Monday, May 15, 2017

Word Fast

Ahhh, let me hear you say "outstanding!"  Or tickle my ear with "that sounds marvelous!" Increase my joy by replying "what fun!" Fascinate me by your interest in the tale I told. "What a blessing that must have been!"  "We have two ears, and one mouth....let us listen more, and speak more about "their" positive impact, "their" value, and less about me, me, me. Why not ask more questions, and listen intently? Let us not minimize "their" experience with one of our own. Simply remark on how you perceive the potential THEY have to be a mighty force, a great
blessing to others!  The Holy Spirit dwells within each beleiver. He is just waiting to be asked to take hold of our tongues so that we can speak more blessings!  "Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying?"  We are exhorted to "LISTEN" many times in God's Word. Examine yourself: Does the content of my mind and heart show up on my face as a smile or a scowl?  Are you baffled by doors that have been closed to you? Do people seek to be around you? Are you a light?  Do you consider IF your complaints
about people in authority, or about innocent strangers..."IF"you are pleasing God, or those that hear the complaint? Or do you simply voice whatever runs through your mind without the filter of considering God's purpose? Do you resist changing your pattern of thinking and speaking?  Why? Are your thoughts superior to God's? While observing God's beloved people, are you judging them by asking "Why would anybody say that, or do that?" As Jesus hears every thought, if we remain surrendered to the Holy Spirit, He might respond "Only God knows the motives of man's heart and that we all fall short and need grace."  Are you easily irritated by perpetually optimistic people? Does your level of contentment depend on who wins the game, the race, the election?  Do you grumble when plans change? Do you automatically issue mercy because you have received much?  Do you seek opportunities to encourage?
Do you look for what is GOOD in your spouse, in the White House, your team or the church and speak it? Are you quick to inject a compliment or a complaint? Are you inclined to defend your ways, your thoughts, your actions, your opinions?  Do you listen with both ears and an open mind?  Are you quick to point out the good, the better way when in the midst of chaos? Can you admit that you miss the moment in front of you as you reminisce about the way it used to be?  Will you agree or deny the scripture that paints the picture of a man’s stinking thinking? “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.” Mark 7:20-23  For our heavenly Father is fully aware of our secret criticisms. Inside every Christian, the Holy Spirit abides, and He is there to help us be purified of all that defiles us. Can you agree that sarcastic humor is just as wicked, or as sinful as profanity or murder?  It is foolishness to deceive ourselves... and pride fully deny... that a critical spirit is not of God.   Lord, in the name of Jesus,  help us heed Your calling for our hearts to be transformed as we put on the mind of Christ.  Wash our minds and uproot  
the deep pockets of judgment that reside in our hearts.   Give us eyes to see what You see in others. A living hope, a holy restoration and the ongoing sanctification through the completed work of our Lord Jesus.  Help us to look and find the good in every situation, in each encounter You set before us.  Help us to control our tongues and speak words that will edify and encourage those You place in our path.  “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.” Psalm 101:5  To the glory of God, and for His good purpose, as we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is vitally important that we become a love covering for another believers inappropriate actions or words.  1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because 
LOVE covers a multitude of sins”  This truth instructs us to recognize that if we gossip about a wrong choice, or a worldly way in another, we are exposing faults and uncovering them. When we tear down instead of lift up, we are choosing to sin against God's will that we love one another, forgive one another, and issue grace to one another...just as He loves, forgives and issues grace and mercy to us....daily. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2   A dysfunctional Christian justifies his complaining, sarcastic humor, negativity and criticisms.  Jesus taught that there is no middle ground between the kingdom of heaven and the world we live in. “Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.” Matthew 12:30  Our judgments’ produce misery and the chronic critic reaps what he sows.  “Yet I will show you a more excellent way” 1 Corinthians 12:31  The polar opposite of a life spent in judgment, criticism, sarcasm and
bitterness is a life filled with complete joy and contentment.  “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 The NEW creation, is NOT a negative person, but a positive, joy filled, peaceful person who identifies with the freedom of Christ Paul had while in prison.  We are either praising God in all circumstances, or we are whining and complaining!  To live “in Me” as I am “in you” is to live in gratitude and contentment.  “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the WILL of GOD in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thess 5:16  Choose to look for whatever is noble, noteworthy or good in every situation, everyday.
Choose to draw people to the Love, Light and Joy that lives inside you.
Choose to rehearse or filter every thought before it exits your lips.
Choose your words intentionally to inspire, uplift and transform.
Choose words that saturate the receiver’s soul with love.
Choose words that cause the hearing face to light up.
Choose words that cause good feelings to emerge into a smile.
Choose to be methodical not mechanical in your praises.
This word picture goes perfectly with our 40 day word fast challenge. We cannot accomplish fasting on negative, pessimistic thinking and broadcasting without our indwelt Holy Helper.  Lord help us hold our tongue.  Help us listen with genuine interest and not just wait for a pause just so we can share our experiences.  Help us intentionally choose words that will uplift, acknowledge, and encourage.  Help us glorify Your plan for the world as we speak Kingdom language. Forgive us for any secretly held thoughts of criticism, judgment, malice or unforgiveness.  Amen ---- "The Forty-Day Word Fast" by Tim Cameron

2 comments:

  1. Reading a great book called "The Forty Day Word Fast" by Tim Cameron. Just gotta share this...mostly to replenish me and train my my brain and control my tongue. Quote: "Complaining is like emotional pollution; it pollutes the air that all breathe around us...it spreads to infect others much like sneezing. We murmur, disapprove, whine, blame, snivel, gripe and most importantly depreciate all that the Lord has done. Whiners look and find many who will chime in to validate their discontent. Difficult circumstances and negative people will come our way. When we complain we repel the presence of the Lord, we quench the Spirit of the Lord and He does not hear our prayers. Like the example of the children of Israel, they felt entitled and they were ungrateful for what they had and believed they deserved more. We need to put to death the negative spirit within us, and stop agreeing with the Liar, and start speaking kingdom language of thanksgiving in all things. In the "six things the Lord hates....a proud look, a lying tongue...and he who sows discord among the brethren." When it comes to judgments, criticism, sarcasm, negativity, complaining, and gossiping, most people live live in deception and they are blinded to whom they are serving by them. IF we are to be authentic followers of Christ, there is little room for innocent sarcastic remarks. "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless" James 1:26 --- As Christians we must REFUSE to be offended by those who are weak, broken, hurting and who spew negativity. But the Lord does not want us to dismiss, or disassociate with a negative person, although we must use wisdom in what we share with them. Negative, broken spirited people are loved by God and we must choose the higher Way, His Way and forgive and issue mercy, patience and love as we pray for them. When we encourage the negative person, we do NOT speak of their behavior, but we call them up to being a renewed, changed, new creation in Christ. The Lord wants us us rejoicing always, and speaking words of life, hope and NOT judgement, criticism, sarcasm and complaining. Negative people are narrow-minded and therefore unteachable. They look for "what is wrong" and gladly give voice to it. Every time we have a bad experience, when all that is within our flesh wants to complain, we must STOP and pray asking "What would You Lord show me about myself in this? Give me wisdom, give me words to think, allow me to see the good, control my tongue and use it for Your glory in this situation." Praising God in all things, in every circumstance, causes us to look through the eyes of Jesus and expect good! "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones".... ahhh, "Sweeter than honey to my mouth" ...savoring truth "I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food"... I am celebrating the good news with my seat belt still fastened "Your word became to me joy and rejoicing in my heart". Yet learning the King's language, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the teaching of kindness"....positive words that cause my spirit to swell ..what I spread around....goes around, and comes back to me...a blessing or a curse....I wisely choose to speak blessings!

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  2. A person who continues to look for 'what is wrong' when facing a new opportunity, or making negative comments while watching the news, sports, or people driving....that person lives discontented, in a territory that is void of the presence of God. That complaining, worry filled domain is the land of fear and ingratitude. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether we'll fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:12

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