If you ever doubt that our God is alive, perhaps what has flowed through me today, will serve as confirmation. I sat in church, weeping, over the content of today’s installment of a sermon series on ‘the tongue’ titled, “The Speech of Blessings.” The verse our pastor, Eric Cox Jr. was led to is Proverbs 18:21 and I am adding verse 20:
“A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
As I wept, for unknown reasons, I was reminded of something I had written over a year ago titled “Can We Feel His Pain?” in which I expounded upon insight I had gained on God’s heart for us, and how He feels through us at times. In that post I posed the question: Is it truly possible for us to feel what God feels? Today was yet another example of the answer I received some years back (yes!) as I realized He was trying to share His feelings on the topic with me. Last week, Pastor Eric preached on how we speak curses over ourselves and others, by allowing hurtful or negative words to roll off of our tongues.
I had my own experience with this earlier in the week; I now believe He allowed me to receive grave conviction on a thing I initially reacted negatively to, speaking words that hurt both parties, in preparation for this so I would be more susceptible to this very moment. The Holy Spirit reiterated today how much it breaks our Father’s heart when we speak death over ourselves; He loves us so much, it pains him greatly when we don’t love ourselves as He does.
This topic also saddens me, so I understand His using me to share this message. One of the things I love about the Word of God (the Holy Bible) is how Jesus encourages God’s children to love themselves, to forgive themselves but to “sin no more” as He did with the adulterous woman whom he saved from getting stoned in public. This is just one story of His unrelenting love, grace and mercy that has been life changing for me and countless others. Everything Jesus said and did during his ministry are meant to bring to life our “dry bones” (Ezekiel 37:1-14) by speaking life into our thirsty souls! This is proof enough for me that He is very much alive…how else would we be able to become new creations after accepting our salvation and letting Jesus Christ be our saving grace?
During the sermon Pastor Eric urged the congregation into positive action. “Use your tongues to speak blessings into the lives of others and to yourselves,” he stated. “When we give mercy the blessings are both given and received.” (Matthew 5:7) He went on to encourage those present to use their words as a weapon of peace (Matthew 5:9) and to ‘humble yourselves and surrender and yield to the Holy Spirit’. How? By using the Word of God to lead ourselves and others to the source of life, God the Father.
Having grown up in an angry environment, and walked the walk I have, after coming to the Lord and gaining understanding of how our ‘bones’ (soul) become dry and brittle from years of receiving very little in terms of loving, edifying words – I see the difference that allowing God’s Word to be spoken into my heart, mind and soul has made. One thing I was blessed with at the beginning of my walk, was a spiritual mentor who made sure I understood the importance of speaking God’s words of love and encouragement over myself, in order to be freed from bondage of the mind. Pastor Eric reiterated this today during the sermon.
This is how our mind is renewed, through the Spirit living in HIS word:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Not only our minds but our hearts and bodies. Speaking healing and supporting scripture over ourselves is a powerful thing, one that Jesus taught His disciples and still holds true, through the Holy Spirit, today. I personally know and have seen healing occur in myself and others, merely by trusting and having a strong faith that His WORD is true. I lay hands on myself all the time when I become afflicted with physical ailments that I absolutely know are not of the Lord. I have watched entire families receive healing before my eyes and have rallied prayer for someone from a thousand miles away and received word of healing! Our Jehovah-Rapha – the Lord who heals – HE lives and heals through us by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Those who accept this understand that condemnation of words and attitudes pushed on us by others, that may have been embedded into our minds, are lies of the enemy. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) Unfortunately, until we learn how to use the Word as a weapon of love for our dry bones, we remain in captivity!
Thankfully, this is not God’s plan for us and He loves us despite knowing our hearts and knows us better than we ever could know ourselves! Such as it is explained in Psalm 139:1-6:
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
You see, nothing we do surprises our Father but when we aren’t walking, speaking and thinking in terms of love – of ourselves and others – it breaks His heart, and it breaks the spirit. I sense that after over 2,000 years of trying to instill His love into our hearts, and knowing that pastors are finding it necessary to deliver sermons on this topic, it makes Him weep, as He did through me today.