Words have immense power. Words are the instrument God used to create the world and all within it. Life comes from His word. The deeper meaning (from the Hebrew root) of “word” and “speak” conveys the concept of revelation. Words reveal the depths of reality.
Humanity alone has the power to use words for life or death. Some animals mimic words; we use words. It is a power we take far too lightly; God does not. He is most serious about our words–because our words reveal our heart:
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of…But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” Matthew 12:34b,36
Paul’s instructions to the believers at Ephesus in Ephesians 4 provides insight into the types of words believers ought to use. Our words are to build up and encourage others. Words have the power to keep hearts soft and eyes open to God. They have the power to do the opposite as well. Words can harden hearts and blind others. Words can lead to death by obscuring the Light and Glory of God.
God spoke to the Israelites out of the darkness. (Deuteronomy 5:23) The word “darkness” implies ignorance and obscurity. The work assigned Lucifer was covering the glory of God; he still does that but for the wrong purpose. He obscures God, but God is not absent. Our words of complaint focus on the darkness and fail to elicit the glory within the darkness.
Complaints are deadly for our spiritual life and others. In the wilderness, the Israelites complained against Moses–and God–and God sent death. Complaints are accusations against the sovereignty of God. That is serious business. Negativity from the mouth reveals a heart that fails to seek and enjoy the glory of God. Failing to enjoy the glory of God robs us of life itself. (John 17:3)
God loves life! His words brought life and sustain it. He wants our words to do the same. That does not mean that God wants us to be ignorant of troubles or pretend there is no darkness. Discernment is a gift of the Spirit. Criticism and complaints are the devil’s twisted version of discernment. God gives us discernment that we might press in to see and share His glory! Refuse to let the devil darken your vision and generate words of death. Choose words that give life!
Where do you see darkness that obscures God? Can we pray with you?
For a children’s article on this same topic, please visit Lambs of the Lord.