When you receive the gift of speaking in tongues, the future looks bright. But what most people don’t realize is that the future is bright for your spiritual life but the same can’t be said of your physical life.
I received the gift of speaking in tongues without knowing its full consequences. I have experienced many of the consequences of speaking in tongues and I am glad I didn’t know them earlier.
Some of them are so harsh that I would have thought twice about receiving the gift of speaking in tongues had I known them earlier.
But all in all, I would still choose to have the gift of speaking in tongues because of the joy it brings.
Whether you are desiring to have the gift of speaking in tongues or you already have it, the following are harsh truths you have to live with.
These truths are meant to help you set the right expectations and know they are normal if you are already experiencing them.
Harsh Truths about having the Gift of Speaking in Tongues
1. You will be seen as a Fool
Speaking in tongues makes you look like a fool. There is no way of dodging this truth.
As human beings, we naturally want to be seen as intelligent and sober. But when you receive the gift of speaking in tongues, you will be seen as a fool.
God designed the gift of speaking in tongues to make those who practice it look like fools. The aim is to test and see if those who claim to speak in tongues are ready to be shamed for God’s sake.
Jesus was shamed but He endured it for our sake. God wants us to also endure shame for the sake of Christ to prove that our love for Him is genuine.
There have been times I came from a fellowship where we were speaking in tongues and people outside the room gave me the look of disbelief. I knew they were surprised that a sensible looking man could engage in such a practice.
Speaking in tongues is not the only gift that makes us look like fools. Most acts that we do for God will make us look like fools in the eyes of the people of the world.
Remember the story of King David in 2nd Samuel 6 when he danced for the Lord when the Ark of the Covenant was brought. His wife Michal despised him in her heart.
When you pour yourself out to God whether in praises or in speaking in tongues, you will be seen as a fool.
There is also the story of Hannah who prayed fervently to the Lord for a child but she was mistaken to be drunk. It hurts when people see you as a fool but it is something we have to endure as believers.
2. Your Relationships will be strained
The Bible knows what it is talking about when it says a man’s enemies shall be the members of his own household. When you receive the gift of speaking in tongues, this scripture will come true.
Speaking in tongues is a high spiritual level. Not many people get to such a high level spiritually. Most people are lazy believers who only associate with God when it is convenient.
By receiving the gift of speaking in tongues, you pass judgment to the laziness of other believers.
Look at it like this; if you have a friend whom you have attended church conferences together and done many things together, it is expected that you will grow at the same speed in your spiritual lives.
But that is not always the case. Two people who attend the same church can have totally different growth speeds based on how hard working they are.
When God promotes you to a new spiritual level, your friend will feel he deserves a promotion too. And when he does not get one, he will be tempted to hate God but because it is easier to hate you, he chooses the latter.
All of a sudden, your friend starts accusing you of being too spiritual. Your roommate starts accusing you of making too much noise.
Your parents get annoyed that you are spending long hours at night speaking in tongues instead of sleeping.
Speaking in tongues has something about it that irritates lazy believers. No matter how conservative you try to be, somehow it will irritate lazy believers. If your close friends or family are lazy believers, be assured your relationship with them will soon be on the rocks.
It is no surprise that Jesus was not welcomed by people in His hometown. Likewise, you will be kicked out of many places when you invest yourself into speaking in tongues. I have heard cases of people who were chased from churches because they started speaking in tongues. I’m sure you’ve heard similar cases too.
3. You will battle doubts
Because you are human, you are going to experience doubts at some point when speaking in tongues. The doubts are prominent in the early days of speaking in tongues but they die down as you progress.
Unless you are prepared to tackle doubts, you will have a hard time speaking in tongues.
The devil sends doubts directly by whispering to you or sometimes he sends people to come and attack the gift God has given you.
The whispers of the devil can be draining if you don’t get support from other believers and of course the Holy Spirit.
The people the devil sends to question your gift can be people close to you or strangers.
I was in a fellowship that was being accused of being cultic week in week out. We were doing many other activities apart from speaking in tongues but people only noted that we were speaking in tongues.
You would hear people asking one another if they had heard about the speaking in tongues cult that has come up.
I got used to the relentless attacks and never gave up. I knew they were part of the price I had to pay to enjoy the gift of speaking in tongues.
Some of my friends stopped coming to the fellowship; they didn’t want to be associated with a fellowship that speaks in tongues.
Those were my early days of speaking in tongues and they taught me to expect attacks.
4. You will face Distractions from the Devil
It may sound obvious but you will be surprised at the lengths the devil is willing to go to distract you from speaking in tongues.
At first, you may think the distractions are just coincidences but soon they will be too frequent to be mere coincidences.
The devil orchestrates distractions to make sure you don’t speak in tongues. At the time you have set to speak in tongues, that is when your friend decides to knock on your door.
When you kneel to speak in tongues, that is when your cat decides to drop plates. When you are just about to soak in tongues, you hear your neighbors quarreling.
The distractions the devil sends are often disguised to look like normal occurrences. Of course the devil never wants you to know when he is distracting you or else you will ignore the distractions.
There was a day I was in my room and I planned to speak in tongues. I procrastinated for an hour and a half and when I finally began speaking in tongues, someone knocked on my door.
It was frustrating. I had worked so hard to get to the point of speaking in tongues and then someone comes to ruin it all.
You have to be careful not to get carried away by anger because that is what the devil intends when he plans those attacks. If your anger boils, you lose concentration and speaking in tongues becomes hard.
Sometimes the devil will remind you of nasty things from the past just to distract you from focusing on Jesus.
To overcome the distractions of the devil when you want to speak in tongues, fix your eyes on Jesus.
5. You will have Puzzling Experiences
If you invest your time in speaking in tongues, you will start having deep spiritual encounters. Some of those encounters will be straight-forward but some will leave you scratching your head.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit will help you interpret the encounters but other times you will be left wondering what happened.
I have shared before of an encounter that I couldn’t explain. I went to speak in tongues in a church in the neighborhood on a weekday. It was late in the afternoon.
There were few people in the church but because it is big, everyone had acres of space to himself. I sat on a chair and began speaking in tongues as usual.
I fell asleep about half an hour after I began speaking in tongues. Fifteen minutes later I awoke from my sleep and continued speaking in tongues.
About an hour and a half later, I was still speaking in tongues and I began feeling numb. The numbness was coming from my feet and quickly rising.
I didn’t panic because I knew I was in the presence of God and nothing could go wrong. The numbness ushered me into a state of complete peace.
I was feeling very weak in my joints. I could barely move a finger but at the same time I was peaceful. Then something happened and the next time I came to my senses about half an hour was gone.
I couldn’t remember what happened. I had no idea where I was for those 30 minutes. I certainly did not fall asleep and I didn’t visit heaven or something.
I was puzzled but because I was at peace and still comfortably seated on my chair, I didn’t think much of it. I kept the experience in my heart and walked back to my house.
Such experiences can be scary but if you know Jesus is with you, there is nothing to worry about.
Harsh Truths about having the gift of Speaking in Tongues: Conclusion
These harsh truths about speaking in tongues are here to stay. God allows us to go through them but He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He dearly loves us and will make sure we overcome them provided we remain faithful to Him.
If you are yet to experience these harsh truths, prepare for them for they will surely come. You can’t grow in the gift of speaking in tongues without being tested.
Embrace these truths and know that you are a soldier in the army of the Lord.