I was dreaming and I was at the tower of Babel. Everyone was making sounds, guttural-type sounds and no one understood each other. It wasn't what I had always imagined. It wasn't that some groups understood each other. It was like no one could speak a language. No one could say any intelligent words. They had to learn to understand each other in ways other than words, and "create" a new language. As I stood there watching, some were just starting to understand very basic things with a few people close to them.
It seemed to be a frightening experience. However, it caused families to come together. People were looking for those they cared the most about. Mothers looked for their children, and husbands looked for their wives. Families would gather together for survival and comfort. They were forced to get to know each other in a much deeper way in order to understand one another, communicate, and survive.
Up until this happened the vast majority of the people were just making bricks, making bricks, making bricks. They were enslaved to this one thing. There was no exploration. No individual creativity or discovery. But there was talk. Talk of what it was going to look like. Talk of what this tower would do for them. Talk of where to put the next brick.
Once they couldn’t speak to one another, there was no joy in making the bricks or building the tower. No excitement. No sense of purpose. There was no organization or direction either. Without the words of the one driving them, there was no desire for the people to do this. There was frustration and there was fear. And then, there was a gathering together of people with those they loved and cared about. There was exploration and creativity. There were talents discovered and new skills developed.
They had been speaking—planning, envisioning, and working to accomplish this one thing. Who's idea was it? One man's? They all spoke the same thing. This empowered them. But empowered for what purpose? Just about one hundred years earlier they were told by God to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1). Instead, they had gotten themselves stuck in this project.
It's interesting that during Israel's slavery in Egypt later on their job was to make bricks.
Many years later, after Jesus had come and gone, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came. 120 followers of Jesus were gathered together in the upper room. As the Holy Spirit fell on them they all began speaking in languages unknown to them (Acts 2:1-13). After this experience they were sent out--eventually scattered to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. There were times of gathering together, and times of going out to preach.
The Lord had told them not to even try going out of Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came on them. Anything that is going to be built, needs to begin with a unified language. But a unity that is surrendered to the plans and purposes of God. A unity that allows for the development and expression of the individual gifts given to each one. A unity that is birthed in hearts that care for one another.
If you are going to build anything together with other people---a family, church, business etc—pray in the Holy Spirit TOGETHER. He will give understanding through this. Whether it comes through an interpretation of tongues, prophecy, revelation, or just a knitting together of hearts. He also strengthens and encourages us. He reveals the place and part that each person plays. We must speak together in order to build together.
The Gifts of the Spirit are given so we can SPEAK, UNDERSTAND, and DO the will of God. We speak through tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophesy. We understand through the word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discerning of spirits, and we do through gifts of healing, working of miracles, and the gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
Whatever your group is, gather and pray in the Spirit--together. Get to know each other. Care for one another. Talk to each other. Then the understanding and vision will come, along with the gifts and abilities to build what the Lord wants built--a dwelling place for Him among His people.