In the original Greek, the word edify literally means “to erect a building or construct a house.” This language gives us a powerful word picture of praying in the Spirit; when we speak in tongues, we are building within our spirits a house where we can experience communion with God. We are actually increasing our capacity to contain the glory of the Holy Spirit.
The call to edification is the call to build ourselves. Today the church is consumed with building platforms and influence; our ministries have grown large, but our hearts have grown small. We have spent our time and energy on external realities and have neglected the building of our inner selves. I believe that the Lord is releasing a prophetic call to the Body of Christ, and it is and exhortation to edification. If we begin to build ourselves, then the Lord will watch over our spheres of influence. The Body of Christ has traded depth for width; we have become horizontally focused at the expense of cultivating interior realities and at the expense of our lives, our marriages, and our families. For too long we have focused only on what we can see, but there is an entire world alive inside us.
(from The Glory Within)