Monday, January 26, 2015, 4:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “A Still Small Voice.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 18 (selected verses).
His Own Desire
1 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
3 When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace…
5 It is not good to be partial to the wicked
or to deprive the righteous of justice. ~ 18:1-3, 5 ESV
When we are born into this world, we are born with sin natures. We are naturally selfish, and we seek after what pleases us. We are separate from God, without hope, and destined to spend eternity in eternal torment. Yet, when we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, and we turn from living for sin and self, and we are born anew of the Spirit of God, our desire should now be for God and to do what pleases him.
Yet, we still live in flesh bodies, and we still have the propensity to sin, so our flesh often or frequently battles against what the Spirit desires. And so we must fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us, so that we can walk by the Spirit of God (See: Eph. 6:10-20; Jas. 4:7-10; 2 Tim. 2:22; Heb. 12:1-3). Thus, we must daily resist Satan and the flesh, and we must yield to the control of the Spirit of God over our lives. We can be victorious over the flesh in the power and working of the Spirit within us, as we cooperate fully with that work.
We will not be victorious over our flesh, though, if we continually yield to the flesh, and/or if we persist in feeding our sinful desires by regularly involving ourselves in activities which are sinful. We cannot get victory over sinful habits, as well, if we justify and rationalize away our sin, and/or if we call it something other than what it is. For instance, many Christians would not think of going out and having sexual relations with someone to whom they are not married, nor would they seriously consider murdering someone or robbing a bank. And, yet they will lust in their hearts, dream of romantic relationships with others, view pornography, and watch TV shows or movies with sexual situations or with love affairs in them. They may also hate others or cheat on their taxes or on their time sheets at work.
The Power of The Tongue
4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook…
6 A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body…
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits. ~ 18:4, 6-8, 21 ESV
In James 3:8 we read that no man can tame the tongue. “It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” In Luke 6:45 we read: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” As well, we read in Ephesians 4:29 that we should not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths “but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” And, in 2 Peter 2:18-19 we read about false teachers who “mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.’”
Our mouths (tongues/speech) can be used for good or for evil. They can bring blessing or cursing. They can build up or destroy. They can wound or they can heal. So, how do we use our words for good and not for evil? Well, according to what we read here, what we say with our mouths is a reflection of what is in our hearts. If we have unforgiving and bitter spirits, it will come out in what we say. If we hate anyone or have resentment in our hearts towards them, our speech should reflect that at some point or another. As well, if we are jealous or envious of others, eventually our lips will reveal what we have tried to keep hidden. Or if we love our Lord, follow Jesus, are submissive to the Spirit’s work, and walk in His love, this should also be revealed through the words which we speak.
So, if we want good to come out of our mouths and not evil, then we need to not be taking evil into our minds and hearts, and we need to not be holding on to what is evil. As well, we need to not be participating in evil acts. In contrast, we need to be in the study of the Word each day, listening to it, meditating on it and applying it, by God’s grace, to our daily lives. And, if we are saying things we wish we would not have said, and we wonder “Where did that come from?” then we need to pray for God to examine our hearts and to show us what is in there that needs to be cleansed so that we can cut that cancer out by the power of the working of the Spirit within us. Yet, there are probably many who know exactly what it is in their hearts from which their mouths speak, but they don’t want to cut the cancer out.
A Strong Tower
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe…
12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty,
But humility goes before honor…
15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16 A man’s gift makes room for him
And brings him before great men. ~ 18:10, 12, 15-16 NASB
So, what can we do about sin, selfishness and the taming of our tongues? Well, first of all we must believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives. We do this by humbling ourselves before God, by believing in what Jesus Christ did for us in dying on the cross for our sins, and by agreeing with God about our sin by turning from it and by turning to God via faith in Jesus Christ. Then, when we believe in Jesus, we are thus crucified with Christ to our old lives of living for sin and self, we are born anew of the Spirit of God, and we are given new lives by God to be lived in the power and working and strength of the Spirit of God within us. By us making this decision to make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives, we choose to no longer live for ourselves but for Christ who gave himself up for us. We choose to no longer live to satisfy the sinful desires of our flesh, but to walk in the Spirit in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Our desire is now for God/Christ, to walk in his ways.
If this does not describe your salvation experience, though, then I would ask that you go before God in prayer, that you humble yourself before him, repent of your sin, and allow the Holy Spirit of God to transform your heart and mind away from living for sin and self to walking in the Spirit in Christ’s holiness. So many people these days are teaching a false grace that says you don’t have to repent, and that you don’t have to obey Christ, and that God is pleased with you no matter what you do, yet that is not what scripture teaches. You don’t want to trust in this false grace and then one day hear God say that he never knew you. Make sure of your salvation today. God’s grace teaches you to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while you wait for Christ’s return. Jesus Christ did not die just so you could escape hell and go to heaven when you die. He died “to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (See: Tit. 2:11-14).
Yet, if you are sure of your salvation, but you have been giving in to the flesh, and you have been playing with sin, and you have been entertaining sin in your mind via your own imagination or via the things you watch or listen to, then I pray today that you would repent of your sin and trust in Christ Jesus, that he has given you all that you need to live a godly life, and then to believe that he has set you free from the control of sin so that sin no longer should be your master.
And, if your mouth is speaking things they ought not to speak, then I pray you would go before God in prayer, seeking his face, and inquire of him as to what is in your heart, for our words reflect what is in our hearts. I also pray you will be willing to hear what the Spirit says to your heart, that you will not resist his voice, and that you will obey him by taking care to get rid of all bitterness, rage, malice, and/or unforgiveness, etc. Or, if you already know what is in your heart, but you have been unwilling to let go of a particular sin, then I pray you will yield to the power and working of the Spirit of God in your life and that you will leave that sin behind you. Jesus is calling each and every one of us to follow him in obedience. Will you listen to his still small voice and obey him today?
A Still Small Voice / An Original Work / May 23, 2011
In a still small voice He calls you.
Won’t you hear and let him in?
He’s still speaking, oh, how gently.
He died to save you from sin.
Softly He speaks to our hearts.
His mercy and love imparts.
Won’t you come to Him today?
Let Him wash your sins away.
In a still small voice He whispers,
Kindly, calling you to Him.
He loves you so much, He’s willing
You not die, but live with Him.
He keeps prodding, gently so,
For His grace, you come to know.
He died so that you’d go free;
Live with Him eternally.
In a still small voice He hastens
You to turn your lives to Him,
Humbly walking in obedience,
Making Him your Lord and King!
Turn from your sin, turn to God,
Put your trust in Christ, His Son.
Invite Him into your hearts.
He’ll give you a brand new start.