James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
James 3:2 We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. NLT
One of the most important factors that affects our lives is our words. There is no doubt as scripture is quite clear that what we say will have an impact on the direction our life goes. James chapter three addresses this issue revealing that the tongue is like a rudder on a ship. That rudder is going to determine the direction that ship goes. He also relates it to a bridle in a horse’s mouth that determines the direction that horse goes as well.
If we want our lives to go the direction that God has for us, we must learn to speak words of faith. Faith of course is totally based on God’s Word. What many may not know is that when we don’t speak words of faith but instead speak words that oppose God’s Word, we are in fact sinning with our mouths. To better explain this, just realize what sin is defined as.
Sin is missing the mark with God. Think for example of a marksman who has a goal of hitting the bull’s eye on a target. If the goal is to hit the bull’s eye but he misses it, he has missed his mark. If a sailor sets sail from one country and the goal or mark of where he wanted to wind up was in another specific country or port but he winds up somewhere else, he has missed the mark. So it is with sin. The goal God has for us in walking by faith is to hit the mark, which is not just doing what His Word says, but experiencing the kind of life He has for us. But a key factor for that to happen is based on what we are saying.
Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Clearly we see the impact of our words on our life. Death and life are the result of what we are saying. Death could include physical and of course eternal death, but one of the key meanings to death refers to not walking in the God-kind of life, which is what life is really all about. True life means we are not walking separated from God, nor from what God desires for us. This is why our words are so important. There are some who think you are exaggerating the issue when talking about the importance of what we say, but scripture is clear about this subject and if we want to experience life we must stop sinning with our mouth.
Rom. 14:23b Anything that is not done in faith is sin.
Here is why I refer to not sinning with your mouth. Notice here in Romans 14:23b that this clearly states anything that is not done in faith is therefore sin. Remember sin is missing the mark. Does God have a mark He wants us to hit in this life? Absolutely. Does God have goals He wants us to reach? No doubt He does. If we don’t hit that mark or reach those goals that is sin, or missing the mark. The more we hit the mark the more successful we will become as believers.
How do we hit the mark with our words? By declaring the Word of God which Proverbs four tells us is full of the life of God. How do we miss the mark with our words? By speaking things over our life that do not line up with what God’s Word says. The more we do we are turning that rudder the wrong direction, which is going to lead us off course and put us somewhere we don’t want to be. There are several key factors to discuss here about this. The first is the fact that one who walks by faith does not deny the existence of a problem.
Rom. 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
Look carefully at this statement that is made in the latter part of this verse of scripture. God calls those things which do not exist as though they did. This is in reference to God changing Abrams name to Abraham. God told Abraham at the age of 90 that he and Sarah would have a child. She had been barren and therefore unable to have children. God did not deny this fact, but God gave Abraham a word to change this. It was a fact that Abraham was rather old to be having children, and it was a fact that Sarah had been barren and unable to have children, but the truth spoke. There is a difference between a fact and the truth.
Not sinning with you mouth does not mean you don’t ever say what your situation is now. Faith does not deny the existence of a problem, but faith denies it’s right to stay that way when that situation is contrary to what God said is so. Faith therefore is not like Christian Science saying for example that neither sickness nor disease exist, faith simply states a truth from the Word of God that can change that fact. But when you speak in faith you don’t continue to emphasize the problem, you begin to emphasize the truth through your words.
This is what God did with Abraham. When God came to Abraham his name was Abram, God changed his name. When God changed his name to Abraham He did so for a very important reason. Abraham means a father of a multitude. This is exactly what God had said that He (God) would make Abraham. To do so God had to get Abraham speaking forth what God had promised, which is life. Once He got Abraham declaring what God promised, God was then able to work in and through Abraham to bring it to pass. We must first speak God’s Word before God can fulfill it in our life.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
This is another very important truth that has to do with speaking words of faith and not sinning with our mouth. First I want to draw your attention to the last part of the verse. Notice that it says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So when we refer to not sinning with our mouth realize that there are still going to be times when we may in a difficult moment say something we should not say. Because we still have a fleshly nature this is going to happen. The key here in not sinning with our mouth is in what are we saying the most. What is consistently coming out of our mouth? If it is not God’s Word we are not speaking in faith.
It is what we consistently say that is going to have a long-term effect on our life. Someone who in a moment of pain or turmoil says something they should not say this does not mean now your course in life is going to be changed to go that direction. We should never use our flesh to make excuses for areas in our life that we have not done our part to bring that under control. The apostle Paul stated that he died daily. But at the same time a word spoken out of a fleshly moment does not mean that we will not reach our goal of where God wants to take us. If we do get in the flesh for a moment then we simply need to repent and get back on track. If we have carnal fleshly issues to overcome then we need to get into the Word and prayer and overcome them.
James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
So what then is the key to keep from sinning with our mouths? James tells us here in chapter three that no man can tame the tongue. This means we are not going to change what we are saying by only using our minds to try and control what comes out of our mouth. That would be us trying to correct our words by natural means only. The key comes back to something that Jesus said in Luke 6:45.
Notice He talks about a man having either a good treasure or a bad treasure in his heart. Treasure is referring to what you are storing up. You are not going to change your words to line up with God’s Word just through your mind alone. If you are going to change your words you must change what you are storing up in your heart. If you are going to feed on nothing but the things of this world through the different forms of media and through wrong friends, you are treasuring up that which is evil. But if you spend time in the Word of God, God’s house, and around godly friends then you are going to store up that which brings forth faith, God’s Word.
This is why in Proverbs four where scripture reveals that we are to guard our hearts because that is where the source of life comes from it is referring to what we are listening to and meditating on. What goes in your heart Jesus said will come out of your mouth. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. If we are treasuring up the ways of the world and feeding on what the world says that will bring forth evil. We are going to hurt our life by sinning with our mouth. If we treasure up God’s Word in our hearts that will become evident for we will then begin to speak in line with God’s Word in our circumstances and daily life. This will lead to life, as our words are no longer missing the mark. So watch what you feed on. Get God’s Word stored up in your heart and keep doing so. It will cause you to speak in faith and not sin with your mouth.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker