Q. From Luke 24 - How does God open our minds? Is it appropriate to ask God to do that? What should we expect?
A. God opens our minds and helps us to understand spiritual truth by His Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us how this is done.
"11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:11–14 (NKJV)
This basically says that the only one who can know what is going on inside you is you or your spirit. The only one who can know what God is planning is God's Spirit. So, if God has placed His Spirit inside of us, we can know what God is doing by communicating with the Spirit of God. So as we listen to God he will freely tell us what we need to know. However, those who do not know God do not hear from him and their minds cannot be opened to the spiritual things.
I think it is very appropriate to pray for God to open our minds. What should we expect. I think we should expect to do what he may tell us to do. His revelation and His opening of our minds is not so that we can have more information or just to know something that others do not know. It is for change. It is to make you more like Jesus and to help others to come to that place. Often the opening of the mind results in a new ministry and it could involve a new cost. But what would be the cost of not hearing from God. That is what I would be more concerned about.
Q. Is it still appropriate for Christians to speak in tongues or was that a temporary phenomenon?
A. All of God's gifts are appropriate to use. In fact, there is a mandate that we do use them. If you have been given the gift of languages as the disciples were given in Acts 2, then you should use it to communicate the gospel with those people. There was another gift of tongues described in 1 Corinthians that is not the same gifting as in Acts 2. This gift, commonly called glossolalia, was an ecstatic utterance of praise to God. It is a language but one of praise to God. There are parameters put around the use of this. You can read about it in 1 Corinthians 14. The key issue was "understanding." If no one understood what was being said, then keep quiet. I find nothing that would say this gift is over or was just a temporary gift. The Spirit has the right and ability to give gifts as he sees fit or not to. Tongues that divide are like Babel and tongues that unify are like Pentecost. Paul describes how gifts are to be expressed and used. Abuses come when these guidelines are ignored. The best way is found in the previous chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, the way of love.
Sat, March 17, 2012
by Jimmy Kinnaird