Posts Tagged ‘foolish things of the world’

I Am Strong

Biblical Truths often seem backward and contrary to common sense… even crazy. Sometimes this is because they are stated in paradoxical ways, like the parables Jesus taught. Even when these Truths are stated in a straightforward way; they still strike us as odd, because they do not conform to worldly thought patterns we have to negotiate.

Perhaps our greatest challenge as Christians is to understand the Biblical principle of strength being released through weakness… notice the following verses.

“Consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that he might nullify the things that are, that no one should boast before God.” (1 Cor 1:26-29)

“(God) has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10)

Worldly wisdom says that power is rooted in natural resources like money, good looks and intellegence. Since these resources are limited, true power is always limited to just the few individuals with access and favor.

God’s wisdom says that true power comes from the Holy Spirit and has no correlation with prestige or riches, that are hinged to natural resources. A persons influence in this world is not some kind of license to heavenly influence. True power; as it relates to the Kingdom of God, is accessible to anyone who depends on God. Jesus was the personification of this principle… anointed as the “Christ” or “Messiah”. He was the Prince of Peace; even without religious ordination or title, yet His power was directly connected to His anointing from heaven. His perfect obedience to the Heavenly Father released His influence in the Earth.

The early Church had great power, not because they had access to money or political influences; but because they were filled with the Holy Spirit! It is dependence on God; through faith, that lays hold of real power. We must believe and place our trust in the Holy Spirit to release power into our lives.

God longs for people He can wear like a glove!

Living His life through us, is how the power of heaven comes into the natural realities we so much want to see change. By the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, He demonstrates His power, He transforms culture and makes His Kingdom visible in the Earth.

It might just sound a bit strange to boast in weakness, until you begin to participate in the transformation first hand. Then you begin to see how something as simple as prayer, praise or thankfulness, can tear down walls and crush strongholds of fear. Only when we begin to understand spiritual realities; though unseen, are more powerful than the natural, will we become convinced that… ”when I am weak, then I am strong”.

Glossolalia

“All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.” (Acts 10:45-46)

One of the most controversial and misunderstood gifts of the Holy Spirit is praying in tongues… called glossolalia in the Greek language. I am convinced that there is so much antagonism aimed at this gift because of the incredible power it releases into our lives. In the same way that many reject the prophetic ministry because of abuses, misuses and bad experiences, the same approach has been taken – perhaps in greater extremes – toward praying in tongues. What was intended to be a source of supernatural power, and a catalyst for deep intimacy with God; has been reduced to a mere theological position in many Charismatic Churches. In the past, many books and teachings have emphasized tongues in almost a robotic way. Yet the gift of tongues is something that the Apostles, especially Peter and Paul deeply cherished. Their goal was that the believer experience the power of a Person… the Holy Spirit.

Available to Every Believer:

Tongues is a manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Spirit… also called the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”. Its a real language… a spiritual language. It is a tool. When we pray in tongues, we are praying in the spirit (our spirit), with the Holy Spirit and according to God’s will as the Holy Spirit knows what our Heavenly Father desires. It is not exclusive to the super-spiritual. It does not even signify elevated spiritual maturity. It is powerful, available and absolutely life-changing. However, many receive this gift at one point in their lives and taste its power, but rarely make it a part of their normal Christian lives. We must recognize that yesterday’s encounter with God cannot sustain us for today. Yesterday’s touch is insufficient for today’s trials… and trials do come with consistency and intensity for the seekers of God! (Jn. 16:33)

Based on a book written by Corey Russell called The Glory Within, here are 5 ways that praying in tongues will change your life forever.

  1. It Gives You Supernatural Understanding of God’s Mysteries. Holy Spirit is the One who “searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets” (1 Cor. 2:10). ”For he who speaks in a tongue… in the spirit he speaks mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2).
  2. It Offers You Access to Other Revelatory Gifts of the Holy Spirit. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit … to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:8 & 10).
  3. It Opens Up the Bible in a New, Living Way as You Read It. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak” (Jn. 16:13).
  4. You Can Speak Directly to God. “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God” (1 Cor. 14:2).
  5. It Empowers You to Engage Spiritual Warfare From the Position of Victory. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18).

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:27-29).

Why tongues – something that seems so foolish to our natural human minds? We must renew our thinking because our minds cannot understand the whys of God’s ways… and discomfort does not give us permission to ignore them. Tongues is surely a mystery, but at the same time it is a powerful gift that will not only enrich our personal prayer life but will bring us into deeper intimacy and communion with the Holy Spirit.

  • “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Pray in Tongues), keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 20-21)
  • “He who speaks in a tongue edifies (builds up) himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” (1 Cor. 14:4)
  • “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” (1 Cor. 14:14-15)

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4

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