Day 7

Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

A Warfare of Rest – Day Seven – The Lip Audit

For the past few days a phrase has been running through my head: loose lips sink ships.  It was a navy slogan in the Second World War that means beware of unguarded talk.

The Bible also has a fair bit to say about “loose lips”.

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (Proverbs 10:19, NLT)

Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. (Ephesians 5:4, NLT)

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. (Ephesians 4:29, The Message)

Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” (Matthews 12:36-37, The Message)

Now let’s stop for a moment and do a “lip audit” on yesterday.  Walk back through your day and jot down a list of every word you can remember speaking from the time you got up until the time you went to bed.  Not just the formal conversations you had with other people, but every word. Like when you yelled at your kids to stop screaming because they were driving you crazy. Or at your brother because he left his dirty towel on the bathroom floor for the five hundredth time.  Think about what you muttered under your breath when someone cut you off in traffic and don’t forget to include the choice words you shouted when you banged your hand in the door. 

Now look at your list.  Anything foul or dirty?  Was every word a gift?  Did every word you speak help and build up the person who heard it?  Did it bring glory to God?

Words are not just words – they have had a creative power since the beginning of time.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.  (Hebrews 11:3, NIV)

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

We literally hold the power of “life and death” in our tongues.  And if we aren’t speaking life then… well… there is only one other alternative.

Put another way, by our words we are either advancing the kingdom of God or reinforcing the kingdom of darkness. There is no gray area, no middle ground.  Every single word counts. 

Which is why the Psalmist wrote:  Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.(Psalm 141:3, NIV)

Our mouths are one of those doors by which our faith is either expanding or being diminished by unbelief.

But trying to control our tongues by our own strength is an impossible task.  Even James said, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”(James 3:7-8)

So what then? Are we just doomed to live in fear of the inevitable day of reckoning?  Thankfully, no, there is another way.

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. (John 12:49, NAS)

The world around us tells us that it’s important to “speak your mind” or “share what you feel”.  But the truth is as believers, living in submission to the King, neither our mind nor our emotions are supposed to be in control of our tongue. That right belongs to the Father alone. 

So if we choose to submit our tongues to the control of the Father, does that mean that we will never slip up? Of course not.  We are all human, we all sin (miss it) and we all, thank God, can appropriate the blood of Jesus and the grace of God to cleanse us from our sin.  But what it does mean is that we have decided that we will no longer live carelessly, but increasingly conscious of God and His place as Lord and Master in our lives.

If you want to commit yourself, like Jesus did, to place your tongue under the control of the Spirit, then let’s pray this prayer together.  “Father, forgive me for speaking carelessly and foolishly as if I had the right to say whatever I want.  I acknowledge that I gave up that right, and every other right to control my life, when I accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins.  Father I don’t want my mind or my emotions to rule over my tongue anymore because that rulership belongs only to You.  Lord, help me to be like Jesus and not speak from my own initiative but only by Your command. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

On behalf of the Awaken Team

We would love this journey to be an expression of the corporate body and not just a few of us, so if the Lord gives you a vision or dream or speaks to you through a scripture or if you have a story or testimony you would like to share, please send it to

If you would like to join this consecration and receive the daily exhortations you may sign up at