Life or Death

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Words.

They can be one of the hardest things to tame; faster and more powerful than an angry, raging river. With one swift motion, that small muscle we call the tongue can cut a heart in half.

Isn’t it incredible how something you can’t see or hold can be shared so quickly? Whether or not we like it, words can transform us. They can empower us, motivate us, or they can tear us down and shatter our very core.

Like you, I have been on both the receiving & giving end of other’s words. I have received hurtful words. I have given hurtful words. I have received words that gave me life. And I hope I have spoken life giving words.

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37

Every careless word we speak, we will be held accountable for. Yikes.

We are responsible for every single word that we give. If you’re like me, it can be all too easy to justify the words I speak by rationalizing, “Well, they asked for my opinion, so I gave it to them” or “They wanted the truth, so I told them.”

Despite how hard I try to convince my husband, my opinions are not always actually right. Even if the words come easily to me, it doesn’t mean they should be released. And just because I speak with conviction it doesn’t guarantee that the source of those words is pure. My heart can be deceptive. If left to it’s own devices, my heart can be jealous, angry and selfish.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

 

There are many times I have to make the conscious decision to bridle my tongue. The more I’ve practiced “thinking before speaking”, the more aware I’ve also become about where my thoughts and words are coming from. Are they coming from a source of jealousy? Is that why I feel the need to say something? Inviting God into that place of my heart and mind has been a game changer for me. He’s revealed how untamed emotions like jealousy, anger, bitterness or frustration can disguise themselves as something harmless. If I give in to their ugly persuasion, they will surely rise up inside of me and try to escape through my words where they can do insurmountable damage. It is easy to hold back? Not always. Is it important? Yes. It’s absolutely vital.

I’m not talking about behavior modification. I mean allowing God into the depths of our heart so that the source of our words will be pure and holy and loving. Words are simply the manifestation of what’s going on inside of us.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 

“Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.” Proverbs 11:12

If our first reaction is to “blaaaaaaaaa”, then let’s go to the source – our hearts. Let’s ask the Lord to show us the parts of our heart that we’ve kept closed off to Him & that cause us to feel like those words should be said.

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”        Proverbs 12:18

A Voice in the Silence

I wonder if the Lord chooses to whisper sometimes so we will listen for His voice with more intention & with greater desperation.

I know that’s how it has been for me. When I feel like the Lord isn’t speaking as loudly or as clearly as He usually does, it makes me pause & listen a lot closer. The interesting part is, the silence I feel has usually come to me during times in my life that are “good”. And I think the “silence” has a lot more to do with me than Him. I allow my situations & emotions to be the things satisfying me, instead of staying in a constant state of hunger for Jesus.

But listening for Him in the silence can be just as sweet as hearing His words. Because even in the silence, He is there & He is working.

 

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1

 

I love that about Him. He is constantly guiding me, like a Father. Constantly correcting, instructing & teaching. I envision a little lamb walking with her Sheppard. He is always nudging & directing her along the winding & sometimes dangerous terrain. He keeps her safe & guides her.

 

My sheep hear my voice, & I know them, & they follow me. John 10:27

 

I have to remind myself that just because I don’t feel emotionally passionate or energized, doesn’t mean He’s not speaking. If I am reading His Word, I am hearing His voice. And just because I’m not experiencing life-changing revelations every day, doesn’t mean He isn’t working & transforming my life. If I am meditating on His Word & spending time with Him, I am becoming more like Him.

 

So faith comes from hearing, & hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

 

The voice of the Lord is so sweet. His whispers can bring alive even the driest of bones. How precious is His Word. We never have to question if He is speaking to us. All we must do is consume the words He’s given us & continue to listen. He promises to answer.

He will always answer.

 

Call to me & I will answer you, & will tell you great & hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3

 

My beautiful friend Amber, recently wrote this on her Facebook status:

It’s okay to be in the quiet place. To be still & learn & soak & sit & wait. And not think about your own worries but to think on who Jesus is & ponder this, & soak in the amazing reality of who He is that He desires to live inside of us and do everything to enliven us supernaturally. And not only that but that He wants us to have our very nature be transformed by His grace alone; to have His desires; to have our heart beat as His. That we would be driven by what drives Him! Amazed. Simply amazed. In awe. And thankful.

So as you sit in the silence, my dear friend, know His presence; feel His heartbeat. And may your heart be totally sensitive to every breath & word that comes out of His mouth. He will answer. And when He does, may His life pour into that place in your life that you desperately need it to.

I declare my God as faithful!