. . . they shall mount up with wings as eagles . . . Isaiah 40:31

The Power of the Tongue

One of the most important things we can discuss as Believers is the power of the tongue, or that is the power of our words. Man was made in the image and likeness of God. A comparison of men and animals will reveal numerous similarities in anatomy and even in the ability to exhibit emotions. But there is one striking difference between men and animals. Men were given the ability to form words and speak them into the natural world. No animal can do that.

God has communicated with men by way of words since the beginning. But we also understand that God used His words to create all things. God said and it was so, the Book of Genesis tells us.

Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

Let’s understand as we study the power of the tongue that the ability to speak is a God-like characteristic that men are endowed with by the Creator. It is the thing that makes us to be in His image and His likeness and separates us from the animal kingdom. Man is a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. Man was made a speaking spirit like unto God Himself.

So with that said let’s begin our study.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

We can easily see four things in this scripture:

Our words have power of some kind. We can either speak death or life. Our words produce fruit. And we are required to eat that fruit. The Bible teaches that we will eat the fruit of our words whether good or bad.

Proverbs 10:19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Translation: When we talk too much we sin. In the multitude of words there is no lack of sin. Most sin, actually all sin, begins with words.

Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

What things proceed out of the mouth? Words come out of the mouth. Words are the things that defile a man. Does it matter what we say? Yes, it matters very much.

James, in his letter to the church, talks about bridling the tongue.

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
James 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

There are two points that we can immediately see from these scriptures. The first is that if we don’t stumble in what we say we are mature, and we are able to bridle the whole body, which in a picture represents our whole life. A mature person, one who is grown up in Christ, has brought his tongue under control. The second point is that our words determine the direction of our life. Our tongue is like the bit in the horse’s mouth and like the rudder that steers the ship.

The captain of a ship must change the direction of the rudder to change the direction of the ship. In the same way we must change the direction of our words to change the direction of our lives. Our words determine our direction. Our life follows our words. So what does this say to us? We need to guard our lips from saying wrong things. And we need to put right words in our mouth at all times.

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

If the tongue cannot be tamed then why are we discussing the bridling of the tongue? God will give me the ability to tame my tongue by His grace, but I am not able to tame someone else’s tongue. The taming of the tongue is a personal matter and must be done by a quality decision made by an individual. The tongue can be tamed, but only by personal decision and commitment.

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

If these things ought not so to be then we ought not speak blessing and cursing, but blessing only. In other words we should speak only words of life and not the words of death.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Those who want good fruit in their lives must endeavor to speak only good words of life and blessing. The word translated “power” here is a word that is translated “hand” 1,359 times. It is translated “power” only 12 times. This scripture literally says that death and life are in the hand of the tongue, or under the authority of the tongue. The tongue has control of death and life. Death and life are under the authority of the tongue. The tongue has the power of death and life. So we should stop speaking death and only speak life.

Proverbs 18:20 A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

It’s not enough to just have a good work ethic and be a diligent person of enterprise.. We can destroy our hard work with our mouth by speaking death over ourselves. If we constantly talk lack and shortage and defeat it won’t matter how hard we work. We will always be reaping lack and shortage and defeat. How does it say a man will be satisfied? By the fruit of his mouth. That’s referring to his words. By his words a man shall be satisfied.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

When we talk lack and shortage we disagree with the word of God. God’s word says that He will supply or provide for all of of our needs. Talking death is disagreeing with the word of God. Talking life is talking faith in what God has promised. If God says He will supply for all of my need I should be saying that even when it looks otherwise. God’s word is always the truth even when circumstances don’t agree with it. And faith in God’s word always works.

But you cannot separate what you say from what you believe. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, Jesus said. If you are speaking doom and gloom over your life it’s because that is what you believe in your heart. And the devil will put pressure on us to believe that lie and speak doubt and unbelief when the word of God plainly says otherwise. The key to right speaking is making sure that the words of God, God’s promises, are in our heart in abundance. Only then can we speak His promises over contradictory circumstances.

If you’re a believer you’re supposed to believe what God says in His word. Otherwise you’re not really a believer. A believer believes God’s word. That’s what a believer does.

Matthew 12:4 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh .

If you want the right things coming out you need to put the right things in. If we are full of God’s words, His promises, we will be full of faith in them.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

The difference in the good man and the evil man Jesus spoke of was that which was in his heart. Whatever is in you, good or bad, will be coming out of your mouth. And whatever it is will be producing in your life.

Matthew 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak , they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Idle words are words that are useless and unproductive. The word of God coming out of our mouth produces good things in our life because the promises of God are filled with the power of God to make His word good. It’s when we speak the word of God over our lives, over our situations, that our words are productive and not idle useless words. And we are justified, declared righteous before God, when we believe and speak His promises.

But when we speak over our lives how bad things are and how we just don’t know how we’re going to make it we speak contrary to God’s promises and we are absolutely speaking death into the situation. We condemn ourselves with our unbelieving words.

To be justified or condemned. What decides it? What we say determines it. I can say how unworthy and pitiful and pathetic I am or I can say that I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Which one will make me righteous? Agreeing with the word of God will make me righteous. Which one will condemn me? Speaking contrary to the word of God based on my feelings at the moment will condemn me. By speaking that way I decree unrighteousness upon myself.

The Bible says that Christians are to rule and reign with Christ for eternity. Kings rule with words. And according to the Bible we have been raised up and made to sit together with Him in heavenly places. We are seated with Him in His throne of authority. The Bible says that we reign in life by Jesus Christ. So we need to begin to understand our position as overcomers and those who shall rule and reign with Him. And the journey begins with an understanding of the power of our words and a determination to undertake the task of bringing our words under divine control and direction.

Psalm 19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

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