Most Christians around the world would be considered charismatic. They believe in and operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is not uncommon to hear a word from the Lord or a message in tongues. While these are valuable in encouraging the church body, they always take a back seat to the teaching of the Word of God. Words of Instruction build up the believer.
“yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, in order to teach others also, than ten thousand words in another tongue.”
The church in Corinth was really into the spiritual gifts like speaking into tongues and prophesy. Paul had to give them instructions on using those gifts in the services because they spoke over one another and interrupted the services. Paul also makes it clear that while those gifts are significant, teaching was of utmost importance. He would instead teach five words of instruction over thousands of words spoken in tongues.
There is a lot of abuse of the spiritual gifts in the church. I once read where there were dueling prophets in a church service. They were trying to outdo one another to show who was the greater prophet. I can tell you right now that God wasn’t in that competition. The gifts are for today. They didn’t cease to exist when the last Apostle died. People are working in these gifts worldwide, but you have to do so with wisdom and discernment because people use them to bring attention to themselves and not glorify Jesus Christ.
Words of Instruction
Always value words of instruction over the use of the gifts of the Spirit. While a word of prophecy or an interpreted message in tongues can edify the church, they pale in comparison to the weekly teaching of God’s Word. Believers need to be careful chasing after the supernatural. Instead, you should strive towards building a solid foundation built on the teaching of Scripture. Then you will be able to discern if a message from God is valid.