Question: Is Speaking in tongues real?
“For if you have the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking only to God, since people won’t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all by mysterious.” – 1 Corinthians 14:2
Whenever I would see church services on t.v of people catching The Holy Ghost, standing straight up out of their wheel chair or speaking in tongues, I would think “this can’t be real” But, then again, I didn’t even think God was real at that time. My first encounter with someone speaking in tongues, blew my mind. During weekly bible study at my house, my friends and I would end our sessions standing in a circle holding hands and praying. Each one of us would take turns, and say a prayer. My friend Trittney (love you girl!) spoke in tongues frequently, that was her spiritual gift. The sounds that came out of her mouth, were nothing like I ever heard before. I could not mimic these sounds, even if I wanted too. It was simply, The Spirit speaking through her. It was not uncommon for her to burst out in tongues during prayer, and it was actually nice seeing her gift at work.
Another experience I had was when I visited a pentecostal church with my friends Brianna and Amani. I was amazed as how many people were singing, dancing and speaking in tongues. In fact, during the service the pastor declared that we all would speak in tongues. Every single person at church would speak in tongues! me? A few minutes later, there are three people surrounding me. A person over my head, standing on a chair behind me. Another standing in front and the other on the right of me. Each person, laying hands on my forehand and back, declaring I would speak in tongues. At first, I held back. Being put on the spot in front of the entire church was a bit awkward and extremely nerve racking. Nevertheless, it was a comforting feeling being around believers with such extraordinary faith. They truly believed I would speak in tongues, even though I doubted this ability. The more the preacher and 2 other women spoke over me “Let it out”, “In the name of Jesus!” and “Lord, speak to her!” the more my faith grew. My mind released any doubt, anxiety or worry that was within. In that moment, I let go of any fear and focused completely on God. Goosebumps covered my arms, tears poured down my face and my knees became weak. The women held me up and continued speaking over me. They had so much power and faith in their voices, it was hard not to feel the Holy Spirit. And for a split second, I spoke in tongues. I couldn’t believe it. Those sounds came out my mouth? In that moment, the church went wild! At the end of the service, they gave me a certificate that said I received The Holy Ghost!
The bible explains that we are each given a spiritual gift (check out the “What is your Spiritual Gift?” post). Speaking in tongues is a type of spiritual gift. This gift is given to specific individuals whom God has chosen. Not everyone has this ability, but those that do, have God to thank.
“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have” – 1 Corinthians 12:7-11