BUILDING OURSELVES UP IN GOD!
By Rodney W. Francis
We are living in days when we Christians need all the things necessary to enable us to live in the victory that Jesus Christ came to give us. He has provided everything we need to be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37 ). What we do with what He has given depends on how much we value what He has provided, and whether we believe Him enough to act upon it. For example, in Jude 20 we are told: “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit . . .” Here the Word of God gives us a real key to enable us to build ourselves up; the word “building” meaning “to build upon” (Young’s). It is through praying in the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit wants us to pray according to what He impresses upon us. He has even given us of His heavenly language so we can pray “spirit to Spirit” in the will and purposes of God. So often we under-estimate the value of what God has given to us; the result being that we neglect to act more upon what He has provided. The Holy Spirit language is what we call speaking in other tongues, a language that when we speak it out edifies us: “He who speaks in a tongue edifies (“builds, constructs, establishes” – Bullinger’s) himself” (1 Corinthians 14:4 ). God knew that we would need to be edified and built-up regularly to prevent us slipping into a negative attitude and frame of mind. We never accomplish anything for God ~ or ourselves ~ when we are negative. Speaking in tongues enables us to build our inner man up and causes us to be in a place where we can exercise faith and be useful to God and others. The more built-up and positive a person is, the more useful they become to God. Jesus did not go through all that He did to purchase our salvation so that we live like we are losers! He did what He did so that we could know the joy and experience of being “more than conquerors” in and with Him. We need to be strongly established in the purposes of God, and speaking in other tongues is one way by which that happens.
The subject of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues has long been a controversial issue in Christian circles. But just think for a moment: If it was not in the Bible speaking in other tongues would most likely not be heard of at all. It was Jesus Himself Who sent the Holy Spirit and when those early disciples received on the Day of Pentecost “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4 ). It was a Holy Spirit encounter they had ~ not man’s or the devil’s idea, but GOD’s! They experienced God the Holy Spirit in such a way that their lives were changed for the better in a very positive way, and they stepped into a life of victory and fruitfulness for God that they had never experienced before. Prior to that experience they were hesitant, unbelieving, fearful and afraid (Mark 16:11-14 ; John 20:19 ). Jesus knew they needed more than a theology ~ they needed the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them! A sign that they knew the Holy Spirit was now living within them was that they started speaking His language! Make sure you build your believing on the principles of the Word of God, and not on the teachings of men!
MY ENCOUNTER WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
My encounter with receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was as an 18-year-old in the midst of a herd of cows at 5:30 a.m. I was rounding them up for milking when suddenly I had an encounter whereby I started to speak a language I had never learned. It poured out of me (as though I had been speaking it all my life) and I knew that it was a “God happening.” I do not remember how long the speaking in tongues went on for, but I do know that when I stopped the Lord spoke very clearly into my heart and life that He was raising me up to be a preacher of the Gospel. He gave me a sign that He would open doors for me to preach straight away. That is exactly what happened. A short time later I started preaching, and have been preaching ever since! The Holy Spirit language has never left me and I speak it daily and regularly. Over the years the Lord has enabled me to speak in a number of different Spirit languages. I can say without a doubt that speaking in tongues certainly lifts me up in my spirit and enables me to overcome so many obstacles that try and get us distracted and discouraged.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!
I really encourage all who are reading this to use the language that God has given you. If you do not have one yet, then let me encourage you to place a high priority on seeking God in such a way that your natural thoughts will be overcome and you will get a breakthrough in the Holy Spirit. If you are not breaking through on your own, then be encouraged to seek out some Holy Spirit-filled Christians who do speak in tongues and get them to pray with you and see you get the release. Lay aside every negative thought and teaching that tries to tell you that this experience is not for you, or it is not for today, etc., because that is a lie. Know this: being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues is God’s idea, not man’s. The Apostle Paul knew the value of speaking in other tongues. He said: “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all” (1 Corinthians 14:18 ). If tongues were not of God Paul would not have made that statement. He is sharing with us of the benefits of our personally speaking in other tongues. For Paul to make such a statement tells us how much he valued this gift of the Holy Spirit that enabled him to “build himself up in his most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Hallelujah!
WE ARE IN A BATTLE WITH THE GOD OF THIS WORLD
Remember, all Christians are in a spiritual battle, as we stand in opposition to the “god of this world” who has blinded the minds and hearts of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:1-7 ). We are in a war ~ a spiritual war! We cannot wait for someone else to come along and build us up all the time (there are far too few encouragers in the Christian Church these days). Therefore it is very important that we use spiritual weapons to encounter and overcome him (the devil) and his subtle devices. I find it very helpful to go pray walking. As I walk I pray in tongues out loud ~ loud enough so I can hear it myself. When we pray using the Holy Spirit language the devil does not know what we are saying and therefore is at a disadvantage as to what we are praying. Using what God has given enables us to “keep one step ahead of the enemy” and so frustrate him in his purposes when he comes against us. Know this: “My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, Who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 , New Century Version).
Paul exhorted us to “pray with the spirit, and also pray with the understanding; to sing with the spirit and also with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:13-15 ). The whole purpose is so we can build ourselves up in faith ~ that faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6 ), and enables us to do things that we would not normally do. Let us not be naïve and believe that attending Christian meetings will cause us to be edified and built-up in faith. We have the personal responsibility to “build ourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” Prove for yourself the value of believing God and using what He has provided for us. God Bless You.