One of the greatest debates between mainstream churches and spirit-filled churches is the gift and manifestation of speaking in tongues. There has been much arguing about whether this gift of God is still viable today or whether it stopped being given after the apostles died.
I believe that the Bible teaches that tongues is a gift of God meant for all people till Jesus returns. I also go to a Pentecostal church where I have seen people being baptized in the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, with myself being one. My wife grew up a Presbyterian and a Baptist and was taught that tongues are not biblical. She now speaks in tongues as well. I am not going to prove tongues are biblical in this post, but I wanted to look at the gift and experience in a broader sense and give a couple of general reasons that I think can also help prove that tongues is a work of God in a believer’s life.
1. It seems to be utter foolishness
God loves using weak and foolish things to confound the seemingly wise and strong:
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)
Speaking in tongues makes no sense to the natural mind. For the most part, it is a language that no man can understand. But it is not meant for man to understand. It is a direct communication to the Father utter by His Spirit. He has chosen to work through things that are utter foolishness to carnal minds and sophisticated people.
2. It takes faith
When a person asks God to be filled in the Spirit, the Lord doesn’t force their mouth open and make them speak strange syllables. While the Spirit inside will start giving “words” to speak, it takes the faith of a believer to open their mouth and speak them. The reason I think this helps show that this is a work of God is that God’s interaction with our lives require faith and “without faith it is impossible to please God.” This gift requires faith, which means that the act of this gift functioning in a believer’s life can please God.
3. It’s for the relationship, not for a show
This is a major point. Speaking in tongues is not for a show but to help enhance a person’s personal relationship with God. It boosts boldness and fervency in prayer. It helps a person stir themselves in the faith and love for God. The Bible speaks that it benefits the person greatly to speak in tongues. While there are corporate uses for the gift, the main point of speaking in tongues is talking to the Father Himself. How can talking to God and improving one’s relationship with Him be a bad thing?