We’ve all heard that ‘good things come to those who wait,’ but is the secret sauce in the waiting or does it lie elsewhere? Where exactly do ‘good things’ come from? It’s a strange concept isn’t it, that good things can come from one source, but this is precisely what Jesus revealed in the Gospel of Mathew. If we’re to succeed in our Christian walk, we must take Christ’s words literally. Many believers simply read the Bible like a storybook without gleaning the spiritual truths from its pages, especially for personal application.
One of the most profound truths that Christ divulged, is the innate power of the spoken word. What if you were willing to apply the spiritual principles Jesus outlined on a daily basis and see radical changes in your life? Are you willing to take Him literally? Are you down in the dumps and don’t know why? Perhaps you haven’t considered the importance of the small organ one inch below your nose, aka your tongue?
What I’m about to discuss, will change your life for the better, if you’ll open your mind to these scriptural principles and apply them.
Jesus spoke often about believing and receiving. We mustn’t overlook our personal responsibility when it comes to receiving from our Heavenly Father. What if I told you that God will honor the words you speak, even to your own detriment because He respects your free will. Your will is expressed by your words, and God will honor them, good or bad. Many people don’t realize the tongue is the deciding factor. It’s the mixer of our faith. When it comes to receiving from God, frustration abounds in the prayer lives of many because they’re nullifying their praying with their saying.
Once we’ve petitioned our Heavenly Father, our subsequent words should align with our petition. We often pray the problem, instead of speaking to the problem or obstacle which Christ commanded. If we consistently speak contrary to God’s word in our everyday speech, then we’ll invariably forfeit our own harvest.
We eat from the fruit of our mouths on a continual basis and it’s up to us which fruit we consume. Once our heart and mouth are aligned with God’s words, His capacity to manifest in our lives, will be greatly increased. We cannot pray one time and speak nothing but unbelief for the next month or so and expect to receive our petition. If God’s word abides within us, only then will we ‘ask what we will, and it will be done unto us’ (Jn 15:7).
Christ’s heated exchange with the Pharisees is a warning to cool our tongues
So this begs the question; where do good things come from?…the heart.
In Matthew 12, Jesus entered the temple in Jerusalem and was subsequently involved in a heated exchange with the Pharisees, who accused Him of ‘casting out demons’ by the power of Beelzebub. These hypocrites flatly denied the power of God, even when it was staring them in the face. The false piety of these religious zealots was a foul stench in Christ’s nostrils. Instead of acknowledging God in their midst, they blasphemed the Son of Man, claiming He was ‘in league with Lucifer.’ But in Christ’s defense He revealed profound truths that we should pay particular attention to. Let’s read Matthew 12:34–37:
34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 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. 36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Jesus lambasted the Pharisees for their mendacity. He reminded them, that what spewed from their lips was merely an expression of what was stored up in their hearts. If our hearts condition is full of hypocrisy, our tongue will confirm it, just as the Pharisees demonstrated. If our heart is wounded, we’ll inevitably lash out at others. We’re admonished in scripture to ‘guard’ our heart, for out of it ‘flow the issues of life’ (Prov 4:23). Further scriptural evidence of evil manifesting by our speech, are provided by Proverbs 16:30, “moving his lips, he brings evil to pass,” and Proverbs 18:7, “a fools mouth is his ruin and his lips are a snare to himself.” Our hearts condition must never be overlooked but vigilantly monitored on a continual basis.
Three main takeaways from Christ’s dialogue with the Pharisees are as follows:
- Your mouth will inevitably blab what’s stored up in your heart (spirit and soul).
- Good and evil reside in the hearts of men.
- Good and evil things are brought into manifestation by the words we speak.
We live in a negative world
Due to the sinful condition of man and sin’s impact on the creation around us, we live in a negative world by default. You must swim upstream, against the current, if you want to remain positive in this world. This takes ongoing and purposeful effort.
We are justified or condemned in this life, by the very words we speak (Mat 12:37). Trouble is, most people use their tongue reactively, instead of taking a proactive stance, speaking God’s word over their lives.
If you want to gauge what a person believes, listen to the words coming out of their mouth. We need to shift gears, with our focus upon speaking God’s word instead of our wounds, hurts, or negative life experiences. On the day of judgment, our speech will be brought into the fray, as we give an account for every idle or non-producing word we’ve spoken (Mat 12:36). This is a very sobering thought.
Chris: A living testimony
Whilst attending Bible College, one of my friends was Chris. Whenever I used to hang with him, on occasion he would blurt out, ‘good things are happening!’ Initially I ignored it, but as time progressed, Chris kept on repeating, ‘good things are happening!’ I looked around thinking, where are these ‘good things’ and when exactly are they going to happen?
But unbeknownst to me, Chris was putting into practice the very principle that I went to college to acquire. I was trying to learn about faith, but he was already putting it into practice! Chris understood the profound truth, that ‘you can have what you say,’ (Mk 11:23) by using your tongue proactively. The basis for this can be found in Mark Chapter 11 and I urge you to read the chapter in its entirety at your earliest convenience.
It culminates with Christ’s emphatic statement, that you can ‘have what you say, if you believe and doubt not (Mk 11:23).’ Jesus said it would work for ‘whosoever.’ The world calls this the ‘law of attraction,’ and it can even work outside the covenant, because a spiritual law will work for whoever works it. And of course, this law has been perverted by the ‘name it and claim it’ bunch or the ‘blab it and grab it’ crowd who seek to gain multiple Ferrari’s or a million oil wells, merely to consume them on their own lusts (Jam 4:3). But God promises to meet our needs, not our ‘whims’ and our intention must always be to bless others with any abundance He provides.
Chris was highly developed in believing what he said would come to pass
Chris kept repeating, ‘good things are happening’, and in time, he would share testimonies of the good things which indeed, happened to him. He described how total strangers would show random acts of kindness, like buying him coffee or paying for his lunch from an adjoining table. He even had his tuition fees paid by an anonymous benefactor, and furniture provided for his apartment, sometimes by friends, family or complete strangers.
This might sound very odd to the casual reader, but Chris was highly developed in believing what he said would come to pass and he was living it! Let’s just say, he provoked me to jealousy, and I knew God would do the same for me if I was diligent enough to activate this spiritual law in my life. It should go on record, that Chris freely gave as he received (Mat 10:8) and had a heart to bless others, which is why so many blessings flowed freely into his lap. Another thing I noticed about Chris was his heart of integrity. He didn’t like to commit to something verbally unless he knew he could follow through with it. He watched his words, especially.
The question is, ‘can good things happen for you in the same manner as Chris?’ If God is not a respecter of persons (Rom 2:11), then what He did for Chris, He will do for you! But in order to receive like Chris, you must do exactly what Chris did and that is to start believing what you say will come to pass.
The tongue is the deciding factor in life
We must realize, the tongue is the deciding factor in life because it expresses what we believe in our heart. Our belief system is expressed through our words. Jesus said, ‘you have what you believe’ (Matt 21:22). There’s an old saying, ‘those that say they can and those who say they can’t, are both right.’2 What we believe is consummated by our tongue. Whatever is in our heart will come out of our mouth eventually. I’m not talking about the physical blood pump in your chest cavity, but our heart is the summation of our soul and spirit. The Bible is replete with scriptures concerning the tongue and the consequences of the spoken word. The vast majority of bible believers don’t comprehend the importance of their words on a daily basis, nor their impact on the people around them.
Believing and speaking is how we receive from our Heavenly Father
If you don’t think this concept of believing and speaking bears merit, let me ask, ‘how were you saved?’ Answer: You believed in your heart, and confessed with your mouth, the Lord Jesus. The miracle of salvation was manifested in your spirit-man by believing and speaking. This is scriptural, because we’re programmed to speak what we believe. 2nd Corinthians 4:13 says, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” As we operate in this same spirit of faith, we naturally speak what we believe and this is how we were originally born into God’s Kingdom. We mixed faith with the word preached and the tongue was the mixer.
We receive every promise of God in exactly the same manner, i.e., by believing and speaking. If you want healing, you must declare you are healed, long before the manifestation occurs in your flesh. If you’re poverty stricken, you must announce that Christ has met all of your needs in advance, prior to it’s manifestation in the natural realm. Few realize that faith is a law (Rom 3:27), and if the law’s operation is carried out correctly, God will honor it.
How are death and life impacted by the power of the tongue?
Let’s examine some more verses, Proverbs 18:20–21: “A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; And with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: And they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
The Hebrew word for ‘belly’ here is, בֶּטֶן (bě·ṭěn) which means the literal stomach, but it can also mean the heart, i.e., the inner most part of a man’s essence that invokes thinking and feeling. Remember that Jesus said ‘rivers of living water’ would, flow forth from our belly (the heart- Jn 7:37-39). But notice that a man is ‘satisfied,’ by the fruit of his mouth, i.e., the words that proceed from it. Basically, words are seeds and the fruit of your mouth will bring a harvest, either for good or evil.
“A man shall be satisfied by the fruit of his mouth.” (Proverbs 8:20)
We know that as long as the earth remains, so will, seed, time and harvest (Gen 8:22). This is God’s law which comprises of a physical and spiritual component. Words are seeds and eventually you will eat of the very seeds you’ve planted. Your heart’s well-being is greatly impacted by the words you speak. A tongue controlled by God’s Spirit can produce a perpetual harvest of fruit which we feast upon. Never underestimate the influence words have on your emotions and general well-being.
Verse 21, assures us that ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue.’ People often claim this scripture is merely metaphorical, that death doesn’t literally reside in the tongue. Oh really? When Nazi’s lined up Jews in the firing squads of WWII, a verbal order was given to carry out this horrific act. When Pontius Pilate wrongly exonerated Barabbas (a murderer), instead of Christ (an innocent man), in the customary pardon before the feast of the Passover, it was via the spoken word. Words can usher in life or pronounce a death sentence. Man is either granted life or death by a small member that resides one inch below his nose.
Your tongue is like a rudder that will chart the course of your life
The following excerpt from the Book of James shows the importance of the tongue and I will highlight some key takeaways at the end of the passage, let’s read it together…James 3:2–10:
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. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 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. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!“
6 “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.“
9 “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
The Tongue: 7 Rules to live by
- A perfect man avoids offense by controlling his tongue.
- The tongue controls the entire body. To change your body, you must first change your tongue.
- Although a small member of the body, the tongue has a tremendous influence on our lives, in the same way a ship or horse is controlled by a small rudder or bit, having the ability to steer a vessel, whose size is vastly superior to the guiding instrument.
- If the captain of a ship came into a harbor saying, ‘we’re going to hit the harbor, we’re going to hit the harbor,’ you would shout back, ’hey dummy, just turn the rudder! You’re in control of the ship!’ Yet in the same way, we speak the circumstances or problems of life, calling things ‘as they are,’ instead of speaking God’s truth over the situation, ‘calling the things that are not’ (Rom 4:17).
- The tongue is likened to the kindling of a fire. Once the fire is lit by the tongue, it’s hard to contain, setting on fire the course of nature! How often have we started conversation, with a minor disagreement that soon raged into a contentious inferno? Watch your tongue!
- Left unchecked, the tongue is full of deadly poison, and set on fire of hell itself. Believers both bless and curse people with the same tongue, but this is not what God intended.
- No man can tame the tongue by himself, but a man filled with the Holy Spirit can, choosing to bless instead of curse!
Let’s bring it home
There are many passages scriptural passages regarding the tongue, nonetheless this small sampling should inspire you to align your speech with God’s Word. Negative words a parent may speak over a child, could, scar them for life. Openly berating your spouse in front of others will greatly undermine them. Words are ‘carriers of the heart,’ they can either heal or wound and we get to choose the words we speak. We literally eat of the fruit of our mouths and some people’s fruit is rotten to the core. It’s time to change your harvest by changing the words you speak over yourself and others!
Here is a list of things I say regularly over myself and so should you:
- No matter what mess I might find myself in, God has my back (Rom 12:19)
- Because God loves me, I love others (1st Jn 4:7)
- I’m always in the right place at the right time (Ecc 3:1)
- God has met all of my needs (Phil 4:19)
- I bring the peace of God with me, no matter where I go (Phil 4:7)
- No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isa 54:17)
- I am quick to forgive and quick to repent (1st Jn 1:8-9)
- Good things are happening! (Mat 12:35)
Let’s chart a new course
Friend, I want you to chart a new course for your life, by speaking God’s word on a daily basis. Turn over a new leaf today by agreeing with what God says about you. By proclaiming God’s word out loud, you will leave the battering seas and launch into new horizons. However, it may take some time to reprogram your negative mindset, enabling you to see yourself, as Christ sees you. You must be persistent in this endeavor. As you hear God’s word, from your own mouth, faith will rise to the point where you’ll no longer doubt what you’re saying. At first, it might seem strange to you, proactively using your tongue to speak the truth, but in time it will flow naturally.
Remember, all you’re doing is agreeing with what God has already said about you.
Nothing makes more sense than that…Good things are happening!
Author – Carl G.M. Joseph
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 James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
2 The Tongue: A Creative Force – Charles Capps (Published by Capps Publishing, England, AK -circa 1976, 1995).
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