Witness This

Psalm 39: 1 – 2             NIV

I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good.

If you want to keep yourself from sin, the tongue is an excellent place to start. Most of us do more damage to ourselves and others with our mouth than any other way. In my book, Journey Through the Bible, chapter 64 is titled Loshon Hora. This is a Hebrew expression for derogatory speech. If you study Loshon Hora, you will discover that the Rabbinical teachings advise against derogatory speech, otherwise called evil talk, not only because of the negative impact upon others but also because it is damaging to the speaker. The words which come out of our mouths either edify us or defile us. So, when we speak negatively about someone else, even if it is true, we tear down ourselves. I encourage you to take this to heart as absolute truth.

David knew the truth of this. Sometimes it is more beneficial to remain silent even when you want to speak truth. Fools cast their pearls before swine. Yet we find ourselves with many words. We want to preach people into the Kingdom of God, but God never told us to do that. Preachers are for the saved, to train them and teach them so they can do into the world and save the wicked. Paul said, “My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” (1 Corinthians 2: 4). If Paul’s witness was demonstrations of the Spirit and his power, then why do we choose to talk people to death? We are on the wrong path entirely. We should all know by now that people aren’t listening to what we say, they are watching what we do. So, are our lives demonstrations of God’s love? Are we harbingers of His power and grace? People are not interested in what we think. They are interested in God’s presence and we can be those carriers of God’s presence to people, literally, everywhere we go.

Our goal should be to honor Jesus’ commission to us by first obeying Romans 12: 2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” See, our job is to be transformed so that people see that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Not us, but God in us. We aren’t perfect in ourselves, but He is. Our mission is to allow the Lord to transform us. That is accomplished through the renewal of our minds. You see, mine and your first task is not to tell the world how to be. It is to let God show us who we should be. Our effort should be focused on our own renewal and subsequent transformation. When we are renewed and transformed, we won’t have to say much because God in us will be loudly visible. We will demonstrate the love and power of the Almighty as did Paul.

We have had this all upside down for so long and we absolutely must correct this. We are the church, we are the temple of the Almighty. That is where people are looking to see if God is alive. We must become more attractive images of Christianity. Don’t try to change them so they can go to heaven. Change you with the power of the Holy Spirit so they want to go to heaven. We’ve been making heaven look like hell. We’ve got to right this ship and mirror our Lord. We are to be his disciples which means we act like him, we talk like him. David said, “I will watch my ways.” We’ve been busy watching their ways. We’ve been acting like the world and frankly, talking like them too, and then trying to persuade others that we know truth.

Let us save ourselves. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” (Philippians 2: 12). Let derogatory speech have no part with you. Keep your tongue from sin. By this we guard ourselves and minister to others.

Speak Wisely

Proverb 13: 2 – 3               NIV

From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence. Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

This is right in the middle of many of the things I am thinking about and meditating on right now. If you are a journaler, this verse might make for an interesting question to take to the Father and, I would love to hear what He says to you if you journal it.

As a whole, I think we have failed to grasp how powerful, significant and effective our words are. Preachers have been telling us for years that there is power in our words, for good or for ill. For that matter, I remember PMA speakers and authors telling us forty years ago that our mouths would direct our success.

Our health is in our words, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverb 18: 21). Our financial well-being is in our words, and lest I recite every area impacted by the words we speak, shall we just accept that every facet of life reflects the words we have spoken?

I have written on this topic many times and yet I have not fully grasped this principle myself. Upon the occasion of a previous Word of the Day on this subject, one of my friends commented that we need to hear this every week if not every day. It is that important and that easily lost.

It is our words which bind and loose the powers of heaven. Angels will either be loosed into your life or bound by what you say. In like manner, you can give Satan’s imps permission to tamper with your life by those words. The spirit realm responds to what you say. You have authority over your life but how are you using it? Adam and Eve had authority too.

Your body is listening to what you say too. So is your mind. If you say you are old, infirm, or that your body is going to fall apart at some specified age, then you are right. If, however, you say that you intend to be as strong as Moses, Joshua and Caleb until you move to heaven, then that is the truth you will live. If you are speaking nourishing words to your mind, your mind will respond. If you continually spew language of senior moments and confusion, then you are going to talk yourself right into senility.

Wherever you are right now is the result of the words you spoke, or even the good words you didn’t speak, in the past. The good news is that you can change course right now. You can reprogram your body and your mind in the next few moments. What would you like your body to believe? What do you say about your mind? It is your choice. Choose and speak wisely.

Calling Things

Romans 4: 17        (KJV)

God … who calleth those things which be not as though they were.

As Christians, there are several ways we can affect the situations around us. One way is simply to pray and ask our Father to intervene. There is another means by which the Lord has meant for us to affect our lives and the entire world. That is through the power of our tongue; the power of confession. God has given us His power so that we might go into all the world doing good even as Jesus did. Our confession is the basic tool for this process. This is the means by which the Father created the earth, the universe and all creation. He spoke them into existence. There is something so primal and so basic here that if we, as the body of Christ, can get a hold of it, we will be the means of change.

God calls those things that aren’t as if they already were. In His confession is creation. Thereby it becomes reality. So, His saying it makes it real. Isn’t that awesome? He has given this same ability to us because we have now been recreated in His image.

I would love to declare a National Words of our Mouth Day. On that day everyone would speak only positive, life giving words about any and every situation. For that one day we would all say aloud those things which we want to see come to pass. I would call you healed and prosperous and you would agree with me. It would be very easy to have the second National Words of our Mouth Day because people would be filled with expectation from the great success they saw in the first one. Expectation would make the second even more momentous. Maybe we could start tomorrow.

Testify!

Revelation 12: 11

And they overcame him (the devil) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.

Jesus told us that the devil comes “to steal, and kill, and destroy” (John 10: 10). But we are over comers (1 John 2: 13) through him that came to bring us the victory. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4). You see, Jesus overcame the world. He has done his part. In John 16: 33 he told us to take courage for he has overcome the world. And yet some of us are not walking in the full measure of Jesus’ victory. Why? How can that be?

It seems that we have a part in this victory as well. While Jesus has overcome the devil and all of his minions through his blood we must include ourselves in that victory through the use of our testimony, or our confession, and our faith. This means that our words have something to do with the measure of Jesus’ victory we will walk in. Satan is overcome by Jesus’ shed blood and our confession. Faith is believing God’s word, even in the face of contradictory evidence. The expression of faith is the confession of our mouth. What comes out of our mouths demonstrates exactly where our faith is. Are you sick, going to get healed, getting healed or healed? You see, those words indicate levels of faith. There is no condemnation if you are not yet confessing the greater part of faith. It just shows where you are currently. Tomorrow you can be in a different place altogether. Further, the more your confession matches the Word of God, the more of Jesus’ victory you will experience. 

We must all learn to order our words aright. Every one of us must be vigilante regarding the words that proceed from our mouths. Proverb 18: 21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We need to learn to wield that power to our benefit. We will thereby overcome the devil and all of his machinations.

Strong Guards

Psalm 141: 3                   Index Card 5

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

Well, here we are again, back to my mouth. Remember, this series is from my own set of index cards. These are the verses I have transferred to cards so that I can post them in front of my eyes continually.

If I can lasso the words of my mouth, then my entire walk is easier, “For, ‘The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit’” (1 Peter 3: 10). The truth is, though, “no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison” (James 3: 8). So, I failed time after time, and I still fail today if I don’t keep God’s guard over my mouth.

This is a good reminder for me today. I should pray daily for God’s help with my mouth. O Lord, send a big angel to guard my mouth and keep watch over my lips.

Effectual Speech

James 1: 26         (NIV)

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

The New Living Translation of this verse is even more direct. It reads, “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”

That is straight forward but it sounds a bit harsh. James is trying to get across to us just how important the words of our mouth are. You cannot have an effectual religion and an unsaved mouth. That is just how it is. In this chapter James is writing about being an effectual doer of the word. He then says you cannot accomplish this if you cannot tame your tongue. 

There are many scriptures in the Bible about the words we speak. It seems to me that in this passage, James effectively refers to the body of verses about the tongue saying to us that you have heard all of these verses but still you let your mouth wander off in any direction it chooses. He tells us that we will never attain to effectual faith if we don’t once and for all get a bridle on our tongues. He wants to wake us up to the power of the tongue.

We must first grasp the importance of this and then learn how we are to use words in our everyday lives. If we do not, James says our religion is worthless. I do not want my faith to be of no use and I am sure you do not either. Let us examine the words we speak. Let us begin to guard the words of our mouth jealously. Let us draw together with a determined purpose; to focus our attention on the words of our mouths and help each other to have victory in this most important area.

Death Snare

Proverb 6: 2

. . . snared with the words of your mouth, have been caught with the words of your mouth.

The words of our mouths; by them we shall live victoriously or be snared. If you knew for a fact that whatever you say is what you are going to get, would you change some of the things you are saying? Would you speak differently about your children, your health? What about your job? We need to get a revelation about the words we speak. God used words to create the whole universe (Hebrews 11:3). And He sustains the world by the “word of his power” (Hebrews 1: 3). Words are powerful. They are going to determine where we are five years from now. So the question is, “What are we saying?”  

I heard a story about a man who confessed over and over again that he was going to die young? Guess what? He did. Athletes use positive affirmations in their work. They know that they are determining outcomes with their words. All sorts of Positive Mental Attitude speakers and authors have taught how powerful words are in people’s lives. It seems most of us, though, have not wholly grasped the enormous authority that our words have. If we had, we would guard very carefully the things we say. We would not claim disease as “my” heart disease or “my” diabetes. Don’t own it. Don’t claim it. Give it back to the devil since he seems to like those things so much.  

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverb 18: 21). Take some time to notice what words you speak. Then maybe even take some time to write out the things you would like to see manifested in your life. Speak those good results and teach others to do the same. We will have in the future what we speak now. Let us all speak good of ourselves and our futures.