The Tongue: Not Just for Licking Stamps

by Lester Young

You know, in Genesis 1 – on the very first page of the Book – God gave us a not-too-subtle hint of just how things were going to operate under His regime. In verse 3 we find the words, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’: and there was light.” Then, in verses 6 and 7 we read, “And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters…’: and it was so.” Verse 9 declares, “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.” Verse 11 tells us, “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth…’: and it was so.” Verse 14 states, “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven…'”: and it was done. Verse 20: “And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures…'”: and moving creatures were. There’s more, but you get the idea.

Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to pick out the common theme in all those verses. Time and again we’re hit with the same phrase: “And God said…”, “And God said…”, “And God said…” It also just so happens that those particular Scriptures describe the creation of…well…all of creation. And, since God really isn’t into coincidences (indeed, there is absolutely no word for ‘coincidence’ in the Hebrew language as originally constituted in the Torah), the question necessarily arises: You think He’s trying to tell us something?

The answer to that is very simple: Of course, He is! God’s ‘modus operandi’ was, is and always will be to use words, not only for initial creation but also for changing the nature of things that are already made (Malachi 3:6; Romans 4:17). Just as an apple seed is a miniature factory created for the express purpose of producing apples, words are ‘spiritual containers’ vested with the inherent power to bring themselves to pass (Isaiah 55:10-11). Jesus confirmed this truth when He declared, “The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

We must, however, keep in mind that since we’re made in God’s image – that is, dominion-wielding ‘speaking’ spirits (Genesis 1:26, 2:19) – all the words we speak (not just the life-filled ones Jesus gives us) are spiritual. They can be containers of life and blessing, or they can be containers of death and cursing. God told the ancient Israelites as much when they were about to enter into their Promised Land (Deuteronomy 30:14, 19).

In short, the words we speak on a continual basis will not only determine our ultimate destination, they’ll also determine what we’ll inherit along the way. The book of Proverbs is literally filled to bursting with the fundamental wisdom of ‘reaping and experiencing the fruit of your mouth’ (see Proverbs 12:14 and 18, for example). This principle runs through the Bible from cover to cover. I mean, why wouldn’t it? It’s the way God set up the System, and there’s nothing any of us can do to skirt it. That’s what the Lord Jesus meant when He taught that as long as you “truly believe the things you’re speaking, you’re going to have whatever you say” (Matthew 12:34; Mark 11:23).

Although we can certainly choose the words that we speak (and God graciously gives us a hint as to which ones to pick [Deuteronomy 30:19]), we cannot choose whether or not we’re going to operate in a ‘word-governed’ system. The system we’re in is word-governed. It’s the only system there is, and it runs both heaven and earth – now and forever (Matthew 24:35). As James 3:6 puts it, the tongue (that is, what we utter out of our mouth) starts the whole course of nature. So, the next time you find yourself going on about how bad things are, stop and ask yourself, “Is what I’m saying actually what I want?” If it’s not, and you’re simply reacting to the ‘facts’ of the situation by complaining about them, remember and factor in that you’re a child of God. As such, you should be doing the kinds of things He does – that’s what shows you to be His offspring (John 8:38-44). Fill your mouth with good things – with the promises given you in His Word – and begin to call those things which are not just as though they were (Psalm 103:5; Romans 4:17). The circumstances won’t change until you do. After all, that’s what ‘faith’ does: it speaks; and we should be living by our faith in God’s Word (Romans 10:6-8; Galatians 3:11).

Here’s an interesting tidbit to close: the word ‘bless’ literally means ‘to speak well of; to say something good about’ – which (again, not coincidentally) produces the ultimate effect of ’empowering to prosper.’ Hmm, He’s still trying to tell us something, I think…such as, the Blessing of Abraham (as well as the curse of the law) are activated and put into motion by the words of our mouth (Galatians 3:11-14). So, “We say…”, “And we say…”, “And we say…” the words He provides for us, and we’ll experience and enjoy their good fruit!

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2 Comments to “The Tongue: Not Just for Licking Stamps”

  1. The tongue is one of the most difficult to control, but if we realize how much power is in our words, we’d be more careful in speaking, because as Jesus said, we can have whatsoever we say (Mark 11:23). Thank you for this post, Lester. Dee

    • Our tongue can be our best friend and worst enemy, and just as sweet and bitter water from the same well, that shouldn’t be (James 3:9-11). Thanks, as always, Dee, for your comments.


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