The Gifts Part 86
Another misconception that is wildly popular when it comes to the gift of speaking in tongues is that when an individual speaks in tongues they are somehow in a trance. We are not shamans, we do not burn herbs or chew peyote, and we do not go into a trance or into a trance like state when we speak in tongues. Throughout the manifesting of the gift tongues we have control over our mental faculties, we have control over our bodies, and we can choose to speak in tongues, or we can choose to be silent.
If it were not so, if we didn’t have full control over the use of the gift of tongues, or of our mental faculties then it would have been pointless for Paul to instruct those of the church of Corinth, and by extension us, on the exercising of the gift of tongues in public worship.
1 Corinthians 14:27, “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.”
If one had no control of their faculties, if one could not control when they spoke in tongues, then the aforementioned instructions as to how the gift of tongues ought to be used within the congregation, would have been utterly useless, serving only to add a burden to the Body of Christ, a law which could not be fulfilled or obeyed by the fellowship no matter how much they might have wanted to.
God does not ask of us that which we cannot do. God is not a petulant child, God is not a cruel taskmaster, and He will not ask you to do something He knows you have no way doing just to watch you fail. If God asks something of us, then it is within our ability to do it, and if the word of God says that two or at the most three ought to speak in tongues and even then each in turn, then it is within our purview and ability to manifest the gift of tongues in an orderly manner within the church.
Under the guise of not desiring to stifle the Holy Spirit, some refuse to deal with the issue of order within the church, while others take advantage of the absence of order to manifest the gift of tongues simply to draw attention to themselves. I realize the preceding might sound jaded to some, but it is a truth that has been proven within many churches time and again.
Our singular desire must be to worship God in spirit and in truth, and if by doing so we hurt some feelings or alienate certain overzealous individuals, in the long run it is worth the momentary confrontation. Chaos only breeds more chaos, and disorder only breeds more disorder. We need look no further than the church of Corinth and some of its aberrant practices in order to see that there is something to be said for order within the fellowship, especially when it is God imposed order.
We are not our own, we no longer belong to ourselves, and as such we must do as the Master commands for only in obedience we will receive the reward of our labors, and only in obedience will we experience the fullness of what God has in store for His beloved.
The word of God is explicit enough, and the instructions clear enough, wherein the Body of Christ ought to be like a locomotive on the tracks, headed toward its destination without detour, variation or diversion. Instead, much of the church today can be compared with a group of rowdy teens in a field, on mopeds, trying to outdo each other by spinning their tires and revving their engines.
God established order concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the church for our own good, and for the wellbeing of the entire body. The rules are there for a good reason, and when we attempt to circumvent or altogether ignore the rules that God has set forth, what we are insinuating if only tacitly so is that we know better than God.
In light of the fact that Paul tells us we can rein in the gift of tongues, and choose whether not we manifest it, those who insist that they have no control over their gift either don’t know what they are talking about, or are under the influence of another spirit.
Nowhere in the Bible will you find that a certain individual was possessed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God does not possess an individual, the Holy Spirit of God inspires them, and as such even the spirit of a prophet is subject to the prophet.
We have enough examples of possession within the word of God, from the man who wandered the cemetery cutting himself with stones, to the one who was thrown either into fire or water, to understand that when one is possessed they have no control over their faculties, mental or otherwise.
The Holy Spirit respects the personality of the servant, He does not possess an individual making them do what they don’t want to, because the Holy Spirit’s role is to inspire, to guide, to instruct, and not to possess as the devil does.
We must understand the difference between possession and inspiration and in so doing realize that much of what is being called the work of God today is nothing more than varying degrees of demonic possession.
Even to my own eyes I seem unsympathetic at this point, but there is just so much deception within the house of God, there are just so many works being passed off as godly which produce poisoned fruit, there are so many hearts being broken, there are so many hopes being shattered, there are so many souls being shipwrecked that I am willing to suffer derision, contempt and disdain, if it will serve to enlighten even one soul.
The work of God is real! The work of the Holy Spirit is real! But so are the works of darkness and the work of the enemy. Know the difference, and you will not be deceived, swayed, or persuaded into believing something that is not of God.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.