Monday, May 28, 2012

Be careful what you say.

I remember being told as a child to watch what I say. Watching my words imply that I know what I am saying. I understand the language I was speaking in. I was often warned not to make things up, as this could get me into serious trouble. This was good advice then, and it is still good now.

God calls men and women to his service all of the time. Some as pastors, some as secretaries, and some as Sunday school teachers. For those he calls, he also equips. He gives them the ability to understand his Word. He gives them knowledge, understanding, and the ability to preach his Word.

Sadly not everyone who preaches the Word of God was called to do so. Some crave power or position. Some are looking for a tax free way to make money. Some as simply wanting a platform to teach their own beliefs, that are not Biblical. The news is full of those who are great speakers, who's core message is more for self gain that Spiritual ones.

To preach the Word means we have to surrender our self to God. It's not easy. It shines a light not only on the world, but also self. I know that when I speak Gods Word, I find myself being convicted of the same things I am preaching. Some times it scares me to share with you things that God has laid upon my heart to share. I fear that I am not up to the task, but then  I remember that we are all subject to the teachings of God, and the joys of finding out just what it is that God has for us to know from his Holy Word.

That is why I do not jump into these writings without researching the subject first. I don't stand on religious principles and teachings. I rely upon an authority not found in man, but found only in God. His word is my only authority.

As I said in the very beginning, I do not want to share anything with you not from God. Some of the subjects I have written about are not easy to accept. They go against what we have been taught. They go against years of tradition and practice. It goes against established religion. It goes against God.

Jesus told us how we are to pray.

Matthew 6

American Standard Version (ASV)

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners  so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
“ Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘ Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘ Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
14  For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Fist of all, it appears that prayer is a privet thing. Of course I also believe that we are to lay hands on others and pray for them as well, and I will touch on that later. But for here, we need to know a few important things.  Prayer is not a public show. It is not to lift you up and show how spiritual you are. Prayer is a communication between you and God.

Verse 7 says not to use meaningless words. your words must have meaning. 

Matthew 7:8

New International Version (NIV)
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

If you don't know what you are asking for how can you expect to receive what you want? Our words therefore have power. Our speech is important. 

It is also important to note one of the most important things about this prayer pattern that our Lord gave us. He gave us human words to speak. Her did not give us a gobbled up group of sounds that no one could possibly understand. He did not instruct us to pray in a privet prayer language. 

Oh no, now I've gone and done it. I have told you something you probably don't want to hear. I have gone against the "church" belief , that there is in fact a secret prayer language. However, if this were true, why wouldn't our Lord and Savior have given us an example of such a language? 

My personal belief would be because there isn't one. But, this isn't about me, but rather, God. So we will defer to the expert, and see what He has to say to us instead. 

So, where is it that a secret prayer language is supposedly even mentioned in the Bible. 

Romans 8:26 

 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For j we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but k the Spirit Himself makes intercession 7 for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Some see the word groanings, and say "see, right there it says there is a privet prayer language. But, that's not what the verse says. It does not say that we are doing the groaning, but rather, the Holy Spirit does so on our behalf.  

I Corinthians 14:4-17 

4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; 1 for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by f revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? 7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? 9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without 2 significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a 3 foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12 Even so you, since you are 4 zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the 5 edification of the church that you seek to excel.
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may g interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. h I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing i with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say "Amen" j at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.

It is important to know that the writer is referring to a known human language. He is not talking about some kind of made up sounds. He is telling us the that what we say is important. it needs to be understood or, it has no value. 

It is also important to note that Paul says anything said in a tongue must be interpreted. If it must be interpreted, then it cannot be privet. therefor, there isn't a privet prayer language spoken of or implied in any of these verses.   

I referenced for this information. I think they did a great job of explaining things in an easy to understand way. But, I also looked at this site. It gave me a look at the other side of the coin so to speak, and helped me to gain some understanding of where this all started. It has not been an idea that has been long held.

One thing that bothers me about this praying in tongues thing is the instructions given by those seeking to get a person to use it. Sunday I watched as a young man gave his life to Christ and then was told to speak in tongues. He was told that it didn't matter what her said, just make any old sound. He was told not to think about it. Just to let it happen. 

It sounded to me like he was being instructed to abandon his mind, and to utter nonsense until it sounded like something otherworldly. Wow, that certainly does not sound scriptural. In fact, it is contrary to scripture. 

1 Peter 5:8

English Standard Version (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Notice sober-minded, and watchful, If you do not know what you are saying in this secret prayer language, then your mind is not sober, and you surly are not being watchful. The Devil will use these times when we are not in control of our mind, to influence our thoughts.

Galatians 5:23

English Standard Version (ESV)
23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Again self control is being mentioned. knowing what we are saying is control.

2 Timothy 1:7

English Standard Version (ESV)
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Our spirit is to be controlled as well. These same people say we are spirit beings, and our spirit knows so much more than we ourselves do, but this verse says God gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-control. If God gave us a spirit of self control, why ask someone to abandon it and start speaking nonsense.

James 1
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[d] 18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

 God did give us Spiritual gifts. They are good. and they are useful. God has told us about his gifts, and he has also told us that not all of us will have the same ones. Paul said that speaking in tongues was the least of the spiritual gifts, so why is it that some Christians make such a big deal about it, and even claim things about the gift that are not true. I can only say it is for self edification, and the fact that the truth has been misrepresented to them.

Philippians 4:4-9

English Standard Version (ESV)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

rea·son·a·ble  (rz-n-bl)
1. Capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person.
2. Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking: a reasonable solution to the problem.
3. Being within the bounds of common sense: arrive home at a reasonable hour.
4. Not excessive or extreme; fair: reasonable prices.
If your words make no sense to those around you, if you are not in control of your mind when you are speaking them, if you yourself have no idea what you are saying, you are not being reasonable.  

Remember that even on an off day, God has more power than the devil will ever have. But, when you twist Gods Word, and teach others to do the same, be careful. you are then giving the devil the power reserved for God. 

James 3:1-18

English Standard Version (ESV)

Taming the Tongue

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

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