Building People of Substance for Works of Power
My first big Charismatic gathering was Kenneth Hagin’s Campmeeting in 1980. I had been saved about 7 months and spirit-filled for 3 months. I didn’t have a regular church, but I was hungry for God. That first evening service was something to see. There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 people in the old Tulsa Assembly Center. When the singing started it was goose-bump time. Just the sheer volume of the voices was amazing. Then it happened. Brother Vep Ellis paused between songs and began to sing in tongues. The congregation followed. I had heard groups singing in tongues in home meetings, but this was on a whole different level. There came a point when it just seemed to take off, like another choir had joined us. As I looked up, I would have sworn there was a cloud descending on the place. Wow!
That was 39 years ago. It is now a rare thing in the American church to hear congregations singing in other tongues. I have been lectured on it – it scares visitors, it must be interpreted to be biblical, etc. I can tell you what it did for this newly saved drug addict. It made me more aware of the presence and holiness of Almighty God among His people. It was a vital part of the transformation God was doing in me. Paul indicated in 1 Corinthians 13 that we can sing with the tongues of angels. I believe they joined us that night, and many times thereafter. Oh, how I miss it!
Somebody Said: “Let my lips avoid vain repetition as I lift my voice in praise, O Lord. Distract me from my distractions, awaken me from the dullness of mind, and transform habit and routine into vibrant times of worship..” Jack Hayford
Scripture Reading:For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 (NIV)
Here’s the Point: When we gather as the people of God, do we want to have a nice, encouraging, socially relevant talk and some entertaining songs? Or do we want to touch Heaven, hear from God, and be transformed? If we want the latter, then let’s consider teaching and encouraging people to sing with the spirit. Explain it, model it, and let it flow. You don’t need instruments. You don’t have to be a great singer. The angels will help you. Try it. We will all be the better for it.