Posts Tagged ‘mysticism’

Speaking in Tongues

September 20, 2010

There are three different purposes for the gift of speaking in tongues.  The gift can be a sign to unbelievers,  used for the edification of a group of believers, or for individual edification.  Edification basically means to strengthen our faith.

The sign to unbelievers is when an individual is given a message in a human language that the speaker does not known, but the listener, does know.  This is a powerful sign of God’s working.  It does not happen often, but there are still stories of it occurring from time to time.  (Acts 2:5-11)

The edification of a group of believers is when the gift of tongues is manifested in a group setting.  One person gives a message in tongues, then the same person, or someone else, gives a message in the common language, that is the interpretation of the tongues.  This is effectively two separate gifts, the gift of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.  This gift is far more common than the first gift, but its frequency varies from group to group. (I Corinthians 14:26-28)

The edification of the individual is the most common form of this gift.  Although not all Christians do speak in tongues, I believe that it is a gift that is available to all who desire to receive it.  It is basically used as a prayer language, where we have the opportunity to pray with, or in, the Holy Spirit.   (I Corinthians 14:4)

Speaking in tongues is a wonderful gift of God that is still experienced by believers today even as it was in New Testament times.

Experiencing God in Worship

September 15, 2008

I have always, for as long as I can remember, enjoyed the musical aspects of church services.  Some of my earliest memories are of standing next to my father singing hymns in the Lutheran church that we attended.  The song “Holy, Holy, Holy” will forever have a special place in my heart.  I remember the songs that we sang in Sunday School, and then at camp.  Those songs were special to me and they touched my heart.  Then I started attending Camp Zion, and was introduced to a whole new style of worship.  After a couple of years I was able to join the Christian Life Singers and become a part of the worship team playing percussion instruments.  I always wanted to be filled with the Spirit as I played so that in the same way that we can be led by the Spirit in our words and our actions, that I would be led by the Spirit as I played.

It has been thirty years since I first started playing on the worship team.   It has reached the point where I would rather be playing either drums or percussian than singing in the congregation. 

The wonderful thing is, that either playing or singing, I can have a wonderful sense of the presence of  God in worship.  The sense of the presence of God brings healing and refreshment to my mind, body, and spirit.  Usually,  I am almost oblivious to the rest of the congregation because my focus is on God.  Sometimes, though I will look around the congregation, just to get a sense of how others are responding.  Many are like me, lost in worship, enjoying an encounter with the Spirit of God, but some are passively waiting for the singing to be over.  I feel sorry for all of those people who seem unable to make the connection.  Who seem unaware of the presence of God.  It is possible that they too, are experiencing an encounter with God, only it is not outwardly expressed.  I hope that that is the case.  I can’t understand how they can be immune to what God can do in a simple worship service.  I hope and pray that everyone who is present will have an encounter with God, that in every worship service, all will be refreshed and renewed in their faith, even as I am refreshed and renewed in my own.