By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger
Yes, the blessings just keep coming, don’t they? We previously dove into the first four benefits of speaking in tongues: it’s proof positive that you are born again, it builds up or “edifies” you, it allows you to speak divine mysteries, and it’s specific prayer for when you don’t know how or what to pray.
Wow, that’s a powerful spiritual tool! But in this case, unlike Porky Pig’s iconic Looney Tunes ending, that’s NOT all, folks!
What IS Speaking in Tongues?
To reiterate, speaking in tongues is the “external or outward manifestation in the senses realm that gives testimony to the inward reality and presence of the holy spirit,” as summarized by Christian Family Fellowship (CFF) co-founder John Shroyer in Living in God’s Power.
It is one of nine different manifestations of the spirit, like a divine toolkit, as detailed in I Corinthians 12.
“A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial.” I Corinthians 12:7 HCSB
Speaking in tongues is also referred to as ‘praying in the spirit,’ ‘praying in tongues,’ or in 21st-century vernacular, ‘your heavenly language.’
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels…” I Corinthians 13:1 NKJV
Why Do It?
“I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…” I Corinthians 14:5 NIV
That is God speaking through Paul. Paul goes on to list other manifestations that we should operate in that divine toolkit, but for now, we are continuing our focus on speaking in tongues.
God never asks us to do something without a reason or a benefit, so what are some of the benefits of speaking in tongues? There are at least 16 given in the Word of God – today, we will look at four more of them.
Benefit #5: It Strengthens You
“…I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,” Ephesians 3:14-16 NKJV
What is one of the ways we strengthen ourselves through the spirit? By speaking in tongues!
When I worked with a youth group at CFF, we used to get stronger in speaking in tongues through what we called “manifestation workouts” (I’ve heard it called “practice sessions” in some circles). Our holy spirit that we receive when we confess and believe Jesus is Lord is like a muscle: you never lose it, but it can certainly get weaker or stronger depending on how much you USE it!
Since you can speak in tongues (if not out loud, in your head) anytime and anywhere, it is a powerful way to increase your spiritual muscle.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” II Corinthians 4:16 NKJV
Benefit #6 & 7: It Brings Rest AND Refreshing
God created our body, soul, and spirit to all be connected (I Thessalonians 5:23-24). You may have experienced this when you’re emotionally drained and more prone to get sick, or really tired and more irritable.
But, it works the opposite way as well. When our spirit is strengthened, it helps strengthen our soul, which connects to our body.
“For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”…” Isaiah 28:11, 12 NKJV
I Corinthians 14:21 confirms that the “another tongue” in Isaiah is referring to speaking in tongues. That divine tool can bring rest to your soul when you need calming or rest to your body when you require physical sleep.
In the first four benefits, we learned that speaking in tongues can be prayer for just what is needed. Speaking in tongues can also bring an invigoration of the spirit, soul, and body, if that’s what you need. It’s like spiritual Red Bull without the side effects!
I have met believers who speak in tongues at night to help them calm their brain and heart, and help them get to sleep. I have also met believers who use a 15-minute S.I.T. break instead of a catnap to help them wake up and keep going for the rest of the day! (me, I tend towards the calming benefit)
Benefit #8: It Praises God
Sometimes, our own words just aren’t enough to tell God how amazing He is, or to express the gratitude in our hearts. So, you can speak in tongues instead!
“If you bless with the spirit…you indeed give thanks well,” I Corinthians 14:16-17
“The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the holy spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” Acts 10:45-46 NIV
Acts also calls speaking in tongues “speaking the wonderful works of God.” When you are just bursting with the goodness of God or joy of the spirit, you can express that to Him by speaking in tongues!
Let’s finish by honing in on the first part of those Acts 10 verses: “the gift of the holy spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.” In all of B.C. time – before Christ – the people of the one God (Elohim, Yahweh, Adonai) were always Jews/Israelites. His love and provision was funneled towards them because they were connected to Abraham and recipients of the original promise.
There are sprinklings of stories throughout the Bible of God showing love, mercy, and protection to those outside the Jewish faith, but the Jews were still always the “chosen people.”
But NOW it’s ‘A.C.’ – after Christ! (the Latin calendar term is officially A.D.). That promise has been extended to ANYONE who acknowledges Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of Abraham’s faith.” Romans 4:16 NKJV
“Now you, brothers and sister, like Isaac [Abraham’s son], are children of promise…Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.” Galatians 4:28,31 NIV
Now, that’s a reason to praise our Father God!