26th August 2016
The Book of Psalms is an instruction manual on how to praise God more and more! The call to “Make His praise glorious” found in Psalm 66:2, is followed by a promise that as we praise, we will see victories: “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of your power your enemies shall submit themselves to you” (v. 3). God’s enemies are also our enemies and the greatest battles in life are spiritual in nature. The New Testament tells us whom we are fighting (the devil and his gang - Eph 6:12) as well as how to win the fight (with powerful weapons - 2 Cor 10:3-5).
Of all the weapons that we possess, our words actually contain the power of life and death as well as victory and defeat. God wants our mouths to be filled with praise and positive testimonies of His greatness but this is not such an easy thing to do. The battle of taming our tongues is described in James 3:7-10: “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
Winning the battle of the tongue requires a transformation in our hearts that overflows from our mouths! We need a miracle of pure speech, powerful praise and a tamed tongue. Just such a miracle was promised in Zephaniah 3:9 “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.” Imagine being able to stop speaking impure, negative, destructive words. Is this even possible? The answer is found in Acts Chapter 2.
When the Holy Spirit was poured out and the church was born, the very first demonstration of the Spirit’s power was a miracle of supernatural speech that enabled the believers in the upper room to speak in new tongues (languages) “about the wonderful things God has done!” (v. 11). Scholars have debated about how the crowd in Jerusalem were able to hear the various languages listed in verses 8-11 as over 100 excited believers were all speaking at the same time. This may have been a miracle of hearing as well as speech but either way, a whole new type of praise was released that day and the world has never been the same.
Speaking in tongues is still a controversial topic but the Bible has a lot to say about the value of this gift and how it should be exercised. The teaching continues this Sunday as we look more closely at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the miracle that God wants to place in our mouths! Come with an open heart and mind and expect to have your mouth opened in glorious praise as well!
Expecting miracles in every mouth,