Thursday, January 7, 2010

Seeking Truth

This may be a tough one. It's been on my heart and mind for a long time. I have researched, asked lots of questions, kept an open mind, prayed, and searched my Bible several times over in search of answers. I definately dont feel like an expert, but I am finally at peace with what I believe to be true.

I am blogging about "prayer language" or " "speaking in tongues".

A few years ago I attended a women's retreat hosted by Joyce Meyers. There was something like 5000 women in attendance. The worship was absolutely amazing, the message she brought was phenomenal, and the fellowship with the women from my church will be forever etched in my memory and my heart.

As will what happened at the very end.

She brought a gentleman out on the stage and he began talking to us about prayer language. Now you have to understand that at this point in my walk I'm pretty naive about some things, and I didnt grasp what he was talking about until part way into it. My mind finally began to grasp what he was saying, and I was interested. Very interested. This is a subject I knew about and had read about but never really tried to understand. I was doing good to pray in normal everyday language, let alone an unknown tongue. I was having a really hard time wrapping my brain around what he was teaching, but he had my attention. Imagine!! A language satan does not understand!!

I was doing ok until he asked all of us to join him in talking in tongues.
All 5000 or so of us.
At one time.
Talk about confusion. Not every woman in the stadium participated. There were several from my group who did not, but also some who did. I did not.

I listened for a moment. To the chaos. To the confusion. Then I did the only thing I knew to do. No, I did not join in. How could I? This went against every thing I had ever read in my Bible about speaking in tongues. Instead, I sat down in my seat and cried. I begged for understanding, I prayed for enlightenment. All to no avail. It was all I could do to stay in the stadium at all. It didnt feel good, and my spirit just grieved. The only words that I could think at the time was that this was evil. I was so angry and hurt.

It has never left me. What it has done is send me on a search for truth. Again, this was not Biblically sound in my mind. I will not compromise when it comes to truth. I never EVER want anyone to feel the way I did that day, nor do I want to be the cause of it. So I have been on a quest.

I fully believe in this gift. I know that it is Biblical, and I know that it happened the first time at Pentecost. I fully believe that I also have this gift. I have felt the rumble in my spirit. I also believe that we were shown how to use this gift and how NOT to use it.

I have read some pamphlets on how to recieve the Spirit. I have talked to several people of different denominations that I respect in the fullest sense of the word. I have told them my story. Its amazing how many different answers you get.

I couldnt wrap my brain around one of the books, even though it is supposed to be a guide to understanding. I asked another person who is married to a preacher about my experience and the response I got made me laugh. I was told that this person could sit at the kitchen table with me and have me speaking in tongues in 5 minutes or less!! Like a mere man could "give" me a spiritual gift! I believe in laying on of hands and receiving the gift, but not someone teaching me "how" to. This same person told me I had already made up my mind to be afraid of this gift before going to this retreat, even though as I stated earlier, I was naive, except to what I had read about it.

I read up on Pentecost. I am to understand that when the Spirit came upon the believers, the unbelievers understood them in their own language.
ACTS 6 -When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

When asking about this I could not get an answer that could be backed up BIBLICALLY. I dont care what man "thinks". I want proof, I want solid, no holes in the bucket, answers.

1 Corinthians 14-22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers;
27If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.
33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
39Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

The verses I have posted above speak loud and clear to me about my grieving spirit at that conference. I have really been in prayer and in my Bible over this. I want to understand. To reiterate, I believe in this gift.
I am just tired of being told that if I do not speak it I am not truly saved. I wont bend and I wont break, I wont water down my faith. I must be a light for future generations. (great song!) I seek the truth, and the only thing that makes sense is what I have learned in the Book. I think people try to make Christianity complicated, and it is not.

There is so much more I could say on this, and probably more that I should say, but for lack of time and fear of overwhelming the reader, I should stop. I do want to say however, that I am not closeminded. I will continue to seek answers and maybe I will find some. I am definately open to discussion and welcome it.

In the mean time, God has given me the best answer. The reason WHY I am finally at peace with what I believe about this subject. Where did I get it? In HIS WORD of course.

1 Corinthians 16-13 Be on your guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be brave. Be strong. 14 Be loving in everything you do.


Seasoned Warrior said...

Very interesting!! I related to it from years ago, and I agree I thought it was confusion when everyone prayed out loud.
People can NOT teach you how to pray in the Spirit -- only the Spirit can do that!
You CAN have the Spririt even without the evidance of speaking in Tougnes.
Took me a long time to receive - first I too had to research to make sure it was from G-d, for satan has a conterfit for everything. Then tears would come because I didn't get it and thought I was not good enough. And also there was the embarasment of baby talking, in front of people,, I think not. Finally I relaxed and just loved on Him.
Once driving home from a great servcice,I just started praising Him and got lost in the moment, next thing I know I was saying words I did not understand - I leasoned carefully, keep doing it for it felt good and seemed just right.
We can only pray so long in english before we rund out or repeat, the Spirit carrys it to a much deeper leave.
Weather you do it for the benifit of the congregation, or your own personal life -- you can not speak enough in your heavenly lanugage.
"You know not what to pray for but the Spirit does".
Now if I was in a group were everyone prays such, it would not bother me anymore, for you don't lesson to the noise but get lost in praying.
If you have recieved already, it is a form of getting to know the Spirit. If you are still seeking - relax, G-d knows your heart and when the time is just right you will get the desires of your heart.
Not everyone has great advice, some can even cause confusion - -

Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

Way to Go broaching this touchy subject! You know my thoughts already, but I just wanted to say I'm proud of you for writing!

Stephanie said...

I dont understand "doing it for the benefit of the congregation". One of the verses says that this gift is to be a sign for unbelievers not believers. Also, 1 Corinthians 14 -4 says that "He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself. But he who prophesies edifies the church." So do you have an interpreter at your church? I have never been to a church like yours, with the exception of the retreat I attended, but there are churches here that I am thinking I may go VISIT, just to see.