The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has the world buzzing on how to plug the leak. And, rightly so.
Some of us may be leaking from our inner man in much the same way. Our mouth is spouting out all kinds of harmful gases and showing just how defected our hearts and minds are. We have put our pipe line minds down deep in the oil wells of the heart and busy pumping out through our mouths for all its worth. The oil from the leak in the Gulf of Mexico has wrecked havoc on water, land and mammal. And, out mouths are havocking out humankind.
Do we know how to fix the leak? Yes, of course? Tame the tongue? (James 3:5-12) But, how? Let’s be as diligent as the engineers of the oil companies are in trying to stop this harmful leak that is destroying our souls, hearts and minds. We may be covered with black oil and blind from the guck. We have a blend of goo and muck. Plug the Leak for God’s Word says;
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (N I V)
24 thoughts on “Plug the Leak”
Read with me the footnotes from James 3. The footnotes provided are from verses 6,8, and 9-12. “James compares the damage the tongue can do to a raging fire–the tongue’s wickedness has its source in hell itself. The uncontrolled tongue can do terrible damage. Satan uses the tongue to divide people and pit them against one another. Idle and hateful words are damaging because they spread destruction quickly, and no one can stop the results once they are spoken. We dare not be careless with what we say, thinking we can apologize later, because even if we do, the scars remain. A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build. Before you speak, remember that words are like fire–you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do.
If no human being can tame the tongue, why bother trying? Even though we may not achieve perfect control of our tongues, the Holy Spirit will help us learn self-control. Remember that we are not fighting the tongue’s fire in our own strength. The Holy Spirit will give us increasing power to monitor and control what we say, so that when we are offended, the Spirit will remind us of God’s love, and we won’t react in a hateful manner. When we are criticized, the Spirit will heal the hurt and help us to not lash out.
Our contradictory speech often puzzles us. At times our words are right and pleasing to God, but at other times they are violent and destructive. Which of these patterns reflects our true identity? We were made in God’s image, but the tongue gives us a picture of our basic sinful nature. God works to change us from the inside out. When the Holy Spirit purifies a heart, he gives self-control so that the person will speak words that please God.”
Morgan Blake, a sportswriter for the Atlanta Journal, wrote “I am more deadly than the screaming shell from the Howitzer. I win without killing. I tear down homes, break hearts and wreck lives. I travel on the wings of the wind. No innocence is strong enough to intimidate me. No purity pure enough to daunt me. I have no regard for truth, no respect for justice, no mercy for the defenseless. My victims are as numerous as the sands of the sea and often as innocent. I never forget and seldom forgive and my name is gossip.” Proverbs 10:19 says, “He who restrains his lips is wise.”
Looks like we can be fuel for anybody’s fire. And, wood or coal that keeps the fire going. Or wisdom drawn from the well of life (Spirit and Truth) that puts the fires of a cold heart out.
If we fuel someone else’s fire with our gossip and trash talk we may end up in the fire too…the fire of hell. Psalm 140: 9-10 says:
“Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips have caused. Let burning coals fall upon them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise.”
Sara warned us to be engineers. Structural engineers design structures that become buildings. We are builders with our words and deeds and we are warned in the Bible to be careful what we are building with on the precious foundation of jesus Christ the cornerstone. The wisdom Sara speaks us is like silver purified…pure or like precious stones which endure. But other materials like wood, hay, straw will be burned up and our building will end up ground zero…just bringing devastation.
“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
I Cor 3:12-15
Matthew 12… Jesus said that we will be accountable to God for every idle word. Not just evil words, but idle words, careless words, words that serve no good positive purpose. This gives me a sinus headache and a queasy stomach.
I pray, Dear God, please, please, please help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to refrain from words of no good positive value. Please help me to shut my ears and eyes off from words of such character coming from others. Help me to run from ruin hearts that others have and lay in wait to inflict upon me.
Matthew 12:34-37 … Jesus says that you will be justified by your speech or you will be condemned by your speech. Your speech is a revealer of your heart based upon the way you talk, your eternal destiny can be determined. The tongue shows the evidence of what your heart really is.
Proverbs 18:1-8 ” 1 Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense. 2. Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. 3. Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt. 4. Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook. 5. It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent. 6. Fool’s words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating. 7.The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips. 8.Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.”
Proverbs 17:27 ” A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even tempered.”
As I read the blog above, the comments and Proverbs, I began to think of the oil leak in the ocean. I thought of how this oil is poisoning our waters and everything it touches turns black and dies. Then I began thinking about the heart and how hurtful words can touch a beating heart, turn it black and it dies. The heart can become hard and lifeless. How does this happen? Words go in through the ears, to the mind (where they are thought of and built up) then they go to the heart and out of the mouth, bringing more destruction. We can die in the spirit because of these words or we can overcome in the spirit and move on. We must not forget that we are in a spiritual battle. I have to admit that these last few days, I was injuried in my battle. I felt words damaging my heart. I allowed this to happen, because I didn’t stop my mind from thinking about these words. So in my foolish state of mind, I called in reinforcements to talk to them about my battle injuries. What did this do to help the situation at hand. NOTHING!!! All it did was to take their focus off of Jesus and place it on my battle. Not thinking clearly, I allowed myself to become a stumbling block for someone else. I repent of this now, I ask for forgiveness to my reinforcements and I am ready to move on, by allowing the Holy Spirit to heal my mind and heart on a daily bases. Thank you Jesus for healing me and may I be very cautious with my words not to become another stumbling block to anyone.
As I was driving home this afternoon, the Lord placed something on my heart. When we are annointed with oil, and prayed over, we are annointed on our forehead. Healing oil is placed on our heads to heal our mind. Our minds are attacked over and over again. Our minds need healing. A healed mind produces a healed heart. Amazing how the body works in the physical and in the spiritual.
Oil is good. It can be used for the advancement of societal progress…power engines and motors for industrial purposes, etc…OR: it can be a devastating force, as with the leak in the Gulf, destroying oceanic wildlife and wasting trillions and maybe quadrillions of gallons and dollars.
Words are good. They can speak encouragement, solace to a hurting one. They can speak good counsel and wisdom. They can warn; they can speak healing to a wounded soul. They can give praise to our God. They can express joy and happiness, love and friendship. God talks like that. His WORD is all those things. Words give instruction, direction OR: they can wound, poison, destroy, debilitate and antagonize another, wasting lives, time, energy and power.
The oil leak that we should have is the leaking forth of the oil of the Holy Spirit. That anointing that comes through the Word of God on our tongues should be the leaking of the oil of Grace and the Spirit of the living God. Out of our bellies should flow living waters and the the anointing oil of the Holy Ghost.
Another way that the Spirit prompts us is to keep our mouths shut if we cannot speak words of kindness and godly things. Shutting up that foul leak is a step in the right direction.
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world…”
(Ephesians 1:4, NIV). from Joel and Victoria
“God chose you before the foundations of the earth. Before the worlds were ever formed, He knew you. And, He didn’t create you to be average. He didn’t create you to barely get by. No, He created you to excel! Not only has He chosen you, but He has equipped you with everything you need to live His abundant life. He has deposited seeds of greatness inside every person. But in order to tap into those seeds of greatness, you have to believe this and act on it.”
I want to believe and act on the seeds of greatness in me and others. After participating in an excellent spiritual retreat last week I saw great women full of potential waiting to spring into action.
I would like to offer a suggestion to prepare for next retreat and other meetings for Needles and CF. Needles, you did an excellent presentation of the working of the heart and preparing your chart and other visual aid. I would like to see you put your visuals on slides, like keynote or power point. You could borrow your sons computer. You could use your slides when the occasion provided screens, etc. and/or your chart in other venues.
Chickenfarmer, you love the study of the mind. You could began your charts, slides and any and other visual aids for a presentation on the workings of the mind. I know your son, Luke, will help and loan you his laptop. You could also do charts, etc.
MG and Debi could work on their music and new ways of presenting for larger audiences. Hopefully making way for others to join the band.
Rena could work on intercessory and making slides for “Designs of One’s Heart.
We could start now and hopefully find many venues and have many opportunities to present this study in the next year. As Osteen has said above, “God has chosen you to excel.” It’s time for thedailylily.org ladies to step up and out! Let me know your thoughts on this.
MG has said she would go to CF’s article on “Garden of Renown” and give a review of she and Rena presented their very favorite parts of the lesson to Rena’s friend, Carla, and Carla’s response. Check that article out.
I want to encourage us and put out some positive vibes to be ready and present if we believe we have a package of such a great price.
I think this is good advice. We learned from our retreat the importance of preparation and I look forward to getting to work on your suggestion for our parts.
Debi, do you have any other suggestions for me or others?
Interesting you should say, power point, Sara. You will probably not believe me when I say that I actually entertained that idea, but proceeded with the chart, instead. I did speak with you before the retreat, and I found out that you had not planned on bringing the big screen, due to the heat. Maybe I can progress to learning the power point? Thanks for the encouragement. (I sure hope my boys, or someone will help me learn?!?!?)
I am anticipating learning new music and expanding the praise and worship of our ministry, thedailylily.org. There are many beautiful songs out there and both Debi and I write Gospel music. It will be a challenge but if we are diligent and to search out the Holy Spirit’s wisdom we can step up to new heights in our praise and worship services.
Speaking of diligence, Needles, with your excellent presentation and the work that you did on it there is no telling how exciting your presentations will be with power point as you persevere in acquiring the knowledge and skill to use that system of presentation. You go, girl!!
1 Peter 13:16 “13 So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your qwn desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, juet as God chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” Peter tells us to THINK CLEARLY and exercise self-control. This self-control includes our tongues. We have to do this so we can be holy. We can’t use the excuses that we used when we were living in our old ways. “You must be Holy because I am Holy.”( Footnotes: 1:13 Think clearly..(Literally gird the loins of your mind) In Peter’s day, a man had to tuck the hem of his long robe into his belt before he could work or run.)
Sara, in answer to your question…I always look forward to Needles and chickenfarmer’s skit and feel that others would benefit as well.
And I know you have written at least two short books that you have thought about getting into reprint. It would be great to have those available for next retreat.
Also, good photographing at the retreat is important for documenting and sharing and remembering…this needs improvement by either those of us that have been taking pictures or someone who has this gift/ability.
And in accordance with what Debi has written, a recording of some parts of the Retreat could be another project to look into. Video-taping and/or cd’s/tapes might be vehicles that we could use to reproduce some of the events at the retreat.
Sounds like we have a team of women, ready and willing to do their part!
Needles, another connecting thought! We are seeing a live show of just how the Holy Spirit works.
On your chart! I think it was perfect and will serve a purpose many times as not all yet have overheads, etc. But, many do and this is Phase II. I am thinking when Autumn comes around and back to school for the boys we go back to school with our studies and projects. It will also be a great project for the boys to help you with. It will be very easy on their Apple. Then we can put it on a disk and use on other computers.
Hopefully, we can simplify our retreat and be able to travel and move very easy with all components. I am working on learning new skills on my computers and I-pad for the purpose of using in retreats or Bible Studies and hopefully do some updating of the daily lily.
Debi and MG, saw your ideas. Are you both volunteering for these projects? If so, go for it….These would be full time projects/skills for both of you to practice and perfect.
As technology becomes less and less complicated maybe even someone like I am, who seems to be mechanically/technologically challenged can pick up on some of these skills. With help & the right equipment we may be able to bring the project into fruition. Oh! And MUCH PRAYER asking Holy Spirit Who can do all things, to assist.
Whatever the Spirit leads one to do He will give the ability and equip them to do.
“I create the fruit of the lips…” (Isaiah 57:19, KJV).
I’m looking forward to intercession and power point, which I love working with, of Designs of Ones Heart. May the Lord God Almighty allow each one out there to learn from this wonderful study and drawing them to the study by the Holy Spirit. May He place the study in cities and communities around the world one at a time. May each person grow and be renewed in their mind and speak forth of the joy of freedom in Jesus as they come and are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. May we each be prepared for the coming of Jesus and help others come too. While in the Library of Congress yesterday, I was taken by a phrase from Lord Tennyson in the Rotunda of the Library of Congress – One God, One Law, one Element, and One Far Off Divine Event to which the Whole Creation Moves. May thedailylilies be in the move to this Divine Event. May we march forward with the instruction as given in this study, with lights full, to help others in their walk to Zion as sung in the song, We’re Marching to Zion.
Update on my oil spill…Just read this in the news, “BP to pour cement into well in next phase of ‘static kill'” And, reading that made me think of another great leader that wrote….”May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I fail to remember you, if I don’t make Jerusalem my greatest joy.” Psalm 137:6
and then verses 1-6 1 “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither! Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!”
I hope to stay steady and busy with my praise to God for His greatness and goodness to us. I hope Carla and many others will join us on thedailylily.org and help us praise the Lord as we blog our praise.
“Let my mouth be filled with Your praise, and with Your glory all the day.” Psalm 71:8 NKJ
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 NIV
My husband and I discussed Psalm 137:1-6 as out coffee break devotional this am. The verses in Psalm 137:1-6 gives us two perspectives from our point of view:
1) Our cynical point of view would be as soon as we get in captivity we quickly remember just how great and wonderful God is.
2) Our pious point of view would be as a true worshipper we would feel sorrow for the captivity of our nation and would not be able to sing happy songs just because we were asked to.