My whole life I have always been soft-spoken. From the time I could form sentences till now I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard and still hear “speak up”. While God has been making me more active in speaking up and speaking out lately, especially within these last few months, He has also been teaching me how it doesn’t matter how soft or loud your voice is, how eloquent your words are, how messed up or perfect your grammar is, or how straight up child-like you may sound, as long as you are speaking of God, His grace, love, and truth, you are speaking out what is right and what is true.
What we speak out though, isn’t just spoken through words. It is spoken through the language of our whole being. How we hold ourselves, how we view ourselves and others, how we live, what
we praise. It is confusing to others when we proclaim Jesus, our Healer, with our mouths but we speak sick and dying with our complaints and in the praises we give to our circumstances and situations.
There is this game called “Speak Out” where you put this device in your mouth that widens your lips and makes it very difficult to talk. You then read these phrases on a card and everyone else tries to guess what you are saying. It is hilarious and a lot of fun, but often times it seems as though this game represents how we live our lives. The phrases we speak are the words of God we proclaim and the device represents the things that keep us from fully proclaiming and praising Jesus. The device could be the illness we have and constantly put our identity in, it could be the way we complain about being single, it could be whatever circumstance we are in that we choose to give so much power to. And the world is not blind to whatever that thing is, that speech-inducing device is in your life. It keeps the world from understanding what you are trying to say. It confuses unbelievers as to whether we are praising God or some other name.
You can’t proclaim healing from the same mouth that speaks sickness. You can’t say fearless from the same voice that says fearful. You can’t praise Jesus and call Him King of your life with the same mouth that crowns heartbreak and pain as the Lord of your life.
Words have power. What you speak out, people pick up on. They pick up on the joy or depression, the peace or the chaos, the love or the hatred, the love of God or the love of self. If we want to praise and glorify Jesus with all of our lives, then we must be intentional in what we speak out. We speak out what we are filled with. Let’s choose to be filled with the Lord today and every day… to spend time in His presence, to invite Him, His spirit into our hearts so that we may overflow with His love. Then, and only then when we are filled with Jesus and led by His spirit, will we speak out the truth and life that changes hearts and lives.
“In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.” James 3:5-12
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