Order in the Court of Praise  One-a-Day Friday 9/8/23

A life worthy

Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes?  Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?  So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.  Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.  If, then, I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.  So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church (1 Corinthians 14:6-12).

I once attended a relatively charismatic church. 

It was exciting, and fun, and loud–but you had to be careful. 

For example, we would, on occasion, have a person stand up and speak out in tongues. I’ll tell you, it was electrifying for a baby Christian like I was at the time. When a person spoke out, there was a man–we’ll call him Larry–who would interpret the message. Larry often received the interpretation for such messages, which gained him no little bit of esteem among the congregants.

Until Larry let it slip that he had no idea what people were saying in their tongues. 

He was just making stuff up to avoid an embarrassing situation.

Beloved, that terrified me.

It should terrify you.

Yes, Paul says there should be an interpretation for tongues in the church, but that interpretation should come to a person and through a person, not from a person.

Otherwise, you’ve got someone claiming to speak for God who is making stuff up, and the Bible calls that a false prophet, and please don’t stand so close to me. 

Our God is not a God of confusion, but of order. We don’t want church to sound like a middle school band on the first day of class, but neither do we want Larry.

So, if you’re feeling charismatic, and you feel the need to speak out in tongues, give it a go–and see if there’s an interpretation. If there is, OK. If not, well, save it for the prayer closet.

Happy Friday, Beloved

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