James 3:1-3 NKJV My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. 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.
James is talking about the ability to walk in victory where our words are concerned. He addresses the teachers because teachers have a much larger sphere of influence than their students. The larger our sphere of influence the greater the accountability is to God for the words that we speak. James goes on to say that when we learn to control our speech we will have reached maturity and will be able to harness our whole body. When we bridle the tongue we harness the energy that it exerts to influence people. If we are lead by the Spirit, our tongue will give out words of life to others as well as speaking life to the seemingly dead situations that we encounter.
Jesus went a step further in speaking to us about our responsibility where our words are concerned when He said in Matthew 12:36, 37: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
As we can see from these two verses the responsibility for our words lies with each person as each one of us will either be justified or condemned by what we say. The Greek word for “idle” in verse 36 is the word “argos” and it means inactive, idle, unfruitful, barren, ineffective and worthless. So it is clear from this portion of scripture that our words not only have an effect on others, but they have a lasting effect on us as we eat the fruit of either barren, ineffective speech or speech that is fruitful and effective.
Hebrews 4:12 AMP For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature] exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
God’s word, on the other hand is alive and full of power making it active, operative, energizing and effective. As James talked with us about bridling the tongue like we would a horse, I believe that God’s word gives instruction that when we harness the tongue to speak forth from a heart filled with an abundance of God’s word that we will be speaking His word in power to be effective over all of life’s problems and challenges. We will be speaking productive, life-filled words of healing, wholeness and victory into people’s lives just as He spoke His word to effect change in His world.
James stated that the energy that flows from a tongue that has not been bridled comes from the flames of hell. He says that no man can tame the tongue because it is fueled and set on fire by hell. (James 3:6;8) But God tells us in Hebrews 11:2 that the worlds were framed by the word of God. The word for “framed” is the Greek word “katartizo” and it means to arrange, set in order, equip, adjust, complete what is lacking, make fully ready, repair, and prepare. When we speak the word of God out of a heart that has been taking in what God says, meditating on it and allowing it to be the standard by which we live, we will see that the tongue can be harnessed to speak words that arrange and set in order what is wrong in our lives. God spoke “light” into the darkness and “light was”. He didn’t speak about the darkness, he spoke the answer or solution to the problem and it was changed.
Jesus gave us an example of His words being harnessed and fueled by the power of the Spirit of God in John 6:63: (NKJV) “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
So, Jesus said that the words that He spoke were life-giving, Spirit-filled words that brought life into a person’s life. He spoke life not death, healing not sickness, deliverance not oppression; and from those words came forth the manifestation of what He had called forth through His speech.
We see an example of this in the life of the Prophet Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 37:1-14 we see where the Spirit of God took Ezekiel to a valley filled with dry bones and He instructed him to speak the word of God to the bones and they would live.
Ezekiel 37:3-6 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, O LORD GOD, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. “I will put sinew on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.”’”
As Ezekiel goes on to tell the story he did as the Lord commanded and spoke to the bones and as he prophesied, “there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
Ezekiel 37:8-10 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, “Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
As Ezekiel spoke the word of God over those dry bones, life came into them, and breath came when he spoke and commanded the breath to come from the four corners of the earth. God commanded that he speak His word to the dead bones so that life would come into them.
God’s word brings life. When we speak it to others it produces life and wholeness and brings changes into people’s situations that seem to be dead and completely without possibility. Ezekiel said in verse 2 that when he looked at the bones they were “very” dry. It looked like an impossible situation to Ezekiel but at God’s word the whole situation changed and all of sudden he was no longer looking at a valley full of dead bones, but he was looking at an exceedingly great army!
Look at what happens next:
Ezekiel 37:11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Indeed they say, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!”
What have you been saying about your husband, your children, your family members, your relationships, your health, your finances, your jobs, etc., etc., etc.? Have you been proclaiming that your bones are dry, your hope is lost and you are cut off from victory, success and life!?
Ezekiel was listening to and proclaiming the word of God as instructed by the Lord and the Israelites were looking at their situations and proclaiming the problem instead of the solution. The had no hope because they were looking at the impossibilities instead of God, who gives life to the dead and fills them with success and victory!
God went on to tell them through Ezekiel that He would bring the dead back to life and re-establish them as a nation and that because of that they would know that He is the LORD.
The word for LORD is the Hebrew word Jehovah and it means the self-existent one. All of life is contained in Him. He is the great “I AM WHO I AM”. He is the eternal I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Jehovah or I AM That I AM means “I am with you, ready to save and to act, just as I have always been” It implies His personal, intimate presence; unchangeable, forever in the “now”.
God said, in essence, when you speak My word to those bones, to those dead situations in your life, I AM ready to act on My word, ready to save, heal, deliver, set free, restore, reconcile, give new life and establish My personal, intimate presence in your life’s situation! Glory to God!!!
Child of God, do you see the power that is resident in your mouth to speak forth the promises of God to change your relationships, your health, your finances, and to bring life into what you see as impossible situations?
God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:9, 10: Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”
He gave Jeremiah the same basic instructions that He gave to Ezekiel. Speak forth My word to change; even kingdoms and nations. There is power in the word of God when spoken out of the mouth of a believer under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah goes on to record that God asked him then in verse 11: “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Vs. 12: Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”
The Amplified Bible says that God said, “You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.”
When a believer, by the instruction of the Lord, speaks forth His word God becomes alert to that word to perform it. He waits for us to fill our hearts with His word so that when He tells us a certain scripture to speak He can perform it as it is spoken.
Friends, I want to challenge you today to meditate on God’s word, put it in your heart and in your mouth so that when God needs you to speak life to another person, you’ll be ready. When He asks you to speak life to a dead situation in your life, you’ll have the faith that He will empower your tongue to effect change through the word of God that He brings out of your heart. Harness your tongue, bridle it and take control over what it speaks so that it will be effective in bringing life into those that you love and the challenges of life that you encounter.
Father, I thank You for Your word and the power of Your Spirit to equip us to speak life instead of death into our families, our friendships and our life’s circumstances. I pray that Your people will grab hold of and understand the importance of harnessing and bridling our tongues. I pray, Father, that we will be a people who speak as Ezekiel calling forth life from deadness and Jeremiah, rooting out bitterness, taking authority over demonically instigated attacks in nations, and building and planting good into the lives of others. May we be the army of God that goes forth in the power of Your Spirit speaking the word of God with authority knowing that You are watching over that word to perform it in our lives. Thank You, Father, for equipping us to be victorious through the power of Your Spirit and Your word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.