“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!
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.
Judith was at work! This time she and her group suspecting that a teacher has entered our premises, would go wait for them at the entry of the community (the community has only one entry point as it is hedged by water, and the teachers came from outside the community). Their minds would be poisoned causing them to not come back! What were they up to? What have we done to them that they act this way? Apart from Judith that we sacked, we have no negative dealings with anyone; even others in her group. In fact as the bible enjoins we live peaceably with everyone in the community; young and old. So why did they do what they did? Why did they set themselves up against us? Just wickedness! The heart of man is deceitful above all things and indeed, desperately wicked!
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
God made us know what was going on through a teacher whom we would call Meg. Meg was the very first to join us; she laboured with us under the rain and under the sun, even when still breastfeeding her baby!
She would strap the baby at her back while obediently carrying out her work in helping to set up the school; she was appointed the head teacher. Judith hadn’t joined us then.
When she did, she refused to acknowledge Meg’s position. Rather, she went telling parents she would not allow Meg be her head. All these came out after she was asked to go.
Meg was her first victim. Believing they were friends, they had an agreement to have carried out together but Judith betrayed her making us terminate her appointment with us. Consequently the position of head teacher became vacant.
Judith, an ambitious woman with the spirit of “Diotrephes”, who loves to be first (3rd John1:9-10), continued to claim head teacher! Several times my wife warned her to stop, especially as she was not a qualified teacher.
Judith, unknown to us, went to the parents, lied to them that children were not being taught in the school, but rather play! She claimed that was the reason she withdrew her children! She encouraged them to do the same! Till now, it beats my imagination how she was able to sway the parents that gave heed to her suggestion. Couldn’t they think? Children are not taught, they only play? And her children were there for about three years, the senior daughter who struggled with reading got polished and learnt to read? The younger daughter also improved tremendously, and all unnoticed by those parents? Perhaps I concluded, she uses some means – “African-jazz”?
Anyhow, only her kind would believe her.
Her activities nevertheless, made most parents hold back school fees. It was tough going! But God is ever faithful!
Judith covered her activities so well it took the Lord to expose her! After Meg came to know Judith as a back-stabbing liar, she regretted her action and renewed friendship with us. Through her, many would discover the scheming nature of Judith. Though she had taken up employment as the head teacher in another school, she sent us a teacher: a female teacher. Judith happened to her and like others before her, did not resume. She sent another, a male teacher, who like others did not resume.. Living close to this male teacher, she visited him to know how it all went; if he has been given the job.. While there, Judith’s group member approached the young man again, called him aside to give him more lies, not knowing who Meg was. Coming back to Meg, he narrated what he was told to the chagrin of Meg who debunked the lie.
Worried, my wife went to Meg to tell her that both teachers did not resume. She opened up and told my wife what happened. That was how we knew!
…….to be continued.
….. continued from A JOURNEY THROUGH HELL
We were thrilled when he had a job prospect with a motor company (whose name I will not give for discretion). However he needed a surety! Due to the relationship, he came to me when no one was willing to help.
Sometimes missionaries get blinded to the voice of reason, just because they believe God for a soul. I stuck my head out for Benjamin and signed a surety with the motor company to the tune of two million Naira! My wife was like, “what have you done?”
Though he used to send his tithe to Church, he seldom came to service despite all we tried, so I sent a message through the wife that he should stop sending the tithe; that the Lord is more interested in him than the money.
We continued to believe God to touch the heart of the couple when the instruction came, to relieve her of her school work!
Ah me! How can I do that? It is a hard decision for me!
This was someone who though I discourage it, called me “daddy!” I began to imagine the anger against Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart”, who beheaded Ikemefuna, a boy that called him “nna” (father).
How would I tell people in that community that God is love? Would they not ask me “which God? That God that asked you to sack a woman from her job thereby taking away her meal ticket?” How do I defend the gospel?
But the Master of masters has given His instruction. Obey or disobey!
I know if Brother Isaiah was here he would say “don’t be lead by your emotions. Let the Spirit lead you”.
“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” – Isaiah 11:3-4
I wondered what I would have done if I was with them in the wilderness, and as member of the tribe of Levi, when Moses gave the instruction to go into the camp and slay everyone his brethren! Sometimes God pokes at our emotion to test our maturity and obedience.
Undoubtedly, God loves her more than anyone could ever do. There has to be a reason! Of course, God is not One to always give you reasons why He does what He does. He answers to no man, rather we all answer to Him.
“Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?” (Job 9:12).
Experience has taught me however that God does not go into a debate. Promptly, I called my wife, asked her to call Judith and to come with her to the office. Calmly as I could, I broke the news to her. It was not an easy thing to do! If asked I would say this so far, is the most difficult message I had ever delivered!
She pleaded and even sent people to plead on her behalf. I was torn between obedience to God and compassionate care for Judith, a sister in the Lord!
We tried encouraging her with the word of God. But how do you encourage someone you just fired? The only encouragement she expected was that we give her back her job!
Like Shakespeare said, “there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.” (Macbeth – the book)
Indeed only God knows the thoughts and intents of every heart.
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jer 17:10 (KJV)
While thinking good of others, only God knows what thoughts they have for you. That was what distressed David more than the rebellion of Absalom.
While she continued to come to Church, as usual, her attitude began to change. She had withdrawn her children from school, and now began a campaign against my wife and the school!
Believing to be her pastor, I went to her and counseled her not to involve her children, by turning them against her perceived enemy. I cited instances from both the bible and in this modern days, how God reinstated people who humbled themselves: that God alone knew why He asked me to relieve her of the job. That rather than go to people and discredit my wife and school, she should go to God in prayer. I believed God wanted to do something in her life, she should go to Him.
She claimed to have heard. On the children’s school, she admitted her husband asked her to bring them back to school. Yet she kept them away through out the term.
….. to be continued in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-journey-through-hell-3/
(1) DO NOT LISTEN TO NEGATIVE INDIVIDUALS
Don’t listen to negative minded individuals who tell stories of woe and defeat. Some people delight in telling stories of woe, of failure, of fear and discouragement.
Don’t listen to them! Run from them! Remember the saying, “show me your friends, or people you listen to, and I will tell you who you are.”
God confounded the children of Israel in the desert who after seeing the giants in Jericho, lived in fear.
“But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13:31).
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” (Numbers 14:21-24).
God will confound you in the presence of your enemies if you dwell in fear, for then He will see you as a rebel!
“Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Numbers 14:9).
He never said demonic forces will not rise against you, but that we pay no attention to them.
(2) FILTER WHAT YOU SEE AND HEAR.
What you see and hear are suggestions! They affect your heart!
“Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.” – (Lamentations 3:51)
If they are not pulled down ( 2Cor. 10:5), but allowed to grow, saturate the mind and take control of it. And when the mind is full, like a cloud full of vapour, it releases its content.
(3) READ BOOKS OF INSPIRATION
Read books of encouragement; books that tell you mighty acts of God.
”Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Listen to messages of hope. Messages that give life, and play music that will edify your spirit. Video is good, but watch only those films that inspire you towards righteousness. Don’t watch just any “wolvish” video in “lamb clothing” by the title “Christian film”.
(4) CONFESS POSITIVE WORDS.
As you speak godly words aloud to yourself, faith will grow in your heart to counter any influence of evil that may have been deposited there.
Finally, no matter the situation, confess positive words. What you programme or sow into your heart is most certainly what you will reap!
“A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.” (Proverbs 13:2a)