Revival of the Tongue
I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue;
I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, – Psalm 39:1
When I read of our brethren from bygone days it strikes me that there is a great distance between the Christian’s commitment to “the faith” in their day and in our day.
Of course writers seldom chronicle the lives of the unfaithful or the lukewarm in their Christian faith, and perhaps we may safely assume that our more outstanding brothers and sisters are just that, outstanding in their generations.
Still I am stirred and encouraged by the accounts of the lives of the faithful, who reserved nothing of the old self in their commitment to Christ; men and women who did in fact, put of the old man being renewed in the spirit of their minds. (Ephesians 4:20-24)
Today it seems that we are in desperate need of revival; in desperate need of the return of Christ like living in the Church. Perhaps we may in some way understand this need of our day in an analogy provided us in The Epistle of James: Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. – James 3:4
In the passage where this verse is found, James is arguing for a quality of faith that may not be found where the old man still lives (James 3:1-4:10).
He cites as a determining factor the tongue (the analogical very small rudder), not the physical organ but the ideas articulated by it as they proceed through the desires of the pilot from some initial source; either heaven or hell, these being the only options identified in the passage.
When the Lord designed man the tongue was “so set among our members.” (James 3:6) That is, the tongue in its role of articulating ideas, is divinely determined and placed, to affect man and society in a particular way.
But we see in this passage of James’ a graphic picturing of the effect of sin on the tongue; resulting in the abuse of the tongue, and abuses by means of the tongue, even in the Lord’s Church to whom James is writing.
I have no doubt that those brethren who have been outstanding examples of faithfulness among us have governed their tongues in an outstanding way. It is through such government of the tongue that we employ the rudder, to turn the ship of ones life according to the will of God.
If there will be a revival in our day it will begin with an abhorrence of the abuses of the tongue, and actual repentance thereof. If there will be a revival among us today there must be a burning of the lips of saints. (Isaiah 6:5-7)
Christians, especially the teachers (James 4:1), must be restored to the divine determination of the power of the tongue as a conduit of that which originates in heaven for blessing on earth.
By means of the tongue the life of Christ must again flow freely through His Church so that the Christian, the Church and the world may have a proper rudder for directing the ship of life. (John 6:63)
David writes in Psalm 109:17, “As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he
did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.”
And James affirms, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)
It seems that many prefer a lukewarm church, but for those of us who do not, for those of us who would have a restoration of the life of Christ in the Church, let us submit our tongues, only and always, to those wholesome words confirmed by scripture. (1 Timothy 6:3-5).
I will be honored to share your comments on this article in my personal blog “The Christian Mind,” thechristianmind.org. You may also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. George Frey