The Prophet Isaiah in reference to the sinful ways of Israel once depicted, how the mouth can easily lead people in the wrong direction in life. He said:
“For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.”
Isaiah 59:3-4 NKJV
The lips that speaks lies and the mouth that mutters perverse things, can’t declare the mysteries of God. This is the type of lips or the mouth that covers up the truth, while speaking empty words to deceive people. Eventually the person who does such a thing will become a perpetrator of evil.
The gospel of Jesus Christ cannot come out of such a mouth, since they can only conceive and give birth to evil. The good news about Jesus cannot come out of the mouth of those, who delight in speaking lies and deceptions. There is no righteousness along their pathway, but self destruction lies ahead of them. Sooner or later they will be ensnared by their own tongues.
I do remember a time when a group of Bible school students went on an evangelical mission outreach to a village. They had received all the training that was needed to win the village for Jesus, but they never got one soul saved, even though they claimed to had enjoyed the trip.
What was supposed to be an evangelical mission outreach, ended up being a fact finding mission for some of them. They had all the training that was needed and the mouth to speak; but they missed out of the opportunity that was given to them. The rest of them experienced how real it is, for the devil to trick a Christian into committing a sin against God.
Instead of testifying about Jesus they had gotten themselves involved, in the sinful lifestyle pattern of the people they were meant to lead to Christ. The devil had gotten them entangled in the sinful lifestyle of that community, until they eventually got themselves smeared and ensnared by it.
They were not matured or disciplined enough, to had handled the mission on their own. So the devil exploited their lack of Christian discipline to destroy their mission. Just because someone graduated from a Bible school does not necessarily means, that person is spiritually matured or disciplined.
But a woman without any Bible college education at all, later received a dream about the same village getting saved. She decided to travel to that same village on her own. She had reacted to her dream with a plan to evangelize the village on her own personal initiative. She had a personal conviction that the village would be saved, based on the dream from the Lord.
She had no tracts or Christian materials for the journey. She had no one to support her financially, except that she had gotten her local Pastor to agree with her in prayer for the salvation of the village. All that she had was her Bible, her testimony of salvation and the dream from the Lord.
She got to the village and began immediately to evangelize, by using her voice to share her personal Christian testimony with everyone in the village. At the end of it all every one in the village got saved, healed and delivered. Her testimony of Jesus brought a Holy Spirit revival into the village. The whole village believed in her testimony about Jesus, repented and got saved.
And from that time onwards she began to periodically travel back and forth to the village, so as to make disciples of many of them. A local church was eventually started in the community, which later grew strong in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ within the whole region.
She had ended up in doing much more than, what she had thought was possible for her to do. Her faith worked in bringing salvation into a lost community. Her mouth was used by the Lord to get them saved.
There is obviously a big difference here between the group of Bible school students, and this Christian lady who decided to step out by faith into the supernatural. The woman had the passion with a vision and the Christian discipline, which was empowered by the Lord as she stepped out by faith.
On the other hand the group of Bible school students had a vision, but they never had the Christian discipline to follow through with the vision. The theologically uneducated woman had both the vision and the Christian discipline.
The Christian discipline in the life of this woman helped her, to be focused on the dream that the Lord had given to her. She had taken God seriously with the vision. So she had ended up not being smeared and ensnared, as the group of students were. Her Christian discipline had taught her, how to guard her mouth in the face of temptation.
It wasn’t that she never got tempted into the same type of sin, that the students fell into. The difference was that her Christian discipline had taught her how to resist temptations. She was more prepared for the mission, even though she never attended any Bible school.
She had learnt how to stand up against the temptation of the devil, through the basic Christian discipline training from her local Church. The local Church gave her the Christian discipline training that, the Bible school could not give to that group of students.
Christian discipline is what builds up our Christian character, so that we are able to stand up strongly against the wiles of the enemy. An undisciplined Christian will fall into the trap of the enemy easily, with the deceptions of the devil and the world that are around him or her.
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic Christian discipline will keep many away, from being tempted to fall into sin. Especially with churches still being closed in some places, the devil is moving aggressively to drag some Christian back into his crowd.
It’s therefore important for the true believers in Christ to know about, the benefits of going through the Christian hardship. It is what builds up your spiritual muscle in the spiritual warfare against the devil.
Be disciplined to change your world
It takes time to develop a strong Christian character. There are those who had made a shipwreck of their faith by jumping into the work of the Lord, without a strong Christian discipline background to hold and establish them. So they had failed before they ever even get started in the ministry.
Christian discipline helps us to guard our mouth from being entrapped in the midst of the spiritual warfare. If you are doing havoc to the powers of the darkness of this world, Satan will target you with a series of attacks.
Yes, the devil hates you with a passion. And those who are working for him in this world hates you also. That’s why building up a strong Christian character will help you a lot in holding on till the end.
The aim of those satanic attacks are to make you to start saying things, that opposes God’s will for your life in the scriptures. The devil knows that the moment you begin to speak contrary to God’s word, you will immediately loose the protection of the angels of God. That’s why Christian discipline will protect you from being ensnared by the enemy.
The Bible school students mentioned above had allowed their feelings and emotions, to sway them away from their vision for the villagers. The devil had enticed them with the sins from their past lives, and they fell easily into the temptation, due to the lack of Christian discipline in them.
They started first by glorifying the works of the devil with their lips, until they eventually yielded their physical bodies into sin. And before they knew what was happening, their bodies had been given in completely to worship the dead god of the villagers.
Satan is seeking worshipers. A Christian who is often using the foul language of the unsaved world in conversations, is trending on very dangerous grounds. He may see no imminent danger in using the corrupt and devilish language of the world. But the devil is dragging him or her deeper and deeper into his net.
Such a Christian evidently does not have a sound discipline, which can withstand the wiles of the devil. He is vulnerable to the attacks of the devil.
A Christian who is not ready to go through hardship in life, should not be surprised to fall into the trap of the enemy. He will become an easy target of the devil, to be used in smearing other Christians. The devil does not necessarily need to send people from the world, against those who are in the Church. He will use those within the local Church, who do not have a strong Christian character against their fellow Christians.
The need for Christian discipline was why the Apostle Paul said to Timothy:
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.”
II Timothy 2:3-7 NKJV
And he said again to the Corinthians:
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
I Corinthians 9:24-27 NKJV
A sports athlete goes into rigorous physical training to win the prize, that he is training for. He disciplines himself for the purpose of winning the prize. He strictly watches his diet, rests well for the body to be in good shape. He works hard to remove every hindrances in his pathway to winning the race. His rigorous physical and emotional training finally pays off, when he gets the prize in his hands.
The Christian discipline is not different from what the athlete does. That was why Paul made this comparison. While writing these letters from the jail in Rome Paul himself must had been doing a lot of daily exercises, to keep his spirit, soul and body in good shape, so as to serve the Lord better after being released.
Guarding the mouth trap requires a strong Christian discipline. It requires you to bring your mind and your physical body, into complete subjection to the word of God. The way and manner in which you are using your lips daily, will determine whether or not God can trust you with His mysteries.
You may be a new believer in Christ who is struggling with alcoholism right now. Disciplining your mind and your physical body will be a good thing to start with. You begin by getting your mind renewed, because that’s the gateway of the devil into your life. He will work to manipulate your mind by polluting your thought pattern, about your decision to quit alcohol.
The Apostle Paul said:
“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV
The new man in you wants nothing to do with alcohol anymore, but your mind can be easily manipulated by the devil, if you are not being diligent to get it renewed, by daily meditating on God’s word. You are now God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus. Don’t allow the enemy to smear your testimony by tempting your mouth with alcohol.
Once the battle of the mind is won, the battle of your physical body to resist the temptations for alcohol begins with your mouth. You can’t resist the temptation if your mouth will not speak out, what you really believe in your heart about yourself and alcohol.
Paul said again:
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
What you are saying with your mouth has preeminence over your physical body. The mouth will speak what you believe in your heart. The word “to be saved” actually means “to be made whole” in Greek. This meaning includes not just the salvation of the soul, but the deliverance of the total man from the powers of darkness.
You will have to pay attention to doing this on a regular basis – daily Bible meditation and confession of faith. Your former drinking friends will do everything possible to make sure that you fail. You must be prepared to fight and resist them with words from your lips. Don’t just be doing what they are asking you to do. Let them know that you had made a firm decision for Christ. And that you had left the dead old life behind you. You are now moving on with Jesus.
This requires some Christian discipline for you to eventually win. It’s hard. It’s though. But you can do it if you are really seeking to be disciplined in the things of God.
It requires a lot of sacrifices on your part. It’s just like the athlete will often make sacrifices to train very hard in winning the prize. But for you as a Christian you may not get the prize, until you appear in heaven before the Father. But when you finally make it there, you will be so glad that you made all the sacrifices to get it here on earth.
Your mouth trap is the target of the devil. If he can get you to speak against or contrary to what God says, he knows that he wins. The Christian discipline training is for your own good. Many have chosen not to go through it, and they have paid the prize for their faith, by compromising with the desires for the sins of the world.
What are you training for in this life as a Christian? Are you prepared to go through hardship in your Christian training, so as to win the prize that Christ will give you, at the end of your life on the earth?
You will definitely have troubles in this Christian life. Those who have chosen to live a godly life will be hated and persecuted, by the world and the devil himself (see 2 Timothy 3:12).
As Jesus Himself said:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NKJV
Is it not amazing that Jesus said you will have peace in Him, when going through the Christian hardship. His peace in the midst of the hardship is a guarantee that everything will be perfectly fine, when the hardships are over.
The world is full of hardship today with the coronavirus pandemic; but how many in the world can say that, they do have peace in the midst of their hardships. From the ongoing pandemic to civil unrests and disasters everywhere, there are hardships everywhere without the guarantee of an inner peace at heart for them. Only Jesus can give the peace that the world can never give:
“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NKJV
The hardships of this life as Christians are meant in preparing us to spiritually confront the devil. Jesus never promised us a life that’s free of hardships, as we are following Him. In fact you will have more hardships, if you’re a true disciple of Jesus. The devil hates you, and he is going to rage against you vigorously for choosing to follow Jesus.
But the mouth of a disciplined Christian is wisely guarded, from falling into the trap of the devil. Instead of speaking like the unsaved people of the world, you will begin to utter the wisdom of God.
It’s however important to warn you that, you will become a target of the enemy, from the very moment you had decided to become a disciplined Christian. It’s not all Christians who are disciplined. The multitude will tell you that they are disciplined also, but don’t consider what they are telling you. Their actions with their lifestyle patterns will point them out for you.
Be very watchful about the new friends that you are picking from the multitude. It’s not everything which glitters that is golden (2 Timothy 2:20-26). Make friends with those who are determined to go through the Christian hardship, so as to be disciplined and matured in their Christian life. They will help you and mentor you in building a strong Christian character.
David once said:
“LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
Psalms 131:1-2 NKJV
The character of a weaned child is one of the attributes of a disciplined child of God. A child that has been weaned by the mother, is not haughty or anxious for anything in life. That’s how a disciplined Christian behaves before God in the face of hardships. He knows how to wait on the Lord, even as he prays. He knows that the Father has the best things of life prepared for him. So he patiently waits for it, just as a weaned child will wait on the mother to prepare his food.
A weaned child does not cry, but patiently waits for the food from the mother. He knows that the mother is preparing the best meal, for him or her to eat when hungry. A child that is not yet weaned will cry with the mouth and complain about the hardship of hunger. He will open his mouth to speak vain things, and deprive himself of the best things of life from the mother.
This is very common when Christians are fasting. An unweaned child of God will complain about being hungry during fasting, but the Christian who is weaned knows that, he does not even need to be making it appear to others that he is fasting (see Isaiah 58).
The relationship between the mother and a child that is being weaned, as illustrated by David above is a depiction of how God relates with us, when we are complaining about things before Him. A weaned child of God is matured in his approach to handling the hardships of life. An unweaned child will not rest, but will whine and complain about the hardships.
It’s just as the Israelites often complained to Moses, in the wilderness on the way from Egypt. That’s the behavior of a child who is not yet weaned. They grumbled and complaint to God about everything from water to food.
Discipline for Christian service
We do live in a Christian world today where many are giving a lot of relevance to serving the people, to the detriment of the message of Christ in numerous communities. They have substituted the Christian message of salvation for humanitarian services to the people. The care of men in the midst of hardships, has taken the place of the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are using the care of the people as a bait to get people into their churches.
In fact many from the world now sees the Church as a place, to get some alleviation from their hardships in life. They are not necessarily coming to hear the gospel being preached. But they are coming to see what they can get from the Church, to alleviate their problems. And if any church will not give it to them, they will move on to the churches that are offering such things to people.
The Church is seen in this light among many in several nations across the western world. The ungodly in those nations sees their Churches not, as the champion of the good news of salvation, healing and deliverance. They see the body of Christ as a distribution centers for food and services to the poor. In other words the Church exists only for the poor, so those who are financially and materially okay don’t need the Church in those countries.
The weaknesses of these churches are therefore so evident in saving the lost, healing the sick and casting out the devil. This is a major hindrance to Church growth in the western world. We can’t get those who are lost to be saved, if we are only interested in serving the people, instead of serving the Lord’s vision.
Christ Jesus is the burden carrier of the believers in His name. That role was never given to the Church. Our role is to point people to Christ, and not to carry their burdens for them. People needs to be taught about how to surrender everything to Christ, who will forever take away their problems in life. That’s how they will be financially and materially disciplined to get out of poverty.
Are you a servant of God? Or are you a servant of the people?
In the secular world the meaning of the word – “servant” is a reference to a person who ministers. It’s the same word that is used in certain nations today, in reference to the agents of the government. A government minister represents the government to the people. That’s his role on behalf of the government to the people.
However in many countries today many of them are not really public servants anymore. Many of them will demand that the people should serve them, if they really want any help from the government. This is the manner in which the devil has corrupted public service, to get people deeper and deeper into poverty.
And when the Church is placing emphasis on humanitarian services to the people, instead of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to them; that Church looses its focus and direction in the calling of the Lord. The declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor is meant to get them out of poverty (Luke 4:18).
Even if a Church does a little bit of it, that Church can’t be effective with it, when emotions and feelings are being allowed, to override the Christian message with it. Jesus came to save people, and not just to serve them. It’s all about the salvation of those people that are being served, so that they can be completely delivered from poverty. Jesus came to teach them how to become fishers of men. He never came to hand out fish to them at every Church meetings. He came to teach them how to go out and catch the fish by themselves (Luke 5:1-11).
The students in the illustration above had studied so hard in the Bible school, only to fail in winning the prize; because they misplaced their priorities. They wanted to win the love of the community that they were sent to win for Jesus. Instead of testifying to them about God’s love for them, they went about trying to win their corrupt love.
But it’s never too late for many to change. You can be open for the revival, so that God’s Spirit can revive the dead bones in your midst once again (Ezekiel 37). Or you can continue to do the same thing to get the same result, without really reaching the full potential of Christ in your midst.
Those Bible school students were just being people minded, without any mindset of Christ in them. They could not open their mouth to preach to the lost, not because they could not do it; but because they had gotten their mouth entrapped, away from the Christian message of salvation.
But the Christian lady was able to go through the Christian hardship, so as to be disciplined in following the vision from the Lord. She ended up doing what the Bible school students could not do. Her voice was not entrapped, because she knew that God was going to do something for that village. She positioned herself in the plan of God for the village, and got it saved.
There were a lot of demonic activities going on in the village at the time. But all these could not withstand the power in her testimony about Jesus. She never went to serve the people or their culture. She was focused on the vision from God, and on her personal testimony about Jesus. She went to serve the Lord.
There is only one thing that irritates the evil forces around you, more than any other things that you are doing for the Lord right now. That’s the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They do know that there is power in it, which they can’t ever withstand.
Don’t ever be ashamed of the testimony of Jesus flowing through your mouth (2 Timothy 1:8). It’s what protects you from the snares of the devil. It’s what gives you an edge over the devil in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Resolve to be praying for the sick at every church meetings and opportunities in the public. Cast out the devil and get the captives delivered.
Use your mouth to share the gospel always in the midst of this pandemic. You will change the world and bring Christ’s light, into the ongoing darkness of the world surrounding COVID-19.
The woman mentioned above was clear about her vision. She knew clearly what she needed to do, and her Christian life had been disciplined to get it done.
Guarding the mouth trap takes some Christian discipline. It requires some self denials on our part as Christians. You will have to put your feelings and emotions aside; so as to obey what God’s word says at all times. It’s only those with the clarity of vision and purpose that will follow through, with disciplining themselves to guard their mouths in a pandemic:
“And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”
1 Thessalonians 5:23 AMPC