An Instructed Tongue

An Instructed Tongue

The tongue is a very hard thing to tame.  James calls it a fire, a world of evil that is set on fire by hell.  He calls it a restless evil that is filled with deadly poison.  (Jas. 3:6-8)

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘restless’ as unable to relax, giving no rest, rarely quiet or still, or discontented.  I don’t know about you, but just seeing that definition in light of how I use my tongue, I’m getting convicted already!

When we find that we are unable to relax our tongue, we will find ourselves being quick to speak.  Yet, James tells us that we should be slow to speak. (Jas. 1:19)

When we have a discontented tongue, it’s hard to follow the admonition in Philippians to think upon the things which are lovely, true, just, pure, and excellent.  We don’t allow ourselves time to shut up long enough to count our blessings.  That discontented tongue just has so much to say!

Another thing that a discontented tongue can do is make us like the quarrelsome wife, who is like a constant dripping. (Pr. 19:13) We fall into the habit of nagging, whining, complaining, and/or disrespecting our husband because we have become discontent with our lot in life.  No wonder Proverbs 21:19 tells us that a man is better off in the desert than living with a quarrelsome woman!  At least in the desert, he might find some peace and quiet.

When our tongue gives us no rest, we miss out on intimate moments with the Lord.  He may be calling us to find rest for our weary souls. (Mt. 11:28-30) In John 10, Jesus tells us that His sheep listen to His voice.  If our tongue gives us no rest, how can we hear His still, small voice?

In Pr. 31:26-27 we see that ‘when’ the virtuous woman speaks, her words are kind, giving wise counsel and instruction.  The word ‘when’ implies that she isn’t talking all of the time.  She has learned to be silent at times.  She also doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.  Idleness is a dangerous trap because when we become idle in our bodies, our tongue usually doesn’t follow.  Instead, it finds reason to  gossip or even to wallow in self-pity because we are discontented.  Those ultimately lead us to that place of having a restless tongue.

How do we stop this vicious cycle?  It is certainly a hard one to break once we fall prey to it.

Is. 50:4 says that God has given me an instructed tongue so that I will know what to speak to the weary.  He awakens me morning by morning, wakening my ear to listen to Him, like one who is being taught.

When we begin to honestly pray for God to give us an instructed tongue, we may find the resulting fruit:
1.  Our kind words may cheer up someone.  (Pr. 12:25)
2.  Our lips will nourish many. (Pr. 10:21)
3.  Our wise words will bring healing to others.  (Pr. 12:18) In fact, our wise words may even bring healing to ourselves because we begin to speak the Word over our situation instead of speaking out of our fickle emotions.
4.  Our words can become a fountain of life.  (Pr. 10:11)
5.  Wisdom will flow from us.  (Pr. 10:13)
6.  We will learn how to weigh our answers before we speak. (Pr. 15:28)

An instructed tongue…..I want it!  How about you?  Do you want it?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

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Hip Surgery

Hip Surgery

After dealing with excruciating pain for many years, my mother-in-law decided to have hip surgery.  I was absolutely amazed when I saw her for the first time after the surgery.  She looked fifteen years younger!  That “pained” look she had worn for so many years was gone and she was standing much taller.

In the Bible we find the story of how Jacob deceived his father into giving him the blessing that belonged to his brother, Esau.  For a very short while, Jacob probably “stood taller” as he gloated in his deceitful accomplishment.

It wasn’t long however, before he was running for his life.  I wonder if he could relate to the words of David during that time.  “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away.” (Psalm 32:3) Did Jacob understand that his deceitful ways were tearing him apart on the inside?

There came a day where Jacob had to face whom he had become.  Not only that, but he had to wrestle with the angel of God.  It left him with a limp for the rest of his life.  Yet, I would venture to say that even with that limp, Jacob walked taller on the inside from that day forth.

After my mother-in-law’s surgery, she referred to her pain as “wonderful pain,” for she knew it was the pain of a body that was healing.  I would imagine that Jacob discovered the beauties of “wonderful pain” after he wrestled all night long to receive the blessing.

The words of Psalm 119:80 (Message) fit so well with the transformation that took place in Jacob’s life that night.  “And let me live whole and holy, soul and body, so I can always walk with my head held high.”

Father, let the words of this Psalm be the daily cry of my heart.  Amen.
© 2008, Stacy R. Miller

Digging Up Devils

guilt1

Digging up Devils

Years ago when my brother was only five or six years old, he was digging in the yard.  The neighbor asked him what he was digging for.  My brother promptly replied, “Devils.”

It occurred to me that we often go ‘digging for devils.’  One of the primary ways we do so is by listening to the accuser of the brethren.  Satan loves to bring up past sins and taunt us with them.  He knows that it is a very effective tactic for sending us on a guilt trip.  Once we allow our minds to listen to one guilt trip, we tend to ‘dig up more devils’ and we find ourselves in a downward spiral of guilt and shame.  We can declare the words of David, “Shame covers my face.” (Psalm 69:7)

We don’t need to live our lives plagued with guilt.  We are told in First John 1:9 that if we sin, we need to confess it to the Lord.  Once we’ve done that, He faithfully forgives us and cleanses us.  We no longer need to carry that guilt because Jesus bore that burden for us.

Satan comes to bring us condemnation through guilt because he knows that condemnation is like an arrow that can mortally wound us.  He also knows that as we wallow in guilt and shame, we feel unworthy to reach out to our Father.  We need to remember that there is no longer condemnation for us because we are now in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

We have an armor that can help us to stand firm against Satan and his wicked schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-18) So, the next time you feel a guilt trip coming on, instead of ‘digging for devils,’ take those thoughts captive and declare that Jesus already bore that sin and shame for you.  Declare to Satan that you refuse to be taken captive again!

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

Chosen One

Words in Red Gospel of Matthew (6)

Words in Red Gospel of Matthew (6) (Photo credit: Lex Photographic)

Chosen One

The only good memories I have of school are from the very early years.  Once I reached middle school, everything changed.  I remember feeling so confused because I was intelligent and very outgoing.

I quickly discovered that in middle school, it wasn’t cool to be smart, unless we were doing a spelling bee.  I was always the first one chosen for those.

In gym class, however, my mastery of spelling didn’t help me.  Whenever they would pick teams, I was always one of the last three chosen.  It was humiliating.  I remember the jeers and taunting I would face every time I had to go to bat.  I would purposely strike out just so I would be off home plate quickly, allowing my classmates to pick on their next victim.

It was a very difficult time for me.  I wasn’t chosen unless my peers could somehow benefit from my presence.  I was never chosen to be friends with the popular crowd.
I remember how I would wait for the bus in the mornings, fearing that I was going to have diarrhea, all because of the fear of the awaiting torture by my peers.

Yet, there is One who did choose me — Jesus.  He chose me to go and bear fruit. (John 15:16) He chose me before the foundation of the world, and in His love, He adopted me and takes pleasure in me. He has redeemed me, lavishly pouring God’s grace upon me.  The God of the universe has even made known to me the mystery of His will.  My Creator has a plan and purpose for my life, and it is to bring glory to Him. (Ephesians 1:4-12)

As much as it hurt to be rejected by my peers, I believe all of the pain helped to lead me to God’s magnificent grace and bountiful love.  I realize now that while many are invited, few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

Aren’t you glad that you are one of the chosen?

© 2008, Stacy R. Miller

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Asthma testimony

My brother bought me a book called A Place Called Heaven.  It is a story about a man who died in a car crash many years, went to heaven, then was sent back.  It is a beautiful and amazing story.  There was one part in it that really stuck with me and I just have to share it with you in case it resonates with you.

 

When Gary (the author) got to heaven, a friend of his met him and was showing him around.  They came upon a room that had all kinds of body parts (arms, legs, eyes, etc.)  Gary was a bit shocked at the sight, so he asked what it was for.  His friend described it as a spare parts room.  So if someone needed something new for their body, they could pray, and God would send an angel to deliver it.  However, as Gary watched an angel take a part off the shelf and head to earth, he saw the angel battling principalities and powers.  Next, he heard the voice of the person who had prayed for this body part.  They were speaking doubt and unbelief.  This caused the angel to come back to heaven and sadly take the body part to the unclaimed blessings room.  And this goes right along with James 1:6-7 where it says,  ”But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Immediately upon reading this, my spirit got very excited.  In reading this section of the book, the author pointed out that when Jesus was upon the earth, there was never a time where He refused to heal someone who asked to be healed.  All the more reason for me to get excited!  Matthew 7:7-11 confirms this.  7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

I began to think, “I want new lungs!  I don’t want to deal with the asthma anymore!”  It changed how I pray.  I told the Lord exactly what I wanted and everyday, as I prayed, I let Him know that I was anxiously awaiting my new lungs, and I thanked Him that they were on their way.  In a matter of days, I noticed a big change in how I felt.  I started using my inhalers a lot less.

Within four days, I was completely off the inhalers.  This was HUGE because I was using two different inhalers a total of six times a day!  During the course of developing the asthma, I also began suffering from food allergies.  Milk would cause an anaphylactic reaction.  Eggs would cause me to have a huge asthma attack.  I also began to notice that wheat would cause breathing issues as well.  However, after having my faith greatly increased by realizing the truths in the book I had read, I decided to believe for the Lord to deliver me from the food allergies as well.  And guess what?  HE DID!!!

I used to deal with extreme chest pain whenever the weather turned really cold or windy.  Not anymore!  Whenever the barometer would fall, my chest would hurt so badly that it would often bring me to tears.  Not anymore!

The last day I used an inhaler was January 4, 2011.

So, what do you need?  Ask for it, and believe God will send it your way!  Grab hold of the horns on the altar, and don’t let go!  Don’t begin to confess doubt and unbelief.  Have faith!  And remember that Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.  Keep believing, even when you don’t see it.