It can quite often be difficult to know exactly how to use our faith and the gifts the Lord has given us. A few days ago I wrote that I had recently come to accept that many intelligent people might well never be able to accept the truth of Jesus, just because I told them about him. And a friend of mine made a similar comment that she had thought it was her job, when she was new to faith, to defend Jesus to the non-believers she knew. In my opinion, the focus of church mission needs to be turned back in on itself for a good while. It seems to me that there is a great need to preach powerfully to the converted. It seems that the church today is perceived as spiritually weak by society in general. I have felt quite strongly for quite a time that the church as a whole, needs to address its spiritual fitness. We can not hope to bring the Good News to those in our communities unless we, ourselves, begin to better understand God’s will for our lives and start to embrace his spiritual gifts with a true maturity of faith.
1 Corinthians 14:18-25 NLT
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you. But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language. Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind. It is written in the Scriptures: “I will speak to my own people through strange languages and through the lips of foreigners. But even then, they will not listen to me,” says the Lord. So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”
I have long believed that the normal, everyday language of the church, might as well be a foreign language for all that un-churched people understand. We need to address the way we speak about faith so that anyone living today can understand. If we don’t address this, people will continue to believe all christians are crazy. Forget about speaking in tongues, we need to get to grips with speaking in plain english to each other so that when non- believers come to church, they can understand and hear the gospel message in their own language.
Job 4:1-7:21, 1 Corinthians 14:18-40, Psalms 37:30-40, Proverbs 21:27