The gift of tongues is often times difficult to approach but it is biblical so it must be approached. We can all be filled with the Holy Spirit but there is diversity in the gifts given by the Holy Spirit. The gift of tongues is one but there are others and not everyone receives this gift. There are three types of tongues. First is the evidence God has poured his spirit into your life. Then, there gift of tongues that edifies self. This is seen in your personal prayer life. The final type is the gift of tongues for interpretation to edify the church. Tongues are spoken in unknown languages yet they can be interpreted through the miracle of the interpretation of tongues which is not the same as translation. Other gifts that can be received through the Holy Spirit include that of knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, miracles, discerning of spirits, diverse tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
There are two types of faith that we can possess. Head faith is sense and evidence based. It is faithless but believing. This is displayed by Thomas in the book of John (John 20:24-29). Heart faith is spiritual based. It is not based on our physical senses. This type of faith is displayed by Abraham in the book of Romans (Romans 4:17-21). Many times we say show me and I will believe while Christ is telling us to believe first and he will show us. Very few people rely on or even tap into their spiritual senses. It is hard to believe in things that are invisible. It takes faith to believe in and pray to an invisible God. To exercise out faith we must have a working knowledge of His Word and of God’s will. Through this, God will be able to reveal things to us, through His Spirit, that are not available to us through physical senses. We lack knowledge because we let other things that entertain us distract us. We need to get to the point where we can discern the voice of God and the only way to do that is to get to know Him. We may not completely understand Him but we don’t have to understand Him to know Him and believe in Him.
Human beings are comprised of three tiers. The body is how we communicate with the world around us. The soul is how we communicate with ourselves. The spirit is how we communicate with Christ. We are constantly at battle with the spiritual world as the devil fights to build strongholds that we are expected to tear down. Our battle is against the darkness, therefore, our weapons for warfare are not physical but they are powerful! God provides us with three basic weapons: prayer, fasting and his Word. Prayer is like air to your spirit man. We have to be in prayer constantly, whether it be a short prayer, public prayer, or prayer in your private prayer closet. We have to remember that we are not praying for the glory of others, but praying for the glory of God. Fasting intensifies your prayer life. When you fast, you should not show it! Do not brag about fasting, instead do it in private. God will reward you openly for what you do in private. Our faith is built through prayer and fasting. Finally, the word is food for our spirit man. Just as we pray daily, we have to feed our spirit man the word of God daily.
Colossians 3:15 says “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” This phrase is an imperative, meaning it is a demand from Christ. To be thankful is to be grateful and mindful of favors. You cannot be thankful without thinking about what you are thankful for and who you are thankful to. It’s hard to be thankful when you are not focused on the things of Christ. It’s easy to be thankful when we see things from God’s perspective instead of our own humanistic perspectives Being thankful should not be something that we do, it should be something that we are. We have to turn our momentary thanksgiving to long-lasting thanksliving!
We have to trust God to do what he says he is going to do. That is how he blesses us the way he wants to. God wants us to take care of his business so he can take care of our business. After he takes care of our business we have to continue to praise God. In the story in the bible where God heals the lepers, only 1 out of 10 of the lepers went back to God and said thank you. Sometimes, we feel entitled to blessings. When we think that someone is supposed to do something for us, we rarely say thank you. Being thankful can bring you all of the joy in the world, but without thankfulness in your heart, bitterness can take over.
The stories that we read about in the Bible were just regular people like you and me. Some of them loved Jesus and some of them did not. Life is not about what you do, it is about who you are. Christianity us about the relationship that you have with Jesus Christ. Without a relationship with Christ, there is no way into heaven. You cannot buy your way into heaven. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. He plants little seeds of sin within us. It feels good when it starts, but eventually it will destroy you and the bigger the sin gets, the harder it is to destroy, We have to destroy it while it is small and kill it before it kills us. Just as Jesus did not fall into temptation from the devil, neither should we.
If your physical body is malnourished, you would be physically unable to comprehend the things going on around you. Your organs begin to shut down, your vision becomes blurry, and your hearing weakens. The same goes for your spirit man. Just as you keep your physical body strong be nourishing it, you keep your spirt man strong by feeding it. One meal per week is not good enough. You have to feed your spirit man daily as you do your physical body. Jesus said eat my flesh and drink my blood. His flesh is our daily bread which is food to our spirit man. His blood is like spiritual water and air. We need to pray every day. Spend quality time with God. See what starts happening if your feed your spirit man the word of God three times per day. We have the power to change this whole world but we have to allow God to use us. He can only do it if we give our spirit man the strength it needs.
Jeremiah 19:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Mankind is inwardly corrupt but Christ gives us hope. We have to renew our minds and crucify our flesh daily. It takes Jesus to overcome this world. God says we are to occupy until he comes because there will be no justice until his divine will comes. In order to “occupy” we must pray, fast and develop our character. Keep a smile on your face and joy in your heart! John 16:33 says “these things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” You can be cheerful because God has overcome the world, which means we have overcome the world!
Many of the things that we think are not necessarily true. In fact, you cannot even believe half of the things that you see. We need to think of ourselves, and others, the way that Christ thinks about us. In order to do that, we need to stop trying to change the people around us and focus on changing ourselves so that we may become more Christ-like. We have to change our playground, our playmates, and our play things. There are three things that we can do that will help us. We must first read. Reading and studying the word of God is how we instill truth within us. Next we must evaluate ourselves. You cannot retain what you learn without testing yourself. Finally, we must practice, practice, practice, because practice makes perfect.
There are 4 different types of spirits that we may encounter. Those are human spirits, God’s spirit, angelic spirits, and demonic spirits. There are people who believe that all illness is based in science whereas some believe that illnesses are demonic. Actually, some illnesses are demonic and some are biological. We not only need to know how to discern demonic spirits but we also have to know how to fight them. We have to be careful what we let into our spirit. You have to pray and fast in order to deal with spirits especially since some demonic spirits are only defeated through prayer and fasting. In chapter 5 of St. Mark, we encounter the story of when Jesus cast legions of demons out of a man and into a flock of pigs, who then ran over a cliff and killed themselves. After the townspeople found out about this, instead of thanking Jesus they asked him to leave. They chose the pigs over Christ. A lot of times, we want to hold on to the stuff that we have instead of letting it go. God wants to give us better and he cannot do that until we let go!