The Bible teaches that, “death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21 KJV). But why is it so?
Our tongue – rather, the words we speak will influence the direction of our lives. The tongue is likened to a bit in a horse’s mouth, a small rudder in a ship, and little fires in a forest, capable of turning the direction of our lives (James 3:2-5).
In fact the Bible says, “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.”
Are you going the right direction? Are we speaking the right words? The confession of our lips (i.e., what we say) is connected to our hearts and affects our salvation. In Romans 10:6-10, the Bible says, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:6-10 NKJV)
Our mouths will speak what is in our hearts. That is why the Bible says, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:20-23 NKJV)
Our words are the fruit of our lips, “…out of the abundance of his heart, the mouth speaks. For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:43-45 NKJV)
“What we speak, reveals what is on the inside, in our heart. And what is in a person’s heart is what the person will become. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
How do we choose “Life” and “Good”?
So, what should we do? In the Old Testament, concerning life or death, the Bible says, “…But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.” (Deut. 30:13-15 NKJV). To obey God is to choose life and good. How do we do what God says, i.e. how do we obey God?
To obey God is to choose life and good! But how do we make sure that we have the ability to obey God? Remember, the word of God says, “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it”!
Three steps to obey God:
1. Put the Word in your heart:
Read and meditate on the word of God to put the word of God in your heart.
“But you shall meditate in it day and night.” (Joshua 1:8).
The psalmist declares that, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalms 119:11 NKJV).
2. Confess the Word of God:
Speak and declare the word of God. If you guard your heart, meditating on the word, what naturally flows out will be of the word. But that isn’t to say that we should be careless. Rather, we should guard our mouths and ensure that we speak words of life.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth.” (Joshua 1:8)
3. Do it:
If you have kept the word in our heart and are able to speak it daily, then we will have the power to do His will. To obey Him and to do His works is to have a faith alive.
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17 NKJV)
The result according to Joshua 1:8 is “For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”