4. The Spirit and the Vessel

Who we are can be divided many ways, but one way to look at ourselves is as spirit and vessel. Our spirit is that special, immaterial part of us that communes with God, and our vessel is our physical package of mind and body. In normal cases, it is our mind that controls our vessel. Our mind gives the commands, and our body follows. But when speaking in tongues, it is totally different.

Paul describes what happens by saying, "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful" (1 Cor 14.14). When praying in tongues, my spirit is communing with God outside of the control of my mind, outside of my understanding. My mind has nothing to do with this communication. In fact, when one tries by the strength of the mind to control what is happening, that is when the communication is lost.

But then, what is your body's part in this? The part of praying and worshiping in tongues that people can see and hear is the words you are speaking our loud. It is easy to confuse the sounds coming out with the actual spiritual communication, but they are distinct. My brother once described the physical manifestation of tongues (your mouth speaking) as the Spirit "throwing your vessel a bone" while the real communication is happening inside. I have to agree.

Speaking in tongues is a deep, spiritual experience and happens on the inside. God is not waiting to hear what you say on the outside! What is important is what is happening on the inside. With this in mind, one realizes that the actual sounds they are making do not even need to be perfect. The reality is that when we focus on the sounds we are making, we end up hijacking the experience with our minds!

My point in this section is that you do not need to feel silly or foolish because of the strange sounds that are coming out of your mouth. You just need to understand by faith that you are communicating via your spirit, not your mouth, and just let your vessel go with the flow.

The more you commune this way, the more you will learn to separate your mind from what your body is doing. The farther your mind is from the process, the better and more intense it is! As I mentioned in an earlier section, I find that praying in tongues is a great time for thought and meditation. With your body connected directly to your spirit, your mind is completely free. As my mind drifts through thoughts of life, God and scripture, I find clarity that is not available to me in normal cases.

I write all this to say that you must understand the distinction of your spirit from your mind, and learn to separate your mind from what the Spirit is doing through your vessel. But this all becomes easier as you grow in the gift through faith and practice.

<3. Stepping Out                             5. A Practical Approach>


Les said...

Brother, thank you for putting this out there into the world.

I have recently, this past week, been blessed with his gift. I spoke with my priest last night who helped me to understand more of what was happening, and after reading through all of your sections here, this part has really helped me to open up and enjoy this gift.

Thank you for putting your experiences and joys into words that are easy to access and to help.

Bless you for this message, and I thank you for helping me with my gift.

Praise be to God!

genasjewels said...

great word

Unknown said...

Thank you for this. i have prayed for the understanding of tongues and had so many questions that received multiple answers for but were all different and against each other. this helped me so much to understand.. God Bless

Unknown said...

Wow thank you man of God for this knowledge of speaking in tongues been wondering of why I just can't for once hear myself speak in tongues like fellow worshippers

Unknown said...

Wow thank you man of God for this knowledge of speaking in tongues been wondering of why I just can't for once hear myself speak in tongues like fellow worshippers

jhayes1117 said...

After reading step 3, I tried in in the car a few weeks ago and it worked! I can speak another language! It is amazing. I wish I knew what I was saying. It is strange to not have to think about what you are going to say. I can speak the unknown tongue and think about other things, which is hard to do when speaking in the natural. I am still getting used to it. Wow! I had wondered if it would be scary, but it isn't. It is thrilling! Thank you!

autoteacher. said...

Speaking in Tounges.

I was living in Cuba and the locals could not understand my Spanish. I have so much accent of the South some can't understand me when I speak English. The Cubans would say "Get them grits out of your mouth, gringo!"
I have seen people speak in tounges, I have seen people in the spirit levitate. The problem is this was a Haitian Voodoo ceremony.
I have been baptized into Christ according to Act 2:38, Believing the scriptures 1 Peter 3:20-21, Eph 4:5, Gal 3:25-27, Col 2:12, Romans 6, and that we are saved by Grace, not by works. I am a Christian and will honor no other name that man-made doctrine might profess. If I missed the Holy Spirit by obeying Jesus to be immersed for the remission of my sins into the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit then I missed it. If it is a gift How Can I Demand a Gift? I feel tounges is a lesser gift, and if one has it they should or will show love and grace to us weaker members. Where are the other gifts? Heal the sick? Yes, I have been healed of cancer by the laying on of hands and anointing by the Elders.
The name of Jesus is above all names. I have never had this speaking in tounges experience and reading 1 Corinthians 12 and all of the two letters I believe that there are more important gifts and being a gift does not the giver chose the one to be given the gift? I have served in many congregations as elder, teacher, and pastor/preacher always working with my hands so the body did not have to support us. In each case of someone exhibiting tounges in the gatherings, there was division and dissension. I am especially alarmed when someone hints that their pet gift, usually tounges is giving them a level someone else has not experienced and until the person speaks in tounges or has a baptism of the Holy Spirit they are not quite a Christian or may not be "Saved". This causes envy, strife, and division of the flock. God is not the author of confusion. When I see the pure perfect law of liberty being exhibited in the fruit the tongue speakers bear, in the life of the Christian, I may seek this gift, along with healing, miracles and more. Why can't we do these greater things? We can when we have greater love. I was healed by the laying on of hands of the elders of cancer in 2015 and I would never restrict the Holy Spirit or try and place God in a box. I have always taught the Love was first of all things and God's Grace is beyond our imagining in this world.
Where is the raising of the dead? The walking on water? I have walked on water but it was frozen therefore it was not by faith. I would rather spend time in prayer for my neighbors and be talking with God in my prayer place than seeking a gift of tounges. When you claim that those that can't babble or speak in tounges are lost then I have a problem with your teaching. You can only say that with conjecture and by twisting scripture. If one does speak and it is in accordance with the New Testament then it is fine with me but everywhere I hear about it there is strife and division over names, titles, sabbaths, reverends, manmade doctrines, rules, buildings and silly stuff that won't make a difference in Heaven. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for all who obey Jesus. Outward signs are Love for the lost, Love for your brothers and sisters, Love for your neighbors, forgiving your enemies and much Grace. Hebrews 12:15, Be the Church, not go to a church. Be Salt, shine the light, wash feet as you carry your cross.

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