Mic Check 1, 2
Have you ever been looking for a “rich, on-time word” to check someone else and the Word of God smacks you in the face?
“God, you see what they’re doing to me… get ‘em Jesus!”
Don’t laugh, you’ve been there, too? We feel that feeling of entitlement for God’s rescue and recompense for others, but our hearts aren’t exactly in the right place, either – and neither are our mouths.
I was at a point where I desperately needed God to fight this battle for me. I was innocent and couldn’t prove it. The charges against me were bogus and lacked credible evidence. But, I wasn’t “all the way” ready to surrender to rescue and allow God to fight my battle.
I had something to say, a piece of my mind to give. A few jabs to throw. Yep, out of order.
So, to my surprise, while searching for that scripture that says, “God will fight for you,” why did Eugene Peterson have to add this tone in the Message Bible:
“And you? You keep your mouth shut!” (Exodus 14:14)
Hmmmph! Thanks a lot, Eugene.
Where’s Your Mouth Running Off To?
There are 2 (maybe more) destinations that our mouths love to run to when we should be quiet and still. Either we’re mouthing off by 1) complaining about the situation, or 2) we’re busy fighting spiritual warfare with our natural words. Both actions are fruitless. Has your mouth run off to either of these places?
The Island of Complain
Look at the children of Israel in Exodus, standing at the Red Sea. In their eyes, with Pharoah and his army behind them, and the Red Sea in front of them, this impending doom made no sense, why? Here’s the earful they gave Moses:
“We told you to leave us in Egypt… bring us all the way out here in the wilderness to die!”
“We were better off as slaves, at least we were alive!”
“Didn’t we tell you this was a bad idea, Moses?!”
Was danger real and imminent? Yes. Did they need God to deliver, like quick, fast, and in a hurry? Yes.
Was their gloom, “woe is me” complaints going to magically save them? Nope.
How many of us can admit that our complaints sound sweeter when part of a choir versus a solo act? How much louder does our complaining get when we have backup singers?
Two Cents Island
You’re not going to let them get away with that comment or action, are you? Think again.
How many times have we been only 2 cents away from peace and victory – and we gave it all away by opening our mouths?! We refused to be quiet and bankrupted the situation even more by talking too much.
Save your change, Team. Don’t hurt “change” by using your tongue to satisfy your flesh.
We Have a Job to Do – Be Quiet!
God needs our cooperation. He expects us to follow His lead and do what we’re told.
Be quiet – that’s our job.
Our silence has a secret power that many of us have yet to tap into and unleash. As we hold our peace, we remove every distraction and impediment to the victory we want so desperately.
When we hold our tongue, we keep our words out of God’s way. And, anything in God’s way, God will deal with it. Does God have to get you right before He deals with your trouble? Plus, how smart is it to give the enemy ammunition for his weapons? When we speak out of turn, the devil will use our own words against us.
In silence, in our being still, we give God permission and make room for Him to do what only He can do. Our job is to let God be God.
But, I’ve Got to Say Something
In times of real trouble, if you want to (or have to) use your tongue, take a page from King David. Here’s how to put our mouths to good use:
Praise and thanksgiving
Begin to worship and praise God, in the spirit of thanksgiving, while you’re waiting for your rescue, miracle, or answered prayer. Magnify the Lord over your trouble; make His name bigger than the circumstance or problem you face.
Speak the Word of God
You don’t have to use your own words; it’s often better that we don’t! Rather, begin to speak the scriptures out loud! Instead of speaking about the trouble, say aloud “God is a very present help in trouble! (Psalm 46:1)” Trade in, “I don’t know what to do!”, and say aloud “We are perplexed, but not in despair (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)!” Use God’s Word as a weapon and a balm in times of trouble.
Sing a Song
Instead of looking for a justification to tell someone off, look for a song to sing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19 admonishes us to “speak to ourselves” – yes, that means talk/sing to yourself – with spiritual songs as unto the Lord.
You don’t have to be a profound worship leader or a Billboard-charting artist. Use your voice to sing soothing melodies to God while you’re in difficult situations. Take a page from Paul and Silas in prison (Act 16:25-26) – songs of praise to God will break every chain and lead you to freedom.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Be quiet. The victory in your situation will be because of Jesus, not because you helped the situation with your words.
Hush, Team. God is undefeated! The battle and the glory belongs to God alone because He causes us to triumph – His way, His time – without interference by our untamed tongues. Shhhh…