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Daily Devotion | Ulf Ekman
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Tongues with Interpretation

To another [is given] the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:10
When I am speaking to non-believing students questions concerning speaking in tongues usually come up during the question period. It is fun to answer such questions. Students become very interested once it has been explained that it is not about a state of psychotic ecstasy but rather about the Holy Spirit giving one or more fragments of language, whether this is a human language or the language of angels, which we do not understand.

There have been occasions when I received words that people later have told me they had understood perfectly. But I had not understood anything. The gift of interpretation of tongues is a form of prophecy. When the interpretation comes, it is usually not a word-for-word interpretation but a concentration of the most important aspects. It is the main topic of the given message. And when this message is heard by the one for whom it was intended, that person focuses more on the content of the message than on how the interpretation was given.

Speaking in tongues for the purpose of building up our own inner man requires no interpretation. This is between God and us, and God understands. However, numerous messages in tongues should not be delivered in a church service without interpretation, for the messages will not be a blessing to the church unless they are understood. The emphasis is not on speaking in tongues per se but rather on the clear and effective message that the Lord wants to speak into people’s hearts.


Thank You, Lord, for also desiring to give the gift of interpretation when You give the gift of speaking in tongues. Help me to be able to interpret tongues. In Jesus’ name. Amen.