"Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).
The Psalmist's request for the Lord's guard of the tongue constitutes one of the wisest prayers recorded in Scripture. Our very being was created and is sustained by One called "the Word" (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:3). Thus, we might expect that what we say and how we say it will govern the course of our lives. It does.
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21).
Solomon declared that we live or die according to our words. However, James taught that we cannot independently govern our capacity to speak in a manner that leads to life. "The tongue can no man tame" (James 3:8). We must therefore follow the Psalmist's wise example of seeking our Heavenly Father's protection and enabling regarding our words. This involves consistent and prayerful consideration of the Scriptures, leading to many requests for what we might call God's "wordworking" in our hearts, and then in our utterance. We speak in both manners, that is, within ourselves, and then to others. Both require the power of the Holy Spirit in order to enable words that lead to life for ourselves, and for people.
"LORD, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart" (Psalm 15:1-2).
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29).
God is nothing if He is not a wordworker. Again, the Lord Jesus made and sustains all things by His word. One of His primary activities in our lives involves the motivation and empowering of living words, both within our hearts and upon our tongues. Let us expect such Divine emphasis, and determine to make it our emphasis as well. The stakes are high, the highest possible. But the Wordworker is mighty to save, including even the most unruly member of our humanity. Yes, He can lead our tongue to speak living words that flow from the living Word.
"The tongue of the just is as choice silver."
"The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD."
Weekly Memory Verse
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.