Thursday, September 14, 2006

Recently I was reminded of something that I haven’t done a lot of in public lately.
Namely this thing we call “speaking in tongues”

At our Snow Camp over the weekend, I had the opportunity to share some thoughts on what God wants to do with this generation.
Part of that was God releasing his anointing in a new way that this generation could clearly identify as coming from God.
I had the opportunity to pray for each person at camp.
But I felt it right to pray over them mostly in tongues…

I went away thinking about that.
I wondered if it seemed strange to those present that I would do such a thing?
Because it is not something you hear as much as we used to in Church circles.

For those of you wondering what I am even talking about…
“Speaking in Tongues” is very simply a prayer language that the Holy Spirit gives us when we are baptized in him.
You can read at the start of the Book of Acts the following…

Acts 2:1-13
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!" Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, "What does this mean?"
Some, however, made fun of them and said, "They have had too much wine."

Even after all the history we have had between then and now, it still sounds strange to many people.

I love what the Apostle Paul taught on the subject!

1 Corinthians 14:5
I would like every one of you to speak in tongues

Paul is real clear that this is for all of us!
The Prophet Joel said that God would pour out his Spirit on ALL flesh.
All the believers who were first filled with the Spirit of God at Pentecost were able to do it.
It wasn’t something for some special group only!

1 Corinthians 14:18
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.

It was something Paul encouraged we should do as much as possible. He even seems competitive about it?
One of the reasons being, that it encourages our spirit. It gives you things to say to God when your human words run out...

1 Corinthians 14:22
Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers

Paul even says that it is something we should not hide away. That it is ‘right’ to be public with it. That it is a sign that God is doing something in our generation.
At the very least people will ask questions….and that is a good thing!

1 Corinthians 14:39b
...and do not forbid speaking in tongues

From time to time over history, people have tried to stop Christians from speaking in tongues…
You won’t get that from us!

So if you filled with the Spirit, please pray...please pray in tongues
Let your prayer language grow and develop.
Don’t let it die!

If you think that you are not filled the Spirit of God, talk to us. It is for you!
We would love to talk to you about it and pray for you...and see God fill your life in this way.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

God wants you to think!

Why do I say that?
Well firstly I believe God gave us all a brain.
Secondly, God wants us to use it to all it’s designed ability. That bit he leaves up to us!

Last week I was looking up some trivia questions on the net and found a site that told me the names of the “3 Wise Men”. I was shocked! Who was able to work this out?
What amazed me even more is that I haven’t been able to find any record in the Bible of “3 Wise Men”. What it does say is that there were a group called the ‘Magi’. No mention of 3 men…

It reminded me to always know for myself what the Word of God says…
Yes listen to what is taught and be teachable, while always checking it out for yourself and coming to terms with it yourself.

I love quoting that passage in Philippians 2:12
“continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”

I think God wants us to understand. He wants us to think.
God is not so much interested in out religious stories or folk tales that can be passed down.
He wants you and I to understand personally what he thinks.
He wants you and I to know what he has done and what he is about to do.

That is again the beauty of the time we live in.
A time where most of us can read and most of us have access to the Word of God.

Please understand that I am not encouraging you to be cynical about everything that is taught you. That would be swinging the pendulum too far. Instead, I want to encourage you to learn about our faith for yourself. Ask questions, wrestle with it.
Then you will feel more connected to it and understand better how to explain what you believe to others.