“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” – James 3:5-10 (KJV)
It is amazing to know how dangerous a little member can be.
The tongue is so little; it weighs less than a pound and is less than six inches long. Yet it has destroyed many families, peoples and nations.
On its own the tongue is not evil; but its use can be good or evil. Unfortunately, it is often used for evil. We use the tongue to boast, to criticize, to find fault in others, to condemn, even to bear false witness!
The Holy Spirit speaking through James says it should not be so! Our tongue should not be used for both good and evil, blessing and cursing. We bless God with it and curse man, made in the image of God, with it. It should not be so!
Man has tamed the wildest animals and reptiles but the tongue has been so difficult to control. James says it cannot be tamed and put under control!
The tongue is so lethal; its poison has been the cause of all wars, as no war can take place without the exchange of words. This makes it the trigger of all wars!
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T EMPLOY THE TONGUE FOR EVIL!
Whenever the tongue is employed against another person, it can be very swift and manifest immediately. Or it can be slow. In either case it will affect, hurt and even destroy. BUT…..!
It destroys the owner, the carrier MORE than it destroys the person to whom it is employed!
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” – Matt 12:37 (KJV)
The tongue affects its owner than the person against whom it is directed! That is why the scripture says “bless and curse not”!
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” – Matt 5:44 (KJV)
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” – Romans 12:14 (KJV)
If you curse or insult someone, it comes back to you magnified.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” – Luke 6:38 (KJV)
WHATEVER you give out comes back to you magnified; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over! It comes back in folds: hundred, sixty and thirty. It may come immediately or come with time; two months, two years, five years. It might be delayed but comes!
A wise and knowledgeable man is known through his conversation. The more a person knows, the more humble he is, and the more he wants to learn from others.
Empty vessels, they say, make the greatest noise. Those who have power do not boast. We know that some of the causes of the misuse of the tongue are bitter envying, strife, jealousy: a lack of knowledge generally! The ability to scheme and manipulate the tongue for evil is not from God! It is devilish wisdom!
There can be no peace if the tongue is not brought under control! For there to be peace and unity, the tongue should be used for good!
Many have spoken foolishly and paid dearly with their lives.
“And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!” – Num 14:1-2 (KJV)
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me.” – Num 14:26-29 (KJV)
“And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’S anointed.” – 2 Sam 1:16 (KJV)
CONTROLLING THE TONGUE.
The tongue speaks from the substance in the heart! So to control the tongue the heart must be pure!
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:45 (KJV)
The heart should be filled with good words –the word of God. What you have stored in your heart is what will be framed by your tongue and pour from your lips! So:
(1) Fill your heart with the word of God.
(2) Be ready to hear much more than you speak.
(3)Think seriously before speaking; weigh your answer by asking yourself the following questions:
(a) Is it the Truth?
(b) Is it necessary to be said?
(c) Will it glorify God and edify man? And finally,
(d) Will it be fair to all concerned?
“According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” – Ex 25:9 (KJV)
Car gears differ; Mercedes, Volkswagen, Volvo, Toyota etc. Every manufacturer knows his product. We destroy the cars when we want them to function like another.
We destroy our businesses, marriages, health, and finance, when we try to run them like other people’s own.
Moses was told to build according to plan. God has a plan for you, your home, and your job. Stop comparing yourself!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. “ – Jer 29:11 (NASB)
His plan for you existed before you were born.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” – Jer 1:5 (NASB)
“Before I formed you …… I have appointed you!” This is awesome!!! You were chosen, appointed, consecrated, and empowered even before you were born! Make requisitions (prayers) and build, according to God’s plan.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office, And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do. “ – Ex 31:1-11 (KJV)
Imagine Aholibah, a fine artist and fashion designer going to the store room in the spirit realm to ask for a billow and an anvil!
The store keeper will refuse him those things because they are to be given to Bezaleel. No matter his good intention and fervency. He would be asked to build according to plan!
Be unique! Build your home, your job, your life according to His plan!
Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem to fulfill “need”.
“And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.” – Matt 21:3 (KJV)
The plan of God for Jesus as recorded by Isaiah.
“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” – Matt 21:4-5 (KJV)
This was God’s plan for Jesus even before He was born! Follow God’s plan for your life!
The things God has need of for you and all you represent, have been sent to the spiritual store bearing your name!
Every plan of God has its provision and timing. Certain things you asked in prayer are not denied but await their timing. When the need meets God’s time, it becomes manifest! Until it becomes a need for God in your life, it will not be supplied!
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
It has to be a need to Him, not to you! Don’t forget He is the one working in you to do His plan!
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Phil 2:13 (KJV)
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:19 (KJV)
Whatever the request, it has to be a need in your life to fulfill God’s plan for you in Christ Jesus!
How do you know what He needs?
(1) Stop using head knowledge!
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” – 1 Cor 2:9 (KJV)
The natural man cannot know the mind or plan of God and consequently cannot know what to pray for!
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” – Romans 8:26a (KJV)
(2) You need the Spirit.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” – 1 Cor 2:10-12 (KJV)
His plan is already written in your heart but you cannot know it until the Holy Spirit opens your eye of the spirit!
“…….. also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
Only the Holy Spirit can tell us the mind of God.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” – John 16:13-14 (KJV)
Build a strong relationship with Him. Talk to Him; He has emotions and, He feels!
After the fall of Adam, God entered another phase of His plan: a complete separation.
Adam sold the world to satan and man was powerless against the strong man.
God made a promise to send His Son to bind the strong man, destroy his works and set the captives free, for the purpose of separation.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” – 2 Cor 6:14-17 (KJV)
CHRISTMAS IS A CALL FOR A COMPLETE BREAK!
From this world and its system!
‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’ – Luke 2:7 (KJV)
There was no room for the Lord Jesus! The world would not accommodate Him! Indirectly the world told Him He did not belong here!
With His birth a new Kingdom was born; a spiritual kingdom. A Kingdom God wants us to be separated to.
“And be not conformed to this world.” – Romans 12:2 (KJV)
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” – 2 Cor 6:17 (KJV)
Every other thing done in Church is secondary! Be separated from this world! This is the primary reason for the birth of Jesus; NOT TO MAKE US RICH, but to separate us from this world for God and unto God!
This can be done through:
(1) THE BLOOD. This is the initial power that broke us loose from the clutch of satan. It has been done for us by the Lord Jesus when He shed His blood to save (separate) us. We have been called out of darkness!
”But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
(2) THE WORD. Retaining and maintaining this separation can only be done when we retain His word. This is our part in overcoming the enemy. Retaining the word, letting it dwell in us richly in all wisdom, circumcises our heart, strengthening us to stand, resist the devil and do the will of God that is why David said: “your word have I hid in my heart so that I will not sin against you.”
Where the world wouldn’t have room for Him we should, by allowing His word change our Character and speech!
“……but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Let us allow the Word of God separate us from the world by transforming and circumcising our heart.
“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” – Romans 2:28-29 (KJV)
Without this, Christmas is just a pagan worship!
In Economics we are told that human wants are many but with scarce means of meeting them. People have resorted to different kind of ways to meeting those wants.
Made in God’s image and likeness, we carry His nature,
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4 (KJV)
That means His ability works in us.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Phil 2:13 (KJV)
So, just as He calls those things that be not, we should equally call those things “that be not” instead of resorting to evil means; robbery, lies, prostitution, ritual killing and every other evil ways in the bid to acquire or meet our need. His power is at work in us. Lets believe and there would be a performance!
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” – Mark 11:23-24 (KJV)
God has created all things. Nothing is new or lacking. The things we do not see, exist in the spirit realm.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” – Eph 1:3 (KJV)
While we dwell in the natural realm, these needs are in the spiritual (heavenly) realm or place; that’s why we can’t see them! Like our Father would do, we should call those things from the spiritual realm where they are not visible, to our natural realm where they become visible and could be seen and touched. Jesus did what He saw the Father do. We should follow in His footsteps. This is Faith!
We talk and teach Faith. Yes, without Faith we cannot receive from the Father.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Heb 11:6 (KJV)
However for Faith to be effective, we need the Word!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)
Furthermore, our “calling”, “asking” or “praying” must align with or agree with the plan or will of God.
“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.” – Job 22:21 (KJV)
As a carpenter, why ask God for a stethoscope? You certainly do not need it! It is not in God’s plan for you! No matter how hard you bombard the store room of heaven, you will find no stethoscope in your name! James will tell you you asked amiss!
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” – James 4:3 (KJV)
Let us know that God planned our path on earth even before we were born. Let’s quest to know His will for us as individuals, as families, as communities; Church or secular, not comparing ourselves and His peace that passes all understanding will be ours. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Elimelech had left Bethlehem with his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to the land of Moab to escape the famine that had come upon the land.
There at Moab, where the economy was better, things suddenly took a new and ugly turn when Elimelech died. Not long afterwards, the two sons who had married also died and things became difficult for Naomi. To survive, with her two daughters- in law, she sold off most valuables, yet…
Going back to Bethlehem she said:
“I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” – Ruth 1:21(KJV)
They had fared well in Bethlehem before the journey to Moab. The famine forced them to move. Had they looked back to what they were before God picked them and filled them with testimonies, perhaps the tragedy that befell them could have been averted.
Some lessons could be learnt here as we approach the end of the year. We need to look back from the beginning of the year till now to see the mighty hand of God at work in our lives. This will help us humble ourselves.
(1) They could not see the hand of God at work. They must have attributed their success to their own efforts. So when the famine came, “common sense” dictated to them to move.
Let’s remember that whatever we may have become is the doing of the Lord. And if He delights to bless us in any land, no famine can overtake us as the Lord will be there to deliver us.
(2) They did not see God where they were. Jacob said, “God is here and I knew it not.”
“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.” (Genesis 28:16).
They did not appreciate where God planted them.
We can be so busy we fail to see God in the place we are and consequently, not appreciate Him for the place He has placed us. Let’s learn not to think or talk evil or negative of the place we are. Neither should we agree with people who run down where we are.
It is only when we praise God that the land will open its treasure to us.
(3) The fact that God is there does not mean you cannot have a famine; headaches, and challenges.
Where God was Jacob slept on hardness; without comfort: on a pillow of stones!
“And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.” (Genesis 28:11).
Stick in there through thick and thin!!! God is there!!!
Your bones may be screaming and your joints shouting their protests, stick in there!!!
Your stay at the place proves your faith in Him. Naomi and her family proved faithless despite God’s blessings to them before their journey to Moab. And without faith, it is impossible to please God or receive from Him. No wonder they lost everything and she came back empty!
(4) Joy does not come because you have things you want! No! Joy comes when you thank God for the things you have now!
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:6
Great gain; joy!
As we look back to the outgoing year, let us be mindful of where we met with God and return there again and again; if possible like Peter would say, make the place our dwelling.
Lesson no 3
God chooses us whilst still in the fire of affliction.
“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10).
And not everything can pass through the fire and remain the same. Most things would change or be mangled, yet this is where we are chosen.
As in the case of Hezekiah when God pulled back to watch his reaction:
“Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” (2 Chronicles 32:31).
God watches His children as they pass through the fire to see their reaction.
Would you change as you go through the fire? Would you be deformed or mangled when you come out at the other side of the fire?
This tells if you are matured or not for promotion.
God watched to see if we would allow the enemy take away our joy, our confession, the thought in our hearts.
Would we engage in character assassination, fight tooth for tooth and eye for an eye?
Or would we keep standing holding firmly to His word and praying for those who persecute us and despitefully use us?
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ” (Matthew 5:44)
Would we change? That is why it is a trial!
Walking with God can be demanding sometimes, especially when it has to do with relating to others; and most especially if they have hurt you so deeply you decide to “avoid” them; not necessarily malice but holding them at arms length, not to be hurt again by them.
After publishing post four of this serial, God spoke to me at five-thirty (5:30) am.
I do morning cry from 4:30am to 5:30am. This day, Thursday 16th of November I spoke from the gospel of Matthew,chapter 25, the Groom and the ten Virgins. I spoke particularly on the trimming of the lamp and the significance of the wick. Rounding up with a prayer at 5:30 the Lord broke forth with a command to go to Judith and pray for her and her house hold!
Ah! Why Lord? With all that she did? Not that I haven’t forgiven but to go there?
My wife and I have learnt over the years to forgive even in advance but not give room to be offended a second time.
But God rules in the affairs of men!
“But God”, I argued, “I have been there twice before and no good came out of it.”
“Go and pray with her.”
“Lord is this really you or is it my mind?”
God will not go into an argument..
Many Christians cast aspersion on the Prophet Jonah for running away to Joppa.
Honestly I felt like running away! What would people in that little community think of me? The flesh was speaking. Especially knowing Judith would announce I came to beg her!
Unknown to me, I was to put in motion that age -old principle that says the way of victory is the way of the cross; the way of shame!
The hurdle is always the flesh!
I told my wife and left to Judith’s. To the glory of God her husband was home but she was not.
He was shocked seeing me. Nevertheless I told him my purpose of coming. I thought he would not accept my prayer. But he did.
As I left their house and started for home, I saw Judith coming so I waited. After praying for her, we had a little discussion. She had gone to call a nurse for her most Junior daughter who was ill.
Asking if they would permit me pray for her, they ushered me into the room where she laid.
Afterwards I said goodbye to them and left.
Back home my joy knew no bounds. I sensed in the spirit that God was up to something!
It is in the darkest hour of the day, that light shines the brightest! God within this season, opened up a door of ministry that we never saw. Details will be given but not now; at the maturity of the testimony.
May we not change but keep doing good. For whatsoever we sow we shall reap.
Three months passed before i made up my mind that pearls should not be given to pigs.
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” – Matthew 7:6 .
I called a lawyer to write a disclaimer and submit it on my behalf to the motor company as I could no longer trust Benjamin! Moreover, I do not know where he stays in the city! Just a phone call and his family would join him there leaving me to stew in his juice?
It was a mighty deliverance the Lord worked for me! After the disclaimer was delivered and acknowledged, Judith stopped greeting me. She had stopped greeting my wife but manages to greet me; but now she stopped altogether!
Her anger was that I delivered myself by Freeing myself from the “bondage” of the surety. The bible was explicit about this but, like I said, I thought I was doing it for a brother. But he proved to be a stranger!
“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” – Proverbs 6:5
We learnt some valuable but very bitter lessons at this time.
(1) Except God touches a soul no good done to such soul can transform them!
Man can only be willing in the day of God’s power.
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” (Psalm 110:3).
(2) That men are more united in evil!
Empty vessels make a whole lot of noise just as evil is more appealing to natural man. People will readily believe a lie spoken against you than seek the truth! This shows indeed that what people are is what they believe others are! Even people you hold in high esteem as matured Christians!
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ” (John 3:19).