“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 14:2
In 1 Corinthians 14, the Apostle Paul unveils the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, which was prominent in the Corinthian church, and provides insights of relevance to the contemporary ecclesia.
As we study the epistle to the Corinthians, we discern parallels between their challenges and those faced by present-day churches. The epistle, though originally intended for the Corinthians, resonates with enduring pertinence for us. Within this missive, the palpable influence of the Holy Spirit upon the Corinthian assembly is manifest.
Within this passage, the Apostle expounds upon the charism of tongues. The gift of tongues, though intrinsic to many, is regrettably underappreciated. This lack of appreciation may stem from its ubiquity within the ecclesiastical community, rendering it less conspicuous in comparison to other spiritual gifts such as prophecy.
Gratitude for the bestowment of tongues should be cultivated, as delineated in the second verse of chapter 14: “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.” Let’s delve into this verse in three distinct segments.
- “Anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God.” This seemingly elementary axiom warrants profound gratitude. It signifies an invitation from the Divine to engage in intimate communion. While discourse with fellow believers, pastors, and leaders is integral, the gift of tongues extends an invitation to converse directly with the Creator. This medium grants the capacity for protracted, uninterrupted supplication, serving as a testament to the Father’s enduring care and solicitude. His steadfast presence beckons us to unreservedly approach Him in dialogue.
- “No one understands them;” This enunciation, though straightforward, carries profound import. Utterances in tongues elude human comprehension, reserving their significance for the Divine ear alone. This imparts a sense of security, knowing that our petitions are shrouded in sanctity, impervious even to the adversary’s scrutiny. Just as sensitive information is guarded by passwords, our prayers find refuge in this spiritual tongue, insulating them from satan and devils are on the lookout for an opportunity to intercept our prayers. It is imperative to recognize that though divine responses may appear delayed, spiritual warfare is waged in the interim.
- “They utter mysteries by the Spirit.” This phrase elucidates a transcendent truth articulated in Acts 2:17-21. We, the recipients of the Holy Spirit, are conduits through which the Spirit intercedes in prayer. The enigmatic utterances in tongues bear witness to this cooperative endeavor, wherein the Holy Spirit, functioning as an intercessor, aligns our supplications with the Divine will. Even when we ourselves do not know how to or what to pray for, God comprehends and, in His wisdom, dispatches the Holy Spirit as an advocate, fortifying us in our weakness. As we open our mouths in prayer, we discern the efficacious operation of the Holy Spirit, providing solace and empowerment.