by Pastor Tim Burt
A note from Pastor Tim: Earlier this week I posted the blog “Thank God For the Gift of Tongues.” The feedback was wonderful and many asked for more information on how to receive this gift and walk in it. My precious friend, Pastor Peter Haas, just happened (isn’t God great…) to preach on it the next day and it really answered many of the questions I received. I’d encourage you to watch it here. Also, here is a free download of a booklet by Pastor Peter on the 40 toughest questions people ask about the gift of tongues. I hope it’s a great blessing to you!
I’ve written about conflict before, but feel impressed to do so today. There are days when it seems like the entire world is in conflict. Like an ant finding sugar, it seems to find its way into our lives. It’s never comfortable and too often leaves more than a bad taste in our mouth. To clear it all out takes help, and reminds me of why I need all the help and gifts of God I can get, to live in peace in a world steeped in conflict.
We all experience conflicts that have the potential to make us angry. I’m no different yet I’ve learned biblically and from experience that anger is often a poisonous and destructive force when not handled appropriately. We all process it differently but I think it’s fair to say that when most of us face conflict, we experience what almost seems like a video-loop of that conflict that runs and over and over in our mind as we try to think it through. A conflict that is not resolved God’s way is a conflict recycled in the mind.
Jesus knew we would come to those video-loop moments. That’s why He gave instructions to forgive so many times in a day as we see in Matthew 18:21-22 NLT. “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Seven times seventy is 490 times. We aren’t going to find ourselves in that many conflicts leading to offense, that many times in one day. But, we might take the same offense and video-loop it that many times in our mind. Especially if the offense comes in the evening or when it’s quiet and there is nothing else to distract us.
These video-loops can be torturous. We get tired of thinking about them and try to quiet our mind and move past them, and yet they can seem almost impossible to shut off. This is just one of many places and ways that God’s gift of tongues is an awesome benefit in our life.
When I find myself in one of these situations, I have learned that instead of playing the video-loop over and over in my head, I instead begin to pray in tongues. Something that happens when you pray in tongues is that the presence of God becomes greater. It’s almost as if thoughts of conflict are pushed out in the presence of God.
I always need God’s consul and direction for everything I do. And I do seek Him for it. But I feel desperate for it when I am in conflict. I want to work through conflict in an appropriate and godly way. I know how quickly things can go off the rails! When I lay situations before God and pray in the spirit (in tongues), it’s like He helps me see more clearly, honestly, and humbly. Romans 8:26 (NLT) says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words (words that cannot be understood – in tongues.)
The Holy Spirit has provided me with a gift that can be like a fire extinguisher. Praying in tongues shuts down the video-loops and helps quiet my mind and heart. As I pray in tongues, the fire goes out and peace comes. Pride melts like an ice-cube in a frying pan. Humility rises within me like a hot air balloon. Praying in tongues seems to help me better examine myself rather than defend myself. Because of this, the Lord helps me to truly resolve conflicts and easily move past unforgiveness and instead check to see if I need to seek forgiveness.
Why am I telling you all this? Because when praying in the Spirit or tongues, there can be a presence of God that helps you work through conflict in a very supernatural way. As Jude 1:20 NIV encourages us, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit (in tongues).”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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