Covenant Keeping 201 – The Problem With Our Tongue
Last month I talked about how to tell if you really have forgiven. I pointed out that all you have to do is listen to what comes out of your month.
Even though you may never forget what happened to you in the past, that has nothing to do with forgiveness. If you are still talking about a specific incident, you have not forgiven.
Today, let’s talk about the tongue. Psalm 34:11-13 says, “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you to fear the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worship Him with obedience]. Who is the man who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” (AMP) In his book, Does Your Tongue Need Healing?, author Derek Prince writes, “The measure in which we have the fear of the Lord is the measure in which we enjoy true life.” Life and death are in the power of the tongue – be careful what you speak!
A beautiful picture of Jesus is shown in Psalm 45:2. The heading on this chapter is, “The Glories of the Messiah and His Bride.” Listen to the words describing Jesus: “You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.” Derek Prince describes it this way, “Two very important principles are given here. First, the grace of the Messiah is manifested primarily in His lips. Second, God has blessed Him forever because of the grace of His lips.” Ask yourself if this is true of you. Do you speak grace out of your lips so that you can be blessed forever?
The words that you speak determine your destiny. For a true picture of the power of the tongue, I encourage you to read the Book of James. James compares the tongue to the rudder of a ship. Although a small unseen part below the surface of the water, it determines the destiny of the entire vessel. In Numbers 13 and 14 there is the story of twelve spies who were sent to spy out the Promised Land. Ten of the spies came back and added the fatal word, nevertheless, to the promise of God. They looked at the giants in the scouted land and its walled cities and said, “We are not able.” Thankfully, the other two spies returned with faith and courage, saying, “We are well able!” Those two eventually entered the Promised Land.
God’s Word declares that marriage is a covenant. Is that what your tongue is saying? Are you agreeing with the Word or do others hear you share words such as, “My spouse doesn’t love me; it looks hopeless?” Just as the 12 spies settled their destiny with their tongue, you, too, are sealing your destiny with your tongue. Are you focusing on the problem when the Word that says there is nothing impossible for God?
Derek Prince also shares these six diseases of the tongue:
- “Excessive Talking
Proverbs 10:19 ‘When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.’ (NAS) If you say too much you are bound to say something wrong.”
- “Idle or Careless Words
Matthew 12:36 ‘But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment.’ (NKJV) If you don’t mean it, don’t say it!”
Leviticus 19:16 ‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.’ (NIV) Going about spreading slander – idle, untrue, exaggerated, malicious talk – is gossip. The very title of Satan in the New Testament, the word rendered “devil” means a slanderer in the Greek. We cannot be a gossip and we cannot receive gossip from someone else.”
Proverbs 6:16-19 ‘Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.’ Notice that three of these involve the lips: 1) lying tongue 2) lying under oath and 3) a trouble maker in the family.”
Psalm 12:1-3 ‘Save and help and rescue, Lord, for godly people cease to be, for the faithful vanish from among the sons of men. They speak deceitful and worthless words to one another; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that speaks great things [in boasting].’ (AMP) There always has been a moral decline in the human race. Godly people are hard to find, the faithful have vanished. Do not get caught in the net of flattery.”
- “Hastiness of Speech
Proverbs 29:20 ‘Do you see a [conceited] man who speaks quickly [offering his opinions or answering without thinking]? There is more hope for a [thickheaded] fool than for him.’ (AMP) Moses was told to go ahead of the children of Israel, speak to the rock, and it would bring forth water. But because of his hasty words he smote the rock and it cost him the privilege of leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land. A provoked spirit causes us to speak unadvisedly with our lips and these hasty words cost us many privileges and blessings.”
Do you have any of these six diseases of the tongue? The root of the problem affecting the tongue is the heart. “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34-37 in the Message Bible says it better than I can:
“You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
So the first step to healing the tongue is to call the problem by its name: SIN. When we come to the moment of truth, God moves in and helps us. If we try to excuse or cover up our problem, God does nothing. Second, confess your sin and receive forgiveness and cleansing. John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (NAS) Third, refuse to yield to that sin again. Jesus in you gives you the power to resist that sin again. You cannot escape from sin without yielding to God. In his book, Help My Spouse Wants Out, Craig Hill describes “grace” as, “God’s manifest power and presence enabling one to carry out God’s will. Grace is not the right to do what you want, but rather the desire and power to do what is right.” You cannot resist sin on your own, but only with the help of the Holy Spirit living in you.
The purpose of your tongue is to give God glory for all He has done in your life. If what comes out of your mouth does not glorify the Lord, then it is a misuse of your tongue. That is why you can gauge your forgiveness level by what comes out of your mouth. If you are still talking about an offense in the past – you have not forgiven and you need to repent because you are not glorifying the Lord. Your words paint a true picture of your heart, one that is dark with sin until you choose repentance.
“There is a direct link between the heart and the mouth. Jesus said, ‘Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.’ Salvation depends on two things: exercising faith in our hearts and making the right confession with our mouths.”
“In the Bible ‘salvation’ is the great all-inclusive word for all the blessings and provisions of God that have been obtained for us through the death of Jesus Christ. It includes spiritual, physical, financial, temporal and eternal blessings. All these blessings, purchased by the death of Jesus, are summed up in the word ‘salvation.’
“… in every area, whatever it may be, we must say the same with our mouths as God says in His Word. When our confession agrees with the Word of God, we are moving into the full provision of God in salvation, as we have the ministry of Jesus as our High Priest operative on our behalf in heaven.” Derek Prince
Put your tongue to use agreeing with what the Lord says about your marriage. He says you have a covenant, a covenant that He witnessed! Do you believe Him? Then agree with what He says and speak it out loud so that you can hear it and so the devil will hear it. Quit speaking your circumstances – God gets no glory from that. Speak His truth into your life until your life lines up with His Word. Beloved, this is using your tongue for a Godly purpose. Marilyn Conrad in her book Hope, says, “Hope is to the mind what faith is to the spirit. Unbelief in your mind will not become unbelief in your spirit if it is not spoken out of your mouth! Quit speaking the circumstances—speak the Word.”
Please pray this:
Holy Spirit, I really cannot control my tongue without Your help. Come in and take control. I yield to You. Give me a tongue that glorifies God. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.