Trouble Trap

Proverb 21: 23         God’s Word

Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

What do we need to say about this verse? Most of us, when we think back on occasions where we have gotten ourselves in trouble, will acknowledge that it usually was from something we said. We are more likely to offend someone by what we say than any other way.

I think the secret to guarding one’s mouth is in getting some help. Psalm 141: 3 is just such an entreaty, “Set a guard, Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” In my case, it takes the power of the Almighty to keep my mouth out of trouble and even then, it can still be a challenge, but this is a worthy subject for prayer. If we don’t actively set that guard over our mouths and tongues, we are sure to stumble into trouble.

Mouth Guard

Psalm 141: 3

Set a guard, Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.

We all have our weaknesses, and this is mine. There are other good verses in this psalm, but I have to preach to myself this morning. When I am stressed, tired, frustrated or haven’t spent enough time with our Father, it shows in my language. When my threshold for dealing with pent up frustration or stress is breached, the pressure relief valve is my mouth. And believe me, I need the power of God to curtail my speech.

I imagine a cave entrance with a large angel standing watch over it. He checks everything going in or out of that portal. He is a strong angel and the more I picture him at his station the more entrenched he becomes. I do need to feed him, though, and it seems that he gains his strength through the time I spend with my Father and time spent with God’s Word. I guess I am really nourishing myself and my angel is fortified through me. When I am weak, his strength may fail because he gets his strength through my well-nourished spirit. I don’t have to bolster the angel; he knows how to do his job. In other words, I don’t have to do help him stand guard. I don’t have to help him at all. I just need to do my “one thing” and he will do his singular task. In fact, I do not even need to think about the angel and his mission if I am fulfilling my own. So many things simply fall into place when I seek the Lord and ponder His Word.

Pray, asking the Lord to set a guard. He will then guard your lips for you. It is one less thing you will have to wrestle with. Do your part to keep him healthy and strong, though. Make sure you are nourishing your spirit because that is the well of living water, the source of life and light. Life and death are in the mouth (Proverbs 18: 21) so we are well advised to set a guard over it for from it spring the issues of life.

Heart & Mouth

Psalm 19: 14                      Index Card 1

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

I am beginning a new series today. Many times I recommend that you take really meaningful verses and write them out on 3 X 5 index cards then put them in plain sight so that you can review them frequently. Well, it may please you to know that I take my own advice. Today’s verse is the first in a series of Ivey’s index cards. I hope you enjoy seeing which verses I have recorded in my scripture deck of cards.

This verse is first and foremost in my mind and, in my stack of cards, because my failures so often come out of my mouth. In truth, it is what is in our hearts which bubbles up and out of our mouths (Matthew 12: 34) and often in the most inconvenient of times. So, this verse reminds me to check the content of my heart and set a guard over my mouth (Psalm 141: 3).

Right Guard

Exodus 23: 20

Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

God has a plan for you. He has planned for your welfare and he has prepared a good place for you. He has good plans for your life. And he is leading you into that good place. What’s more, he has sent his angel to guard you along the way even as he, himself, leads you. His angel goes in front of you, preparing the path before you. When you get to a segment of the path that was damaged or bumpy, the angel has already been there and smoothed it out for you. God has not only prepared good things for you, but he is also at work to see that you arrive at that good place. He has made preparations for bringing you into the place that he has planned for you. Just keep following him. He is marking the trail for you and leading you along the best course for you to arrive at your destination.

Sentry Duty

Psalm 141: 3

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Yesterday’s Word was actually a teaching on spiritual warfare. It was about how to survive and even win the battles of life. I can’t leave you with yesterday’s teaching without giving you this verse too because they go so very much hand in hand. As you run into the presence of the Lord the very last thing you should do is explain the problem over and over to him. In truth, He already knows the problem. What He is looking for from you is trust and faith. So, the key thing you have to do is to guard your mouth. Now I know for myself that I don’t necessarily do a very good job of even that in my own strength so the first thing I do is to pray asking for help. Don’t make this hard. Just pray these exact words. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Write this verse on a 3 X 5 card so that you have it handy when you need it. Then just speak it to the Father.

You won’t be surprised, perhaps, to discover that David wrote this psalm in addition to the one from yesterday. (If you missed yesterday’s Word of the Day you can read it at .  It seems to me that he learned that one of the first things you have to do in the day of trouble is shut your mouth.  

When we get upset it seems to loosen the cords that hold our mouth. The first thing that many of us want to do is to call someone and tell him how someone did us wrong. You may feel that if you don’t tell someone you will just explode. I know the feeling. That is why the first thing to do is to pray this verse. Honestly, God will help you. Then get out your Bible and read. Let God lead you into peace.

This is a trick of the devil and we really must stop playing by his playbook. His strategy is to get us upset or angry so that we let loose with our language. When we do that we actually give him building blocks that he can use to defeat us. In a sense we defeat ourselves because we provide the ammo that shoots us down. So, do yourself a big favor. The next time you get mad, someone does you wrong or some ugly problem jumps up in your face, set a sentry over your mouth. Get one of those big dudes to stand guard for you. Put this verse into action and then let the Lord lead you.