The Lord is set to deliver many of us from the crises and troubles that our tongues have brought on us.
The spirit behind evil tongues or the tongues that scourge others is the devil, and never God. It is a very terrible and wicked spirit that has the potential to destroy lives and do all of the things I mentioned above — it destroys marriages; ministries; careers; nations, relationships. You must therefore take this matter very seriously. Let’s look at people or nations whose lives were messed up as a result of how they themselves used their tongues or how others used their tongues against them.
Our tongue is the most powerful part of our physical body. What the trigger is to a gun is what our tongue is to our life. All through the scriptures, the Bible makes it very clear that we must be careful how we use our tongue. Why? How you use your tongue or how others use their tongues against you will either make or break you. It is eternally impossible to succeed in life if you don’t know how to use your tongue. And all through this month, we shall be looking at the strategic nature of our tongue and how we can overcome problems associated with the wrong use of our tongues and develop a Spirit-controlled tongue.
Let me make it very practical.
The wrong use of the tongue has ruined many marriages;
The wrong use of the tongue by leaders has brought civil war into many countries;
The wrong use of the tongue has led to untimely death for many people;
The wrong use of the tongue has opened the door to demonic affliction, stagnancy and failure for many Christians;
The wrong use of the tongue has closed down churches and ministries;
The wrong use of the tongue has invited unwanted battles into people’s lives;
The wrong use of the tongue ruins valuable relationships;
The wrong use of the tongue has sent many people to hell.
You and I must therefore take this teaching very seriously, as a matter of life and death. Let’s look at the Bible and glean wisdom from God’s word on the importance of the tongue.
Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully, Psalm 52-2;
Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit, Psalm 34-13;
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice, Psalm 37-30;
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness, Proverbs 15-2;
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue, Keeps his soul from troubles, Proverbs 21-23;
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison, James 3-8;
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell, James 3-6.
Today’s teaching is so important to all of us. And the Lord is set to deliver many of us from the crises and troubles that our tongues have brought on us. In continuing this teaching, we want to look at a critical aspect of tongues – the strife of tongues. If you look at Psalms 31:20, our main text for today, David, by the Holy Spirit, said, “You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues”. Another translation, the CEB says, “you shall keep them from accusing tongues”; the NCV says, “you shall shelter them from evil words”; the NIV says, “you keep them safely from accusing tongues”. The truth here is this: The battle many of us are fighting today is the battle against tongues. We are either the ones using our tongues to scourge others or others are using their tongues to scourge us.
Note that the Bible calls Satan the accuser of the brethren; recall how he accused Job before God in Job 1.
“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” – Revelations 12-10.
Therefore, the spirit behind evil tongues or the tongues that scourge others is the devil, and never God. It is a very terrible and wicked spirit that has the potential to destroy lives and do all of the things I mentioned above — it destroys marriages; ministries; careers; nations, relationships. You must therefore take this matter very seriously. Let’s look at people or nations whose lives were messed up as a result of how they themselves used their tongues or how others used their tongues against them.
The strife of tongues made Jacob to inadvertently place a curse on his wife, Rachel, Genesis 31:32: “with whomever you find your gods, let him not live, or Jacob did not know that Rachel stole his father’s gods”. It appeared like nothing would happen. But in Genesis 35:18-19, Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin;
The strife of tongues made Joseph to give a bad report about his brothers to his father, Genesis 37:2; this was the root of Joseph’s troubles and 13-year crises;
The strife of tongues made Portiphar’s wife to lie against Joseph, Genesis 39:16-19. This sent Joseph into the prison. For many of us, our tongues have sent many people into various prisons of hopelessness;
The strife of tongues made the Israelites to write themselves off and call themselves grasshoppers, Numbers 13:33 -Numbers 14:28. God said to them: as you have said in my ears so will I do to you, and all of them perished in the wilderness.
God was angry with Job’s friends for how they used their mouth. God just had mercy on them as He told them to offer sacrifices to Him so He would not judge them for not saying the right things about Him to Job; Job 42: 7-9;
The strife of tongues made Haman to speak evil of Mordecai to the king. Harman spoke evil about Mordecai to the King in Esther 3:8, but God turned things around and judged him for the evil things he said about the Israelites.
The list is endless. God wants us to take this matter of our tongues very seriously. A lot of us are suffering from the strife of tongues. You have either spoken evil about another person or another person has spoken evil about you. It goes beyond repentance. Sometimes you may need to restitute; call the person and apologise where possible; go back to the same people you spoke to and tell them that what you said is not true. My experience with a lady I had never met, who went out on social media to scandalise me comes to my mind.
Let’s look at some examples of evil words spoken by men that can potentially cause havoc:
Lying against people out of envy or bitterness just to bring them down, whether they have offended you or not;
Speaking negative words about yourself in difficult situations, such as: this problem will kill me; I don’t think I can make it; I am finished, etc.;
Cursing people who offend you or who leave you because you are anointed;
Speaking down on people to others because they appear to be more successful than you;
Speaking evil of people publicly or privately on matters you know little or nothing about (But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves – Jude 1:10). Also look at 2 Peter 2:10, “and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.”
The list of evil that the tongue can do is endless. Hear what Isaiah says in Isaiah 33:14-15: The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
“Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly.
Hear what Apostle Peter said to us in 1 Peter 3:10: “For He that will love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile”. Apparently, Peter is quoting from David in Psalm 34:12-13:
“Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.