Saturday, December 17, 2005

Watch What You Say

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].Proverbs 18:21 (AMP)

Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks...

This was the Scripture emailed to me today, and as I began to meditate on it, the Lord brought to my remembrance an article I wrote for publication many years ago. I am reposting here, and believe someone will be touched by it...

Watch What You Say
Recognizing the Power of the Tongue

As a child, my father always hated to hear two particular words more than any others – “I can’t.” He always taught me that anyone was capable of doing anything as long as that person had the self-determination and a driving will to complete the task. In his mind, the only person who could hinder anyone from fulfilling a goal or dream was that individual himself. Throughout my childhood and later in life, I always remembered Daddy’s theory on self-confidence, but I find that as children of God live from day to day, we often forget our God-given potential and supernatural ability. In essence, we carry an “I can’t” mentality, though we may not verbally express those exact words. It often baffles my mind to think how the lost souls of this world live from day to day as if everything is fine and the world is a wonderful place. Drug dealers stand on corners and sit behind the desks of large corporations as CEOs believing that they will never be caught or punished. Heart and lung doctors treat cancer patients everyday, but continue to smoke cigarettes as if their own bodies are indestructible and exempt from the development of disease. Why is it that people who don’t know our Father believe themselves to be indestructible while the children of the Most High, the royal priesthood, sit around accomplishing nothing, earning nothing, changing nothing, speaking nothing, and living nothing?

A familiar scripture to all Christians, the 10th chapter of Romans, verses 9 and 10, teaches us that the things we say have a profound effect on the lives we live. Notice exactly what these verses are actually stating:

That if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Whenever I meditate on this passage of scripture, the first thing that jumps to my attention is the fact that confession is actually the breaking point to life. “Just believe!”, we’re told. “If you only believe...” As a babe in Christ, I always thought that belief was the strongest component of my new life in Christ, but according to James 2:19, belief may not be the most important factor in living a sanctified life.

Thou believest that there is one God: thou does well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Well, if the same devils and demons which are to be cast into hell believe the same things as the redeemed children of God, there must be another factor to consider. I propose that the distinguishing factor is “SAY POWER!”

Proverbs 18:21 proclaims that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Therefore, if the Word of God is true, we should be able to apply some deductive reasoning to this whole subject and draw a sensible conclusion as to why so many of us are living in an oppressed state, whether it be physical, mental, emotional or financial. When we consider this reality, one may conclude that confession brings salvation, while it may also welcome death. What we speak, whether positive or negative, actually shapes and determines the lives we lead. If our lives are not prosperous, fully sufficient and full of perfect health, someone is speaking death and causing it to assume a position in our lives, or we are failing to change our current state by speaking a word of life and revitalization.

Before jumping into a deep explanation of why we do what we do, let’s consider a simple analogy that each of us have experienced. Imagine your favorite meal sitting on an elaborately decorated dining table. The sweet aroma of the main course fills the room as you take a seat with a dinner companion. Upon sitting down, and blessing the food of course, you consume the appetizers, then the main dish, and complete the dinner with a creamy, tantalizing desert. When you have completed your meal, you gently wipe the corners of your mouth and reach into a purse or pocket for a breath mint. Whether your dinner consists of sautéed shrimp, chicken cordon-bleu, fillet mignon, Italian baked spaghetti, or chitterlings and fried chicken, it is almost second nature to partake of a breath mint or a piece of gum at the close of every meal. This scenario reminds me of Mark 7:15, which states:

There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.

What is the point, you ask? Well, despite the genre of any meal including the taste, aroma or texture of the food you consume, the end result of any meal is always bad breath and a possible case of gas! Just like a couple sitting down to an expensive meal, Christians sit in church services, revivals, tent meetings and prayer vigils consistently taking in the “sincere milk” of the Word and the divine bread of life, but we still come out with spiritual bad breath!

The scientists of the world tell us that the curse of halitosis is a condition caused by the breeding of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria are known to reproduce and grow in dark, humid places. What better camping ground is there than the human mouth? Science would also have us to know that this tiny organism feeds on dead particles in order to survive. Let’s take this issue to another level and consider it at a greater depth. Bad breath is not actually caused by the food we eat, but by the bacteria that live off the dead food particles left behind in the mouth. One may now conclude that stench is present only in the midst of death. Stench is a by-product of death. Stench is caused by death. We are reminded of this principle at the death of Lazarus when Jesus commands that the tomb stone be rolled away. Being aware of the by-product of death, Martha states, “Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he hath been dead four days.”

The point of this analysis is that when we, the people of God, speak dead things, those curses take the form of a foul stench, originating from the mouth. The stench of death then permeates throughout our lives and begins to stain our experiences and situations through the form of poverty, sickness and disease. But praise God! We reserve the right and possess the power and authority to change such situations.

It’s amazing how the people of God are always able to bicker and complain about the trials and tribulations we suffer unnecessarily while we continue to speak these things into our very own lives. How can we expect to be rich, walking in wealth and having more than we can ask or think when we continue to proclaim that we’re “broke, busted and disgusted, hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray?” How can you walk in divine health when the strongest testimony in your life is one of a doctor who announces the presence of throat cancer in your body right before he leaves to take his own cigarette break? We are children of God, so “why seek ye the living among the dead?” How can we expect life to come forth if the aroma of death consistently surrounds us and is bred within us?

Saints, we must always remember that God has given us authority. The death, burial and resurrection of Christ has delivered us from death, hell and the grave. We do have a choice about the lives we lead.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Always remember that we have eternal and abundant life through Christ Jesus, our Lord. This life should be evident in us not only in the life to come, but also in our present lives on this earth. We are alive in Christ and heirs to the Son of God on this day. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” We have therefore inherited all rights and privileges both now and forevermore. The Bible is a covenant between God and the Body of Christ. He cannot lie. The Word is truth and life to all who believe. “The dead praise not God” (Psalm 115:17), but we have life through the Son of God. Our prosperous living should cause the lost to “see [our] good works and glorify our Father in heaven.” Lifestyle is the greatest form of witness and the most sincere method of praise. God cares about what we say.

Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by they words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12: 36, 37).

Though we face limitations in our daily lives, we must be reminded that NOTHING is impossible with God. We can do “all things through Christ which strengthens us.” We need only to read, pray, study, ask, receive, declare and proclaim! So, the next time you pray and study the Word of God, pick up your Bible and tell the devil, “This Bible represents God’s intent, and I shall always use it as my spiritual breath mint!”

No comments: