Thursday, September 19, 2013
Now Choose Life!
“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” James 1:26.
I have primarily considered this verse in the past as our vicious words against man having the power to eradicate our much sought after testimony. What I am discovering is that the implications are much greater…that our loose words many times are against God, discounting our testimony. Consider the person who voices the lack in their life instead of the abundance God has provided. Consider the person who constantly echoes their fear of this…their anxiety of that. What do these loose lips really communicate behind the masks of words and statements of emptiness? They form inferences to God… ‘Lord, you are not enough.’ ‘God has taken away ______and left me nothing.’ ‘My problems are bigger than God’s deliverance.’ ‘I do not believe God has His best for me.’ Not only are we fooling ourselves saying we have faith but we are grieving the heart of the God and creating barriers to His joy, peace and comfort.
Isaiah 58:9b-14 states that IF we ‘do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk…and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD.’ Many times we are the ones who are oppressing ourselves! We feel duped in life and see ourselves as helpless souls placing our own yoke of oppression around our necks. We deceive ourselves! We walk around with a Bible under our arm pointing out what is wrong in our lives instead of voicing our gratitude for what is right in our lives. We are always in earshot of people…what attitudes fall upon their ears when we open our mouths? What if our words fall upon a person who God intends to build up or encourage …was God’s purpose fulfilled? Was our testimony displayed through our words? Did our statements reflect our flesh or God’s spirit?
We must be intentional people with intentional Spirit-filled words. We must be fragile with those we approach for everyone has wounds or might be presently suffering. Every suffering soul is looking for people who speak of a Savior. Our words will show where our heart and faith is. The deceived man or woman is the one who has convinced themselves of their own despair. They have chosen death instead of life. Life provides pain and joy…ugliness and beauty…chaos and peace for every one of us. We can live under the oppression of our pain or above our circumstances in the joy of God. One of my favorite passages in the entire Bible is Deuteronomy 30:19-20a.
‘This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.’
May our choice of life match our words today as we walk in this broken place called Earth.