As we finish chapter 14 of I Corinthians we see the Apostle Paul reassert the importance of prophecy in the church, and the legitimacy of tongues. He has just given us some important qualifiers on how to use these two gifts, but he wants to be clear that he is not trying to down play the importance of prophecy, or bar the use of tongues altogether:
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order. (I Corinthians 14:39-40)
Christian leaders should desire earnestly to prophesy. Prophesy here does not necessarily mean to have visions about the future, but it can simply mean to speak God’s commands clearly so that they can be understood. God’s commands have already been given to us through the Word of God. Any person who sees themselves as a prophet or teacher most certainly needs to devote much time to prayer and reading the Bible so that they can clearly teach truth to God’s people. We must subject our spirit to the teaching of the word so that we are not tempted to become false prophets who speak something out of our emotions and personal experience what is contrary to scripture. We are all sinners with wickedness inside us, so prophets need to make sure that they are only speaking truth, and not simply serving themselves by what they preach in public.
The Apostle Paul does not forbid the speaking with tongues in church, although he has just spent the better part of a chapter explaining some of the ways that speaking in tongues can be abused. The speaking of tongues must never be used as an arbitrary way to get attention. They should be spoken in public only when there is an interpreter present who can translate the meaning clearly into spoken language. One should not be tempted to invent an interpretation to a tongue that he does not understand, for that would be working against the Holy Spirit.
The guiding principle here is that all things must be done decently and in proper order. We must take care that our church services truly glorify and Worship the one True God and His Son Who died to purchase our souls. Church must never be used as an occasion to glorify our selves.