Here is another powerful excerpt from Steve Backlund's book, You're Crazy If You Don't Talk To Yourself.
The Key for a Long and Fulfilling Life?
"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. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" (James 3:2-5).
Remember this powerful truth: if something happened, then something was spoken. God spoke the world into existence, and our present realities have been greatly influenced by words spoken in the past. Psalm 34:12-14 confirms this truth:
12 "Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
David asks a question in verse twelve: "Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?" He is basically asking, "Who wants a long, fulfilling and happy life?" The answer from most would be, "I do." What then does David first mention as apparently the most important factor in having this abundant life?
Before we answer that question, let's consider what he did not say. He did not mention different types of behaviors and attitudes. Nor did he promote the need for spiritual disciplines. What does he say then? David tells us that we must first concentrate on the words we speak. He basically says, "Don't speak evil and don't speak lies." One of the meanings for evil is "malignant." This compares to Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth." (Remember, speaking corrupt or malignant words is not just cussing or gossiping. It is speaking death instead of life.)
We are also told to keep our lips from "speaking deceit." This certainly would include refraining from dishonesty in the things we talk about, but there is a much deeper meaning. Do our words consistently line up with the lies of the devil or with the truths of God? If we see life through the "lens" of lies (the devil's perspective), we will "speak deceit" and curse our future. If we see life through God's perspective (truth), we will speak truth and bless our future.
We will talk more about setting the course of our lives through the words we speak; but as we close this devotional thought today, I want to give you some homework to help you apply the truths of today's lesson and the truths of this entire book so far:
- Turn to the appendix and read out loud one or more of the declarations lists. Do this each day for the rest of the book.
- Start speaking life over yourself and your circumstances like never before. Find the ideal times for you to do so (i.e. prayer times, walking from room to room in your home, etc.). Point at things and declare the promises of God. It may take a while for you to get used to doing this, but it will soon become natural.
- Ask God for a heightened awareness of when you speak deceit (when your words are in agreement with the lies of the devil and not God's truth). I remember when I first became aware of the lies I believed and spoke. It was at first depressing, but then it was empowering as I knew I could make the changes needed to reverse the curse.
Jesus did not just think His way out of the wilderness and neither can we. He spoke truth to invisible beings and mindsets that sought to restrict and defeat Him. This book reveals that life and death are truly in the power of the tongue and emphasize the necessity of speaking truth to our souls. Our words really do set the course of our lives and the lives of others. (Proverbs 18:21)
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