Enjoy Session 13 of last fall's 40 Day Project:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and those who love it will eat its fruits.
~ Proverbs 18:21
Everything that comes out of our mouth carries with it some sort of spirit. Either life or death, either good or evil. James chapter 2 talks about the tongue being able to both praise God and curse ourselves, that it is a spark, a world of evil that can corrupt the whole body with the fires of hell – pretty strong language for such a small appendage!
Most people interpret that to mean that we are to be careful of speaking evil or unkind words to each other, which is true. We can place gossip, slander, lies, crude language, profanity, hateful and disrespectful talk into that category.
The Bible says that an undeserved curse does not come to rest (Proverbs 26.2). The only one who truly deserves to be cursed is Satan and his demons. That means that if you curse or speak evil, you are giving room for evil in your own life by speaking in that manner. That evil will return to you – so basically if you frequently curse or use profanity, you are only cursing yourself. You eat the fruit of your tongue. This goes for being critical, unkind, contemptuous, sarcastic, and all other less obvious forms of negativity. We say them and then wonder why life is so unkind…
But more than that, God wants us to be aware of the positive power of what we say. We are created in His image, and we can also create. He spoke the universe into existence with His Word, and on a smaller scale, has graced us with the ability to speak into existence whatever He has already promised us. This is not a religious “name-it-and-claim-it” magic formula, but an act of intelligent faith.
Speaking our faith has nothing to do with positive thinking, or trying to delude ourselves into believing that everything is fine when nothing is fine at all. It is not living in denial of reality, but is an act of faith that sees God’s reality beyond what we see in the physical world. It is believing so profoundly that what God promised in His Word and what He did in the lives of others, will surely happen to us – despite the fact that our eyes see no evidence of it yet. Faith is by definition, the “… substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11.1. Faith is not a feeling – it is a rational decision to believe in what our eyes do not see as if it were already a fact.
When we speak by faith, we sound like fools to the world, because we are sure of something that does not yet exist. But if we don’t – how can we say we have faith? And if we don’t have faith, the Bible says that it’s impossible to please God. And so pleasing God means being ready to speak and behave as if His promises were already coming true, before we see the slightest hint that they will. It’s being radical.
SIDE NOTE: There is a form of speech disguised as humility that doesn’t want you to get your hopes up for a miracle. A pastor can proclaim that you will be healed, your child will be set free, your job will be blessed or your marriage restored with full faith, and have his word of faith slapped down with a response that has the appearance of honesty, but is nothing more than a faith killer: “Well, I hope so…” Ban that phrase from your language. Today!
HOMEWORK: From now on, speak by faith, act by faith. Don’t allow the devil to use your mouth to create death. Banish all profanity and all crude language and begin speaking faith and agreeing with faith instead. Be ready to sound crazy to everyone else. This is all a part of changing your mental DNA, of being audacious and of sacrificing. Let your tongue be used to create new life no matter how much your emotions tell you that you are going too far.