Sometimes life feels like a highway. You are walking in the middle of the road, cars passing on both sides, people going past on the side walk; it keeps moving. Our moments are centered on interactions with others, with work, with inanimate objects but tangible things all the same. We look forward to the next interaction. We share, we form networks, and we live ‘normal’ lives.
We share our experiences in a bid to help ourselves and each other. But if we were to draw a pie chart and allocate time spent praying and time spent sharing (verbally) with ourselves and with others, what would we discover? Especially as Christians, seeing that we like to encourage each other and give testimonies and ask our fellow brethren and sistren 🙂 to pray for us or include us in prayer?
Maybe I have had scales on my eyes for some time. Or maybe I knew it but never really admitted it. But it says something, that The Holy Spirit would ask, “Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?”
Truthfully, that is the type of question that tempts you to go mum. There is an overwhelming realization of just how easy it can get telling people things and sharing experiences and testimonies and revelations and challenges and victories and losses and a whole bunch of other things. But have I prayed about it? Have I genuinely taken time to commit these things to prayer and in prayer? Does every word that proceeds from my lips align with what God has set before me? Is the first person I run to God? Is He the first I tell about everything? Is He the first I listen to? Do I take time to wait for His response before I run off telling someone else?
James shows how powerful this small part of our body is – the tongue. If you tame it then you have achieved what has eluded most men.
Proverbs lets us know that the power of life and death is in the tongue.
Christ throws back the source of the tongue’s utterance to the matters of the heart. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Proverbs again reminds us how utterly deceitful the heart is.
So what we say, who we say it to, and how quick/ hasty or often we are to speak is a matter of the heart? The same heart that ought to be examined by The Holy Spirit, revealed, purged and molded to be completely submitted and in line with God’s will? This makes me wonder whether I should go silent forever (except with God) until The Lord pries my mouth open and literally speaks through my lips.
So, that I talk about ‘it’ more than I pray about ‘it’ is an indication of where my heart is; where I derive my affirmation; who I consider more important (people and myself vs. God). It does not matter how rosy my words are or how much I tell myself that I have God as my priority. My actions, my speech have said it all. But is that not scary??!! That my heart would have all that and I would be a ‘normal’ Christian and never know it unless the Holy Spirit had asked, “Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?”
It’s not just about praying about it. It’s about going a step further and making prayer the priority: not the issue, not people’s opinion, not people’s sympathy or empathy. Just how much time have I given to handing this over to God, seeking His direction, letting Him know (not that He doesn’t already) what is going on with me and how I feel, seeking clarification, sharing just how awesome that revelation He just dropped in my spirit is?
The Lord wants us to shift our focus to Him. To have our primary sights set on Him and on nothing else. So that even in our speech, He is glorified. So that even in speech, we do not replace His integral initiatory and sustaining role with other things that cunningly take His place. And the scariest part is that we can be so oblivious of some idolatry because it is not ‘BIG’. It is not money, or fame, or a little carved god, or an obsessive career. It is just the fact that the greater percentage of anything is more talked about than prayed over.
May The Lord guard our hearts. May He expose them for what they are and mold them into what He wants them to become. May The Holy Spirit convict us when we tend veer, even slightly; when our eyes shift, even by an insignificant angle, away from God. And when He asks, “Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?” May we have the answer resonate in our hearts, because even then, we shall be deep in conversation with Him.
Sew my mouth shut/
So You may examine the motive of my heart/
Dry out my words like paint on a wall/
Let all my attempts to speak hit a brick wall/
Make my lips stay still/
Let them, from Your glory, no longer steal./
May every conversation start with You/
Only carried over when You please – an addition/
No longer a substitution./
As Your Oracles speak/
May my lips like tentacles reach-/
My tongue, a mere bridge/
That out of the abundance of my heart I will no longer speak/
But out of the overflow of Your heart my members, even my mouth, will speak.//