is be my best for him.

 

John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father in heaven will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

 

Boldness means showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous. This is how I want to live my life every day. And I feel obedience and boldness go together. I have a recent example, and I don’t give this example to prove what I did, it’s about what Jesus did.

 

Last week in the evening I went to look out at the ocean. I sat on a short wall and stared off into the endless blue ocean thinking about God and his love for me. A group of 4 people came up and stood to the left of me speaking another language. They were Asian and I could tell they were visiting. I felt God tell me to go over and talk with them. I sat for a few minutes more and then got up and headed over to the group. I said hello to them and asked them where they were from. They seemed shocked that I came up to talk with them. They were a group of friends from China visiting for 6 months. I introduced myself and told them to enjoy themselves here in beautiful San Diego with the wonderful ocean. They smiled and nodded at me and said thank you. Then I said good-bye and was on my way.

 

I didn’t mention Jesus. I didn’t force anything upon them. I was obedient to the voice of God to talk with them. Who knows the impact that made, but I know I brought the light of Jesus to them simply by saying hi and engaging in short conversation.

 

God wants me, he wants us, to be a vessel for him to spread HIS love to HIS children. It doesn’t matter what people think of you. All that matters is that you are doing what your father in heaven is telling you to do. He wants us to be obedient, step out in boldness, and love his children. We are the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth. We are a light in the darkness. We are vessels of God’s love to the world!

 

Are you taking that responsibility lightly? Or are you using what God has given you and sharing it with the world? His children are all around you. Love them one person at a time.

 

1 John 6 “And this is love; that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

 

Psalm 138:3 “When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.”

 

Bold as Lions