Paul urged us to be transformed, changed into a heavenly man in Romans 12. He said in view of the mercies of God, offer your bodies to the Lord, this is our spiritual worship. As we give ourselves to the Lord, renewal begins to take place. Renewal is the supernatural work of God in us. He uses the word of God and visitations of His Presence to change each of us from the natural man to the spiritual man.
Paul talked about one of the obvious changes we see in the heavenly man. The heavenly man uses a new heavenly language, not just the prayer language, but a spiritual language in our mother tongue (English). He describes this in 1 Cor. 2:12-16 (NASB)
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
16For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
He says we have spiritual thoughts expressed in spiritual words. Actually our inner man in renewed, changed completely. The result of this change is the heavenly language that we begin to speak.
The first example that I want to share with you about this heavenly language is found in Ephesians 5:1-4
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 3But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.
Paul is showing the contrast between the natural and the heavenly. The natural man speaks of natural things, course joking and worthless things, things that have no value. The heavenly man has a language characterized by Thanksgiving. The heavenly man has been impacted deeply by God’s love. The perception of God’s goodness, holiness, power and wisdom has impacted him to such a degree that his language has been affected. He is now speaking the heavenly language.
How does this take place? How am I possibly changed? It is not by human effort or will power but only by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul continues to describe this change in Ephesians 5:18-20
18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
This change of language happens by the impact of the Holy Spirit on our lives. As we sing, worship, and encourage ourselves and one another in the word, the Holy Spirit begins to express Himself through us. We are becoming the heavenly man.
Sometimes our mother tongue (English) cannot truly express the powerful feelings our heart begins to experience. There is an infinite ocean of emotion, God’s love and joy that begins to flood our souls. This heavenly affection needs to be expressed through the supernatural prayer language.
Paul describes this in 1 Cor. 14:1, 2
1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.
Paul said we utter mysteries or intimacies (The Message Bible). Actually what he is describing is a private, daily, intimate communication with our Lord. This is the place of total satisfaction. This is the place out hungry hearts are longing for. In this place of divine intimacy, transformation takes place, we are being changed from glory to glory into the heavenly man.
Another example of this heavenly language is seen in 1 Cor. 14:15
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
Paul is describing singing in the spirit and singing in your natural tongue. This is one of the great benefits we can enjoy as spirit filled Christians.
Many times singing in the spirit and singing in your natural language can turn into tongues and interpretation of tongues. 1 Cor. 14:13
For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says.
This can be a powerful tool that brings not only personal edification, but in public meetings can bring a great blessing to the body of Christ.
As this heavenly language deepens in our lives, it not only builds us up, but begins to spill over into blessings for others. Many times this heavenly language will be expressed in prophesy. 1 Cor. 14:3
But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort.
The Lord begins to give special words of encouragement in the form of prophecy to bring a blessing to the body of Christ.
My life was impacted powerfully in 1977 as a result of a word of prophecy given to me by Dick Mills. He gave me two scriptures:
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
I was preparing to lead a team to Sacramento, California and the Lord used that word to cause me to reconsider. After prayer, fasting, and council from my pastors, I was led to return to my home in New Orleans and begin the church that I currently pastor. Thank the Lord for His spiritual gifts.
In Acts 13:1-4, Paul receives a prophetic word from the elders of the church in Antioch. This was a word of confirmation, confirming things Paul was feeling in His heart. The result of this prophetic word was the apostolic ministry of Paul.
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
Another example of the heavenly language is seen in Ephesians 6:16-18.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Paul is describing putting on the armor of God or putting on Christ. In this he begins to talk about a powerful aspect of our heavenly language. He said to take up the sword of the spirit. The amplified Bible says, “The sword that the spirit wields.” In the next verse Paul says that this is praying in our prayer language. When we pray in tongues, it is actually the Holy Spirit expressing Himself, His prayers in and though us. These are God’s words. Paul says these words are like a sword. They are used to cut away the flesh, the natural. As the natural man is cut away, the spiritual man becomes more dominate. Allow the Holy Spirit to pray using your tongue. Offer your body, your tongue, to the Lord; this is your spiritual worship. As you pray in other tongues you are being changed from glory to glory into that heavenly man.
Another example of the heavenly language is seen in the Act 2. As the spirit was poured out upon the 120 gathered in the upper room, the spirit begin to give them “utterance” Acts 2:4. This word utterance is apophtheggomai. It describes elevated discourse or supernatural speech. This was of course being expressed through the 120in tongues. Their joyful response to God’s outpouring brought an interested amazed crowd together. Peter stood up to address the crowd. As he began to speak he began to speak in their natural language but it was supernatural in its nature. In Acts 2:14 the word “said” is the same Greek word as utterance in vs. 4. This is specifically speaking of supernatural speech. There is an anointing to preach the Word of God. Much of todays public preaching and teaching is sadly not characterized by the supernatural. The supernatural has been replaced with a “relevant” slick presentation void of power. These “relevant” presentations are just religious, natural talks, given in a contemporary way. That can never change us into the heavenly man.
Finally in John 1:1 and 14, John describes Jesus as the Word of God. Jesus is the Father’s expression of Himself. If Jesus is the word of God, He Himself is that heavenly language. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Set your affections upon Jesus. If you do, you will be flooded with His heavenly goodness. This goodness has to be expressed, has to be expressed in our words. When it is, we will be speaking the heavenly language only spoken by heavenly men and women.
John 1:1 and 14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.