What kinds of things are you speaking?
I cannot get past the importance of the words that come out of our mouth. I've dealt with this topic before but it's so vital to our walk in the Spirit; therefore, I want to address it again. Words are rarely, if ever, neutral. By that I mean every word spoken from our mouth contains either life or death (see Prov. 18:21). In Proverbs 10:11 it says, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.” But in Proverbs 11:9, we’re told that the mouth of “the godless man destroys his neighbor.” Proverbs 11:11 goes on to say, “By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is torn apart.” What is the condition of your city? Just over a year ago, Dan Bohi and I went to Las Vegas on a ministry trip. I remember looking over the crest of the mountain into the city for the first time. I started to weep because of what this great city has become. Las Vegas is traditionally known as "sin city." Did it become what people declared it to be? What could happen if the righteous began to speak different words over Las Vegas? What would your city look like over the next ten years if your mouth became an instrument of God’s prophetic decrees instead of the enemy’s pathetic complaints? My point is that words are not neutral.
Jesus boldly stated that the flesh profits nothing. That means anything done in the flesh has no benefit including speaking words. He went on to say the Spirit gives life; and, Jesus said, “the words that I speak are life” (John 6:63). If His words are "life," then His words have to be governed by the Spirit—because only the Spirit gives life. That means Jesus never spoke a word in the flesh; rather, every word uttered from His mouth was generated by the Spirit. Little wonder, then, that when Jesus spoke demons fled, sickness left bodies, crippled body parts were made normal, elements were transformed, and even dead bodies arose. How was that possible? It's possible because Jesus never spoke in the flesh but only in the Spirit. Jesus obviously demonstrated that fact that words are not neutral.
Just imagine if every word that you spoke was generated by the Holy Spirit. Not only do I believe that’s possible, but we’re going to be held accountable for every word spoken in the flesh. Jesus said, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it on the day of judgement” (Matt. 12:36). A careless word is a barren, lifeless, or dead word. Sounds an awful lot like a word spoken in the flesh, huh? I’m challenged by the kinds of things that I say or even write on Facebook. Even political rants, if we’re not careful, can become a lifeless venting of the flesh that leaves wounded people in the wake of our frustration.
One word, spoken under the direction of the Holy Spirit, can have enormous results. When Ezekiel was told to prophesy over dry bones, his words carried the unction of God within them. The Bible says of Ezekiel, “So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise” (Ezek. 37:7). No doubt that when bones rattled and shook they were noisy, but this word “noise” is translated as the voice of God in many other Old Testament passages. Perhaps when Ezekiel released his God-inspired declaration, the voice of the Lord was heard in his words. This makes me ask: whose voice is heard in our words if we’re speaking without the inspiration of God? The Bible commands us to never speak a word that is rotten (see Eph. 4:29). We are told, rather, to edify people with our mouth—which can only happen if we’re speaking in the Spirit because only the Spirit gives life. Additionally, we are commanded to impart grace with our mouth (see Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:6). Grace is essentially an impartation of the Spirit; therefore, we would have to be speaking under the impulse of God to release grace in our words.
I’m truly challenged by the kinds of things that come out of my mouth because I’m realizing that my words are not neutral. I’m releasing either life or death every time that I talk. I wrote recently about my “grumble fast” that I started, which in some ways is more difficult than going without food. Grumbling and complaining are idle words released from an ungrateful heart that if not repented for, we’ll have to give an account. Complaining and grumbling was so serious to God that some of the Israelites were destroyed because of it (see 1 Cor. 10:10). When I started this fast, I began to recognize just how deeply embedded ungratefulness was within me. Truly, as Jesus stated, my mouth speaks out of the things that fill my heart (Matt. 12:34). This has caused me to repent, die a deeper death, and to ask the Holy Spirit to fill my heart with His Word.
Beyond those things, here are a few practical suggestions. Be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). Learn to give thanks in all things because it’s truly the will of God (1 Thess. 5:18). Give praise to God every day (Psalm 145:2). Encourage other people every day (Heb. 3:13). Most of all, learn to speak as the Spirit gives you utterance. What you say really matters to God and to people because your words are not neutral.
Jesus, forgive us for every word spoken in the flesh. Cleanse our heart and fill us with your Spirit. We choose to speak words that are spirit and life. We yield our mouth to you, in Jesus’ name, amen.