Yes, speaking in tongues can be controlled. The Spirit of God who enables us to speak in tongues also gives us self-control and respects our will.
The Bible instructs us not to quench the Holy Spirit. In another place, we are instructed not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Why does the Bible emphasize that we should not quench the Holy Spirit?
Because God knows that we can use our will to limit the work of the Holy Spirit.
Speaking in tongues is the work of the Holy Spirit and we have control over it.
However, it must be noted that controlling speaking in tongues is not usually easy. There are different levels of control that we have over speaking in tongues.
In this article, I will cover the levels.
Related Article: Is Speaking in Tongues Voluntary or Involuntary?
Levels of Control when Speaking in Tongues
1. Beginner Level of controlling Speaking in Tongues
When you first get baptized to speak in tongues, you have very little control. Beginners often struggle with believing that what they are speaking is the actual speaking in tongues that is mentioned in the Bible.
At this stage, any form of manifestation as a result of speaking in tongues is highly treasured. The excitement of the manifestation makes many beginners lose control of speaking in tongues.
I once went for a mission and we prayed for a young man to receive the gift of speaking in tongues. He got baptized and began praying in tongues.
When it was time to conclude the meeting, the young man kept praying in tongues. We asked him to stop but he persisted. He was very excited that he could speak in tongues and never wanted to stop.
Even though he had control over his speaking in tongues, he never wanted to control it.
Beginners also usually fear that if they stop speaking in tongues they may fail to restart it. As a result, they prolong speaking in tongues as much as they can when it is flowing.
Their actions make it look as if they are not in control of their speaking in tongues but in real sense they just don’t want to exercise control.
When I was a beginner in speaking in tongues, I had read the scripture that instructs us not to quench the Holy Spirit. Controlling speaking in tongues felt like quenching the Holy Spirit.
As a result, I gave up all control of speaking in tongues even when I needed to control it.
Related Article: Uncontrollable Speaking in Tongues
2. Intermediate Level of controlling Speaking in Tongues
After practicing praying in tongues for a while, we get to the intermediate level of control over speaking in tongues. At this level, we can control speaking in tongues when we are asked to but when not asked, we don’t control it.
This is where you know you can always speak in tongues when you want but then if you get to a depth you have never been to before, you are reluctant to control it.
At this level, manifestations that occur when you are speaking in tongues are only controlled if the person leading the meeting asks you to control it.
When you control speaking in tongues at the intermediate level, you don’t feel the guilt of quenching the Holy Spirit.
At this level, your faith has grown and you understand that as much as the Holy Spirit is guiding you to speak in tongues, you have control over some aspects of it.
When I was at this level of control in speaking in tongues, I used to prolong prayer sessions more than I intended. I would go to pray for 30 minutes but when the 30 minutes were over, I would extend for another 20 or so minutes.
The sweetness that comes from speaking in tongues easily influences you to give up control at this level.
This is also the stage where you stop pretending to be completely unable to control yourself when speaking in tongues.
In the level of beginners, people pretend they are unable to control themselves when speaking in tongues. I have seen believers who pretend they can’t stand because of the power of the Holy Spirit when it is very clear they can stand. Oh believers!
3. Expert Level of Controlling Speaking in Tongues
Depending on the speed of growth in the gift of speaking in tongues, some believers get to this level is a few months although it typically takes a couple of years.
This is the level where you don’t need anyone to ask you to control speaking in tongues; you do it yourself.
At the expert level of control, you have a good balance of letting the Holy Spirit flow freely and being sober. Also, at this level, you can request the Holy Spirit to minimize or maximize His power when you speak in tongues.
I have had experiences of speaking in tongues where the Holy Spirit notified me that He was about to soak me in power. I removed my phone from my pocket and moved to an open space then the Holy Spirit took over.
It is a sweet thing to have control and at the same time give the Holy Spirit free reign when He needs it.
Experts at controlling speaking in tongues can also help those who are still in lower levels of control know when to stop. Leaders in charge of prayer sessions where people speak in tongues need to be at the expert level of control.
As an expert in controlling speaking in tongues, you can tell when someone speaking in tongues needs to be given time to speak in tongues and when someone needs to be asked to stop.
The desire of everyone who has the gift of speaking in tongues should include getting to the expert level of control.
Being able to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit and be sober shortly afterwards is what we need in the body of Christ.
Can Speaking in Tongues be controlled? Conclusion
Yes, speaking in tongues can be controlled and everyone who speaks in tongues should seek to grow to a level where they can control themselves.
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit of God. If you can speak in tongues, you can control yourself. It is okay in the beginning to struggle to find balance in controlling speaking in tongues, but as you progress, grasp it.
May God help you!